Movie Review: Carrie (2013) – Scream Factory 4K/Blu-ray combo

April 13, 2024

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Remember back in 2013 when there was a new cinematic version of Stephen King’s Carrie released to theaters? Well, I sure forgot it… hell, I’ve never even seen it!

Anyway, those fine fiends at Scream Factory were kind enough to fling a copy of their new 4K/Blu-ray combo release of that very title my way, so let’s dig in!

Poor Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz); she’s decidedly the most unpopular kid at her New England High School, and things go from bad to really fucking bad after she freaks out in school about her first period… not like a class, her menstrual cycle… because, and get this, teens can be mean as shit.

Things aren’t much better at home, as her religious wing-nut of a mother, Margaret (Julianne Moore, routinely abuses the hell out of her in the name of Jesus feeling everything Carrie does is a sin.

If she thought a period is a sin, wait until Mags gets a load of the new psychic abilities Carrie begins to manifest… and control, but will they be enough to protect her from her putrid peers and Mommy Dearest?!

While not a re-make of the 1976, Brian DePalma directed/Sissy Spacek starring adaptation of King’s 1974 novel of the same name, this version of Carrie will of course be compared to just that… and Lord knows I’m going to be mega-guilty of that…

To that end, this version lacks the overall vibe of sadness that so permeated the ‘76 picture, which gave it a melancholy gravitas not to be found in this particular go-around, but Director Kimberly Peirce (working from a screenplay courtesy of Lawrence D. Cohen and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa) does infuse this version with elements all it’s own.

As mentioned previous, this film is a lot more surface level, and therefore the pacing is streamlined as well… which as much as you cats n’ creeps don’t want to hear it was the logical move to make when trying to fill theater seats with modern youth who are accustomed to slicker, more rapidly paced entertainment and may not be as willing to groove on a more languorously-paced character piece.

To the benefit of the piece, the casting here is pretty damn solid with Moretz making for an engaging and sympathetic lead… until she goes completely batshit… but she’s believable there too, and maybe a little to easy to root for given the absolute murderous devastation she leaves in her wake, but damn it some of the people in her life just absolutely suck. Additionally Moretz’s Carrie displays a more cocksure nature as her powers increase, making her less of the ethereal, awkward victim throughout as in the previous version.

Speaking of those agitating antagonists, Moore is suitably deranged as Carrie’s self-harmin’ Momma, and Portia Doubleday manages to be completely despicable in her role as Carrie’s top Mean Girl Chris, so again, the acting is really good here… but to me the highlight in the cast is popular character actor Judy Greer as Carrie’s caring, no-nonsense gym teacher Ms. Desjardin, who is the kind of teacher we kinda/sorta all wish we had to one capacity or another.

As mentioned previously, Carrie does indeed seek revenge on those that wronged her, and the picture has no problems showing us just how violent those attacks can be (even if the CG on display can be predictably wonky here and there), which strengthens the horror element of the film considerably.

Also of note, this film retains the novel’s more visceral final act, and manages to keep some jettisoned plot points not present in DePalma’s take which doubtless will please fans of King’s original work.

Adding to the overall experience one may have with this release of Carrie are the bonus features included here, with Disc One featuring the 4K transfer of the film accompanied by an audio commentary from Director Peirce who takes us through the film’s production in info-packed detail!

Disc Two contains a Blu-ray version of the film (along with that aforementioned commentary track) as well as featurettes focusing on the film’s design and what it took to adapt this version of the tale.

Also included are an alternate ending (and it’s a fucking corker too… it also has an optional commentary track with Peirce), a collection of deleted/alternate scenes (also available with commentary), a behind-the-scenes doc (featuring interviews with cast and crew), a discussion on telekinesis again featuring the cast and crew, a glimpse of the “dailies” shot for the film’s big fire gag, a totally ridiculous piece of Candid Camera-style promotion for the film, and a theatrical trailer.

Bottom line; 2013’s Carrie is a fine fright flick, with some solid supernatural shocks and strong performances… and it has enough of it’s own thing going on to make it a fun watch for those familiar with the source material.


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