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Kimberly Peirce
Julianne Moore, Chloë Grace Moretz, Gabriella Wilde, Portia Doubleday, Alex Russell, Zoë Belkin, Ansel Elgort
Writing Credits:
Lawrence D. Cohen, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Stephen King (novel)

Know her name. Fear her power.

Chloë Grace Moretz and Academy Award(R) nominee Julianne Moore star in this exhilarating reimagining of Stephen King's iconic best seller. After merciless taunting from classmates and abuse at the hand of her religious fanatic mother (Moore), Carrie's (Mortez) anger - and her telekinetic powers - are unleashed. And when a prom prank goes horribly wrong, events spiral out of control until the terrifying conclusion of this powerful, pulse-quickening horror story.

Box Office:
$30 million.
Opening Weekend
$17.000 million on 3157 screens.
Domestic Gross
$35.266 million.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Descriptive Audio 5.1 (Theatrical Cut Only)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (Theatrical Cut Only)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (Theatrical Cut Only)
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 100 min. (Theatrical Cut) / 101 min. (Theatrical Cut with Alternate Ending)
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 1/14/2014

• Audio Commentary with Director Kimberly Peirce
• Nine Deleted/Extended Scenes with Optional Commentary
• Alternate Ending
• “Tina On Fire: Stunt Double Dailies” with Optional Commentary
• “Creating Carrie” Featurette
• “The Power of Telekinesis” Featurette
• “Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise”
• Trailer
• Sneak Peeks
• DVD Copy


Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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Carrie [Blu-Ray] (2013)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 16, 2014)

Eventually every horror movie from the 1970s will be remade, and in 2013, it was Carrie’s turn – though one could argue it’s more a “re-adaptation” than a remake. Stephen King’s novel created the story, of course, and Brian De Palma delivered a successful big screen version in 1976.

37 years later, Kimberly Peirce – best known for 1999’s Boys Don’t Cry - takes a crack at the tale. In a prologue, Margaret White (Julianne Moore) doesn’t realize she’s pregnant until she gives birth. A deeply religious woman, she views the child as a product of the devil and intends to kill it, but when she stares at the infant girl, she can’t bring herself to commit the deed.

Fast-forward about 17 years and we meet this girl as a high school student. Introverted, socially awkward Carrie (Chloe Grace Moretz) doesn’t fit in and remains the target of teasing and taunting from her classmates.

This reaches a nadir after gym class. During a shower, Carrie experiences her first-ever menstrual cycle. Because Margaret never taught Carrie the facts of life, Carrie worries that she’s dying, and she rushes to her peers for help. They mock her ignorance – and use a smart phone to record Carrie’s freak-out for posterity.

Spoiled rich Chris Hargensen (Portia Doubleday) leads the charge and takes the brunt of the punishment when the school staff discovers her involvement. Chris ends up suspended from prom and she intends to get her revenge on Carrie.

On the other hand, fellow participant Sue Snell (Gabriella Wilde) feels increasingly guilty over her role, and she wants to atone for her sins. She convinces her handsome, popular boyfriend Billy Nolan (Alex Russell) to take Carrie to the prom, and he reluctantly agrees. This leads Carrie toward self-empowerment accompanied by an awareness of newly activated telekinetic abilities. The various plot threads lead toward a climax at the prom.

Because I loathe spoilers, I won’t say what happens at the big dance, but I suspect most readers already have a pretty good idea. After all, the Carrie story has been out there for decades via the novel and the 1976 movie. There was also a 2002 TV version, and the tale’s finale is famous enough to have been parodied multiple times.

This forms a real challenge for the 2013 Carrie: how do you create suspense/drama when the audience knows how the movie will end? When crowds saw the prom in 1976, it shocked many of them, but that factor sees a radical decrease in 2013.

Peirce manages to shake up the finale so that it doesn’t rely on shock as much as scares, if that makes sense. Again, without revealing too much, the conclusion takes on a more action orientation instead of the psychological drama of the 1976 film.

This may make the 2013 version seem a bit shallower, but I don’t mind, especially because Peirce manages to give the rest of the film a fairly good social context. One can draw a direct line between Boys Don’t Cry and Carrie, as both focus on the treatment of outsiders. Of course, Carrie goes for a much less reality-based take on the topic – I’m pretty sure no one in Cry could move objects via telekinesis – but the social aspects become a significant theme.

And an effective one, especially via the way those components update the story. Bullying was always a major element in Carrie, but the 2013 version adds a bit more of a real feel to those overtones, and it uses modern technology in a believable way. The film integrates social media and the like in a logical manner and creates a good context.

Even without those themes, Carrie manages to be a fairly effective character-based thriller. At times Moretz threatens to overplay Carrie’s “deer in the headlights” side, but she allows the character to develop in a natural manner. It had to be tough to transform Carrie from introverted outcast to semi-confident semi-popular girl to vengeful maniac, but Moretz pulls off the changes. Moore also takes a potentially one-note role and breathes some life into Margaret.

