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November 1st, 2013

Movie Review - Carrie


Starring: Julianne Moore, Chlöe Grace Moretz, Gabriella Wilde, Portia Doubleday, Alex Russell, Zoë Belkin, Ansel Elgort, Samantha Weinstein, Karissa Strain, Judy Greer, Katie Strain, Barry Shakaba Henley, and more.

Directed by: Kimberly Pierce Screenplay by: Lawrence D Cohen and Alberto Aguirre-Sacasa Based on the Novel by: Stephen King Cinematography by: Steve Yedlin Original Music by: Marco Beltrami

Premise: Carrie White led a very sheltered and strict life until she went to high school. An easy target, things escalate when she has her first period and she's made fun of for not knowing what it is. Her mother's emotional problems don't help the situation. But when Sue, one of tormentors that day, decides what they did to Carrie was wrong and she tries to make amends, her jilted friend Chris decides to make Carrie's magical prom night an utter nightmare. But she's not aware something has awakened inside Carrie. (Rated R)


1) Acting - Total Thumb Up: Julianne Moore and Chlöe Grace Moretz were fantastic as the emotionally scarred mother and daughter. Moore's love and focused self hate came through clearly as each piece of her frayed memories and delusions are revealed through the film. Moretz easily conveyed her character's clashing desire to be liked but not hurt. Watching her at the prom and seeing what Carrie could be, even as we know all will go terribly wrong, just made the moment that much more poignant. Portia Doubleday as Chris was totally convincing in her self interest and inability to admit things can't always go her way.

Kudos to Barry Shakaba Henley for his role as the school principal. His expressions and utter reticence on discussing girl issues were delightful.

2) Special Effects - Thumbs Up: Most of the effects used for "Carrie" were fantastic. The telekinetic feats as Carrie comes into her power were done seamlessly and looked great. The destruction of the house, the explosions, the events at the prom, all wonderful special effects moments. Yet it was in the one thing you'd not expect there to be a problems that the film seemed to slip a bit - the pig's blood once it got all over the girl. From scene to scene the look of it on Carrie was inconsistent. And sadly, this inconsistency at the expected climax of the film drained a lot of its built up energy.

3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: The plot for "Carrie" is much like the proverbial 'train wreck'. You know it's coming and you're just waiting off to the side to see how they make it happen. Lots of nice build up and views of the different pieces aligning in such a way that the film culminates in the grand chaos of an unknown power given full, free reign.

It's been years and years since I read the novel by Stephen King or seen the original film version, so it's hard to make a good comparison between the three. This version definitely had all the iconic scenes of the original. However, the advertising inferred that the chaos in this one would extend much farther than just the high school - that the entire town would be showered with Carrie's wrath - this is not the case. So like the issue with the blood, this too took away some of the expected enjoyment during the height of the film.

4) Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: There was a lot of really nice work with regards to the cinematography. Our first shot is of this well maintained, nice looking, wooden house. Then with a slow forward motion we're taken inside to find that within all is not as peaceful and idyllic as the outside implied. There were also some great shots of the location where the prom is held as the students work on setting it up. The magical transformation of the room once it is complete is much like the transformation Carrie herself goes through. And like her, it too becomes scarred as the evening reaches it's climax. Nice bit of duality there.

Conclusion: "Carrie," for the most part, does well as a remake. Unfortunately, the few spots were it failed were part of the 'payoff', so it hurt the film overall. Still, it as definitely entertaining.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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