When Brian De Palma adapted Stephen King's novel “Carrie” for film in 1976, he turned the simple story of a bullied teenage girl with telekinetic powers into a dreamy pop-horror fantasia — a lush, operatic fright show that grooved on its excesses.
De Palma's “Carrie” became so iconic that it remains fresh and vital 37 years later — practically an eternity in Hollywood time — and casts an imposing shadow over the new version by director Kimberly Peirce (“Boys Don't Cry,” “Stop-Loss”). Instead of trying to outdo the grandness of the original, Peirce takes a more grounded approach, treating the characters of Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz) and her religious-fanatic mother, Margaret (Julianne Moore), with more emotional gravity and empathy.
Although the beautiful Moretz looks nothing like the “chunky girl with pimples on her neck and back and buttocks” King described in his book, the actress invests the character with a fragile vulnerability that runs deeper than her unkempt hair and shabby clothes. She looks like she wishes she could shrink away into herself and disappear.
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