'Carrie' remake justified by its promotional stunt
Trailers are better than the film with depressing frequency, but this might be the first movie justified by its advertising. I'd rather watch 90 minutes of that stunt repeated at coffee shops around the country than a remake of "Carrie." Hats off to everyone involved with making it work. I'd have added a trickle of blood from the girl's nose after she turns around to face the horrified audience, as icing on the cake.
I don't see the point of remaking "Carrie," an acknowledged masterpiece from a director at the top of his game, other than the usual Hollywood paucity of original ideas. Maybe this one will bring something new to the table beyond upgraded special effects, but at first glance it seems part of the hideous trend of remaking sci-fi and horror films for no other reason than the insertion of upgraded special effects - a trend that includes the woeful "Total Recall" remake and the equally woeful-looking "Robocop" reboot. Hollywood's faith in the short attention span of its teenage target audience apparently now includes the belief that they haven't seen, or don't remember, movies made just a few years before they were born.
As good as the original was, "Carrie" will always work better as a book - it's a more intimate experience that way, and it's a young Stephen King roaring out of the gate. Chloe Grace Moretz is too pretty to be a tormented outcast in this superficial age, and she's trying to fill some mighty blood-spattered prom shoes left behind by Sissy Spacek. Nothing in the standard-issue ADD trailers for this movie looks remotely scary, which is why the promo stunt is so great. (Dear Hollywood: please stop throwing one-second cuts, white flashes, and record-scratching noises in my face to make me think your movie is exciting.) Maybe it'll all work out - I love nothing better than to be pleasantly surprised by a film I expected little from, which is why "World War Z" was one of my favorite theater-going experiences this summer.