When Brian De Palma dropped the original “Carrie” back in 1976, it was a groundbreaking movie for many reasons: De Palma cannily wed the high school bully flick with the horror genre, pretty much invented the heart-stopping shock ending (which “Paranormal Activity” has taken to the bank) and mixed in a lot of woman-as-the-source-of-original-sin material to add a rich subtext to the source novel by Stephen King.
Director Kimberly Peirce (“Boys Don’t Cry”) keeps her remake pretty faithful to the original: Weird loner girl Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz) is bullied by her classmates (Portia Doubleday and Gabriella Wilde), tormented by her religious fundamentalist mom (Julianne Moore), comes of age and discovers she has telekinetic powers, which she unleashes in a slaughter-filled finale after being cruelly humiliated at the senior prom.
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The main differences in the new “Carrie” are cosmetic: The teens look and talk like teens today (no Peter Frampton blow-dried ’70s hair, alas), the bad girls upload Carrie’s locker-room bullying as a happy-slap video from their smartphones, and Moore’s performance as Carrie’s mom is way more witchy. Anyone familiar with the original will feel absolutely no suspense, but newbies might feel a little chill of terror.