Kimberly Peirce's new take on Stephen King's seminal high-school tale is gorgeously shot, capably acted and appropriately gruesome. But it also manages the dubious task of being at once horrifically redundant, lazy and irresponsible in its inability to fit itself into the current landscape, one that could desperately use a more thoughtful rethinking of the story of a bullied high-school outcast. Peirce's Carrie
exists in a very different setting than King's 1974 novel and Brian De Palma's 1976 movie classic, and that makes 2013 Carrie
a very different beast. We exist now in a post-Columbine world, one where the conversation about bullying permeates our cultural consciousness. And it's in this respect that Peirce's lack of nuance and inability to reinterpret her source material becomes troubling. In essentially re-creating De Palma's work, Peirce misses an opportunity to really say something about Carrie's story. Peirce—who, it's important to note, gave us one of cinema's most tragic and heartfelt portraits of victimization with Boys Don't Cry
—just goes through the beats of DePalma's film and does little to bring its underlying themes into focus. It's We Need to Talk About Kevin
repurposed as a rollicking revenge flick. Carrie White and her victims deserve better. So do we.