It takes a brave and/or foolish soul to dare remake a classic 1970s Brian De Palma film that, in turn, was based on a revered, best-selling novel by Stephen King. There are too many ways to count in which "Carrie" could have gone wrong, and, at times, it does falter by not quite living up to the original picture even as it adheres closely to it. This is an often inevitable pitfall of following in a great movie's footsteps. The outlook isn't entirely hopeless, however. There are plenty of reduxes that get things more right than wrong, and free-minded director Kimberly Peirce (2008's "Stop-Loss") has made one of the good ones. Thoughtful, stirringly suggestive, and finally tragic, "Carrie" lends an open-hearted empathy to its downtrodden title heroine, a teenage girl who wants nothing more than to fit in with her peers and lead a normal life. Though she gets a taste of the other side, it is ultimately not to be, leading to an extended third-act tour de force of revenge and destruction that makes an emphatic, aching, timely statement about the harm and cruelty that comes with bullying in our modern 21st-century culture. It may be difficult to completely separate one's fond memories of the earlier film while watching this one, but the 2013 "Carrie" still plays strongly on its own accord as Peirce puts her personal stamp on the material.
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