Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Movie Review: Carrie (2002)

       As my October Horror fest continues I fund this movie on Netflix.  I had originally intended to do this one as an Original vs Remake, but alas, Netflix doesn't have the original, and with a new remake coming out in March I felt it would be better to wait and do all three films at once.

       This is a movie that was made for television 10 years ago, and because my reviews tend to have a lot of spoilers, I prefer to do movies that are a few years old, or everyone has seen such as The Hunger Games.

       The movie is about a girl named Carrie, who's mother is a fundamentalist Christian, meaning Carrie is sheltered and abused her entire life.  So when she goes too school she is treated as an outcast.  When she is 16 she is showering after gym when she has her first period, because of her sheltered life she freaks out and believes that she is bleeding to death.  This leads the other girls to make fun of her.  At this time she begins to  exhibit mild telekinesis by causing a light bulb to explode.  Later that day she becomes frustrated by the principle's inability to remember her name and moves his desk a few inches with her mind.  When she returns home her mother tells her the reason for what happened to her is because she wasn't pure enough and God was punishing her, she then drags Carrie into a closet and locks her in until she finishes praying for forgiveness.

       The next day the other girls prank her for what happened yesterday by filling her locker with tampons.  When the gym teacher finds out about this she is furious and gives them all detention.  When the ringleader of the prank skips detention, she is suspended for three days and her prom tickets are taken from her.

       As time passes one of the girls feels remorse for what they did to Carrie and decides to befriend her, even going so far as to ask her boyfriend to take her to prom instead to make her feel better.  Needless to say her fundamentalist mother is not a fan and constantly tries to talk her out of it.  However Carrie has been honing her telekinesis as well and is now able to control her mother, or at least stopped the physical abuse.

       While this is going on the main bully, Chris, is plotting a way to get back at Carrie for taking away her chance to be prom queen.  This involves her and her EXTREMELY creepy boyfriend breaking into a pig farm, killing one of the pigs, and draining its blood into a bucket.

       At the prom Carrie begins to have a good time, and everyone else begins to treat her like a normal person as well.  In fact at the end of the night she is voted prom queen.  This is where the actual horror of this movie begins.  While Carrie is accepting her crown Chris dumps the bucket of pig blood on top of her, this causes Carrie to go into shock.  The bucket then falls and lands on her date's head, killing him.  This is when all hell breaks loose. In her state of shock Carrie loses control of her power and burns down the gym after locking everyone in.  She then leaves the prom and causes more destruction as she walks home, killing many people and destroying a good portion of the city.  Chris and her boyfriend decide to see what's going on, see Carrie, and because Chris' boyfriend is a fledgling serial killer, he tries to run her down, resulting in his and Chris' death.  When Carrie finally gets home she calms down and has no memory of what she has done.  Her mother then comes to the conclusion that God wants Carrie dead, so she tries to drown her in the bathtub, but Carrie defends herself by causing her mother's heart to stop, killing her.

       This is where the movie's main divergence with the book starts, Carrie's friend finds her in the tub and is able to resuscitate her.  She is also surprisingly understanding of Carrie's actions and offers to drive her to Florida to help her escape.  Carrie then vows to help others like her so that the horror she caused doesn't happened again.

       Because this movie was intended to be a pilot for a failed television series, it earns a few points of forgiveness.   For example the special effects.  They were not great, even by 2002 standards.  Another thing is the fact she lives at the end, again this was because the story was meant to continue on.  The next issue is the actors, some of them were pretty good, for example Carrie and her mother.  However others, like Chris' psycho boyfriend, were horrible, and even had me laughing at times I wasn't supposed to.

       A lot of the suspense the movie built up was destroyed as the movie went on because of the way it was done, the police were interviewing survivors, thus showing all the main characters actually survive.  Carrie's friend can live because she missed prom, but the others that we later see trying to escape the gym, but see talking to police at the beginning, kill the suspense. 

       My final  verdict is this, the movie follows the book fairly well for a made for TV movie, many of the main actors are pretty good, and the suspense, though diminished, still kept me watching.  Since I'm not comparing it to the original, which I hear is much better, because I'm grading it solely on based on its own merit.  And I found it to be entertaining, very watchable, and the creepy boyfriend adds unintentional humor.  Thus I give it a B-, which is good for a horror movie.

       Anything you agree with, disagree with?  feel free to post comments below.