Stephen King fans and enthusiasts of the original movie have cried foul over this updating of King's celebrated tale about a troubled teenage girl in small-town America.
Director Kimberly Peirce, better known for indie fare like Boys Don't Cry than for genre movies, doesn't seem like a natural choice of director either.
This new Carrie is extremely uneven. Its horror movie elements – the Rosemary's Baby-style birth at the beginning, the final reel scenes in which Carrie is wreaking telepathic havoc on her tormentors – are done without much conviction. However, as a study of a germ-filled American adolescence in the digital age, the film is probing and effective.
The scenes in which Carrie is tormented by schoolmates are especially harrowing. They upload her humiliations on the internet. As played by Chloë Grace Moretz, Carrie is an appealing anti-heroine. She is struggling to cope with the onset of puberty, a creepy and deranged mother (Julianne Moore) and with constant bullying.
The film is structured like a classic ugly duckling fairytale. The difference, though, is that its protagonist doesn't blossom forth as a beautiful princess and get her revenge on life that way. Her means of redress are far cruder and more violent.