Carrie opts for less blood, minimal religious fanaticism and zero scares. Let me just whip out the old "Rules on Remakes" book. No need to blow the dust off, I'm often opening this beast up. Let's see here...ah! Rule number one: Don't remake a film if the modern version is to be nearly identical to its original. Rule number two: If already adapted from a book, and considered a near-perfect adaptation, just don't bother. And rule number three: Don't cast Chloë Grace Moretz as Carrie White. Woops! Looks like Peirce didn't do her homework. Based on King's eponymous novel, Carrie, a shy introverted outcast at school, is invited to go to the prom but soon realises she will not receive the happy ending she dreamt about.
De Palma's 1976 adaptation is a masterclass in horror, blood-soaked filmmaking. This version has already lost points for even trying, and unfortunately not coming close. But let's put aside the comparisons. Carrie only works depending on the casting of the titular role. The social ineptness and fanatical upbringing has to be believable in order to feel sympathy towards her as a person. And, as talented as Moretz is as an actress, this role is not suitable for her. At no point did I truly believe she was a social outcast being bullied and minimised by her student peers. Firstly, she's far too beautiful even with the knotty hair. Secondly, the unassertive behaviour consistently felt forced, particularly during her first menstrual period. The entire plot revolves around Carrie, get that casting incorrect and the film fails miserably.
The focus on smartphone-era bullying instead of religious nurturing meant that the latter felt like an afterthought and often out of place. A dire shame considering Moore gives an understated performance as Carrie's fanatical mother. The discovery of her telekinetic powers held no thematic substance, unlike the novel and original adaptation, resulting in a necessary gimmick for the blood-soaked third act. And mediocre visual effects over practical work, especially the broken mirror shards.
For a "re-imagining", this is wholly unnecessary and unchanged. It's not the worst adaptation/remake to ever be conceived. But despite a talented cast who all give good performances, even Greer was excellent casting, it just came across as artificial. A horror now turned tragedy, but with no real connection to the titular character due to a terribly miscast Moretz. Stick to De Palma's adaptation.