When Brian De Palma adapted Stephen King's novel “Carrie” for film in 1976, he turned the simple story of a bullied teenage girl with telekinetic powers into a dreamy pop-horror fantasia — a lush, operatic fright show that grooved on its excesses. De Palma threw everything into the movie: split screens; slow motion; cartoonish humor; shameless sentimentality; a merciless sense of justice. The film made you laugh as much as it scared you. Often, it did both at the same time.
De Palma's “Carrie” became so iconic that it remains fresh and vital 37 years later — practically an eternity in Hollywood time — and casts an imposing shadow over the new version by director Kimberly Peirce (“Boys Don't Cry,” “Stop-Loss”). Instead of trying to outdo the grandness of the original, Peirce takes a more grounded approach, treating the characters of Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz) and her religious-fanatic mother Margaret (Julianne Moore) with more emotional gravity and empathy.