Carrie - 4K Blu-ray Review

Michael Scott

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Apr 4, 2017
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Movie: :3stars:
4K Video: :4.5stars:
Video: :4.5stars:
Audio: :4.5stars:
Extras: :4stars:
Final Score: :3.5stars:

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Back about 15 years ago or so horror movies everywhere were getting remakes, and simultaneously Chloe Grace Moretz was being put out there as the next big thing after her role as “Hit Girl” catapulted the young girl to stardom. So the fates would align for us to see another remake of a classic Stephen King film AND have Chloe inserted into the film as well. Only thing was, most of the remakes were rejected by film fans (none so hard as A Nightmare on Elm Street) and Chloe was having a very hard time with being the leading woman in a film. She wasn’t a bad actress per se, but she wasn’t resonating with most people outside of Hit Girl, but the studios hadn’t given up on forcing her on us as the new “it girl” and so we have this rather disappointing beat for beat remake of a classic horror film.

Even Steven King was quoted on saying that he didn’t really see a need to remake the classic Brian De Palma film, especially when he considered it even better than his book. But studio heads were in a panic to remake every horror movie out there around the 2007-2013, so Kimberly Peirce got the go ahead and the rest is history. The film starts out very similarly to the original, just with some modern motifs, with young Carrie White (Chloe) getting bullied MERCILESSLY by the high school clowns for getting her period at school. While this would be traumatizing and/or possibly highly embarrassing for just about any girl, it’s made a million times worse due to the fact that Carrie is also abused at home by her neurotic hyper religious (to the EXTREME) mother who lives with her own PTSD and guilt for “fornicating” years ago and giving birth to a daughter outside of wedlock.

To make matters worse, Carrie is starting to gain psychic and telekinetic powers that seem to be manifesting the more and more she gives in to her internal fear and anger. With her mother treating her like a literal spawn of Satan while gaslighting her false love and affection, Carrie is forced to test out her newfound powers at school. However, her extra sensory issues get put on the back burner when she’s asked out to prom by a cute guy at school (Ansel Elgort) only to find out the hard way that she’s not as accepted into the school hierarchy as they made it seem.

The original film is a stone cold classic from Brian De Palma as it deals with issues of being ostracized, coming into yourself as a woman, and some telekinetic powered horror at the very end. That being said, Carrie 2013 falls into the trap that most of these horror remakes did back 10 or 15 years ago. Kind of like Rob Zombie’s Halloween they’re too obsessed with trying to over narrate and over explain things to the audience instead of letting them use their imagination. In the original Carrie manifests her powers as almost a subconscious thing, barely aware of it until it bursts out of her at the infamous bloody finale. Here they make great pains to have Carrie absolutely knowledgeable about her powers, even going so far as to spend more than a small amount of time having her research, fine tune, and generally “show” the audience all the cool scary stuff before the finale even comes into play. Even the final scene with Carrie getting sucked into the Earth with her mother is just over the top and more akin to Sam Raimi’s Drag me to Hell than what Carrie should have been (in my personal opinion).


Rated R for bloody violence, disturbing images, language and some sexual content.

4K Video: :4.5stars: Video: :4.5stars:
The 2013 film was originally shot using Arri Alexa cameras and finalized on Blu-ray from a 2K digital intermediate for the home release. As such I was totally expecting a simple upscale from the 2K master like so many films have on 4K in the past, but Shout/Scream has gone back and taken a new master from the original negatives and given us a full native 4K master for this and the included Blu-ray disc in the combo pack. The results you might ask? Well, I’m glad you asked. They’re downright stellar for the most part. The colors are vivid and bright with a natural look to the picture that is only slightly dimmed and slightly pushed towards the red end of the spectrum for aesthetic purposes. There’s a few minor soft spots near the end to cover up the decade old CGI, but the black levels are simply superb here and fine details are head and shoulders better than the old Blu-ray (while the 4K disc handily beats the Blu-ray, the new remastered Blu-ray is only BARELY better than the old Blu-ray, which is not a knock on this release but rather a statement on just how good MGM’s 2013 disc was back in the day).

Audio: :4.5stars:
Judging by Scream Factory’s history, the 5.1 DTS-HD MA track found on board the Blu-ray and the 4K disc here are both probably direct ports of the 2013 Blu-ray from MGM (along with a 2.0 DTS-HD MA down mix), which is NOT a bad thing. The 2013’s audio track was absolutely killer back then, and remains so today with a highly kinetic (pun intended) surround experience that really makes great use of Carrie’s telekinetic powers. Buildings creak and groan, doors slam shut with power and authority, with the prom scene being the audio highlight of the film BY FAR. That last 15 to 20 minutes are just pure raw energy, with cars crushing, buildings falling in on themselves, and the surrounds pinging little noises all over the sound stage. Bass extension is really solid and deep, but it’s not OVERLY powerful and in your face ala The Conjuring or the Sinister movies. Dialog is crisp and clean, replicated perfectly in the front of the room, and the overall balance is superb. Simply put, a great audio track.

Extras: :4stars:
• NEW 4K Scan from the original camera negative
• NEW “The Devil’s Hand: Designing Carrie” – interview with production designer Carol Spier
• NEW “They’re All Going to Laugh at You: Adapting Carrie” – Interview with author Joseph Maddrey
• Audio Commentary with director Kimberly Peirce
• Alternate Ending
• Deleted/Alternate Scenes
• “Creating Carrie” Featurette
• “The Power Of Telekinesis” Featurette
• “Tina On Fire” Stunt Double Dailies
• “Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise”
• Theatrical Trailer

Final Score: :3.5stars:

Carrie 2013 is flashy, uses a lot more special effects and a stronger budget, but at the end of the day it just doesn’t seem to hold up to De Palma’s 1976 classic. The original may not have been the quintessential horror more, or even the quintessential Stephen King adaptation, but it was a solid horror flick that still stands up today. The 2013 remake? Not so much. It was forgettable back in 2013, and 11 years later I still have a hard time really feeling anything for the film. It was a rote, foregettable, and generally middle of the road popcorn horror film that just couldn’t seem to find its voice. Personally, if I’m going horror remakes from that era, the Friday the 13th remake is probably the one that still actually holds up pretty well. Shout/Scream’s 4K disc looks and sounds great as usual, so fans of the film will definitely find the package appealing, but myself personally, I can’t see to really enjoy this one. Rental for normies, a solid buy for fans.

Technical Specifications:

Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Gabriella Wilde, Portia Doubleday, Judy Greer, Barry Shakaba Henley
Directed by: Kimberly Pierce
Written by: Lawrence D. Cohen, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Stephen King (Original Novel)
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 HEVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, English DTS-HD MA 2.0
Sugtitles: English SDH
Studio: Scream Factory
Rated: R
Runtime: 100 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: March 19th, 2024

Recommendation: Rental

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