Will any of this make people forget the 1976 Carrie? Perhaps not, but I think the 2013 version does well for itself. It readapts the story in its own manner and manages to do something new with it. This is a better than expected horror tale.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio B+/ Bonus B-

Carrie appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with a competent but not great image.

Most of the movie displayed positive clarity and delineation, but some exceptions occurred. Occasional wide shots appeared a little softer than expected; those were infrequent, but they did come along for the ride. Jagged edges and moiré effects failed to appear, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also stayed away from this clean image.

In terms of palette, Carrie went with natural tones affected by a mix of teal and orange. These weren’t heavy, though the orange tended to be more noticeable. Blacks showed good depth, while low-light shots were fine, if a little dense at times. This was a “B” image.

Carrie didn’t present a tremendously ambitious DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundfield, but the audio seemed to accentuate the visuals well. It mixed creepy atmosphere with a mix of jolts and stings from the rear.

In the front, the track showed good stereo music and presented various elements in a logical and natural manner. The elements blended neatly and created a seamless sense of the environment. From the rear, aggressive violent components added kick to the proceedings and made the mix more immersive and involving.

Audio quality seemed positive. Dialogue consistently appeared natural and crisp, with no edginess or intelligibility issues on display. Music was clear and dynamic. The score seemed broadly reproduced and complemented the mix nicely.

Effects mostly stayed in the low-key realm, but they always were distinctive and concise, and the mix boasted fine clarity for the louder moments. Bass response always seemed rich and firm. The mix lacked the ambition to reach “A” level, but it earned a solid “B+” as a fine soundtrack.

When we move to extras, we begin with an audio commentary from director Kimberly Peirce. She offers a running, screen-specific look at the source and its adaptation, character/story areas, cast and performances, production design, effects, and a few other topics.

More introspective than most, Peirce delves into the story/character issues with the most gusto. She also gives us solid notes about the actors and their approaches to the roles. With enough material about the technical elements to balance the piece, this becomes an involving chat.

We can view the movie’s theatrical cut (1:39:41) or a theatrical cut with alternate ending (1:40:56). The two proceed along identical paths until the 1:33:40 mark. There the two diverge and the alternate ending shows more of the impact events had on Sue. Does it work better than the theatrical ending? Not really – both seem satisfactory.

Nine Deleted/Extended Scenes fill a total of 10 minutes, 18 seconds. The first is probably the most interesting, as it shows Carrie as a little kid; I don’t think it’d have fit the flow of the final flick, but it’s cool to see. Otherwise, Chris and Billy get the most additional screentime. These sequences don’t really add much, as we already know those characters pretty well.

We can view the deleted/extended scenes with or without commentary from Peirce. She tells us a little about the sequences and lets us know why she cut them. Peirce remains informative and interesting.

Behind the scenes footage emerges in the two-minute, 18-second Tina On Fire: Stunt Double Dailies. This shows raw footage of a stunt during the film’s climax. “Dailies” can also be viewed with or without commentary from Peirce. That’s the option to select, as her remarks flesh out the visuals and make this a useful piece – I figured they used CG fire for the scene, so I was surprised to learn otherwise.

Next comes a featurette called Creating Carrie. It lasts 21 minutes, seven seconds and offers notes from Peirce, producer Kevin Misher, and actors Chloe Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Judy Greer, Gabriella Wilde, and Portia Doubleday. The show looks at the source novel and its adaptation, story/character areas, Peirce’s approach to the material, cast and performances, and various effects. The program mixes superficial bits with substance to become an inconsistent examination of the film.

The Power of Telekinesis runs four minutes, two seconds and offers notes from Misher, Doubleday, Moore, Peirce, Wilde, Moretz, and actors Alex Russell and Ansel Elgort. The featurette discusses telekinesis and its utilization in the film. It doesn’t add much.

An usual promotional piece shows up via Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise. The two-minute, 39-second clip brings us “hidden camera” footage of a staged incident in which a woman appears to use telekinetic powers in a coffee shop. As ads go, it’s clever.

The disc opens with promos for Robocop (2014) and Paranoia. Sneak Peek throws in ads for The Family, Runner Runner, Fright Night 2: New Blood and American Horror Story: Asylum. We also find the trailer for Carrie.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of the film. It includes “Creating”, “Coffee”, the trailer and some previews. It lacks the version of the film with the alternate ending, so it only provides the theatrical cut.

With 2013’s Carrie, we get a nice update on a famous horror tale. It tells the story in its own way while it captures the strengths of the source. The Blu-ray brings us generally good picture, audio and supplements. Expect a pretty solid thriller here.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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