Carrie: Sympathy for Lady Vengeance

by Ethan Alter October 18, 2013 6:00 am
<i>Carrie</i>: Sympathy for Lady Vengeance

Stephen King's Carrie is one of the great contemporary revenge stories, a macabre tale that satiates your desire to see justice done while also horrifying you in the bloody way said justice is dispensed. (Though the real horror may be how you find yourself rooting for those doing the victimizing to be punished painfully). The novel's original screen incarnation, Brian De Palma's 1976 film starring Sissy Spacek as the titular telekinetic avenger, excelled at its horror elements with images from the climactic Prom Night bloodbath searing themselves into moviegoers' imaginations. The new Carrie, helmed by Boys Don't Cry writer/director Kimberly Pierce, can't equal that and generally fails whenever it strains to try. But this interpretation does a nice job exploring the moral complexity of King's revenge premise… at least until Carrie (now played by Chloë Grace Moretz) is required by the plot -- and the movie's box office-minded producers -- to unleash hell.

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