Chloe Grace Moretz is anything but a shrinking violet which can be problematic when playing a character like Carrie White. When she hunches or acts shy it feels forced however they do not carry this throughout the film. Pretty early on an independent/forceful side shows itself which is an interesting take on a character we are all familiar with. It really shows itself toward the end of the movie when Carrie unleashes her wrath.
Unfortunately they do not truly commit to this independent Carrie. There is no one in Carries life that has helped develop this independent side nor do we see Carrie trying to navigate her way around her mother in order to not set her off. This was a big misstep.
I felt that Carries story, overall, was the weakest part of the movie while all of the surrounding characters were really developed and interesting. Julianne Moore is absolutely fantastic as Margaret White. What I liked was that Carries mother wasn’t a crazy religious nut but was clearly a mental health effected woman. It was nice to see this kind of detail.
Gabriella Wilde and Alex Russell are great as Sue Snell and Billy Nolan. Judy Greer, Arrested Development and Archer, plays Ms. Desjardin, the gym teacher, who, unlike the book, is sympathetic to Carrie’s struggles.These characters give the movie a great emotional center and weight.
Portia Doubleday is fantastic as Chris Hargenson who blames Carrie for her misfortune. Doubleday really brings to life the characters desire to revel in Carries humiliation. Kings work often feature characters who will stop at nothing to watch someone suffer and it was nice to see that realized on screen.
The other misstep that I’ll note is that the other students that Chris gathers around her to help humiliate Carrie are rather forgettable. So when Carries freak out scene comes the deaths are not as satisfying. It’s students dying not “that bitch Nicki who picked on Carrie” who is getting g her comeuppance.
Overall this is not a perfect but it’s a pretty great movie. I feel that the movie comes really close to capturing that small town life and the characters that live there that King does so well. I recommend seeing.