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IT’S perhaps fitting that the horror genre cannibalises classics of bygone decades and churns out glossy remakes to sate the bloodlust of new generations.

In the last five years, Evil Dead, Friday The 13th, Fright Night, I Spit On Your Grave, Last House On The Left and A Nightmare On Elm Street have all been revived to varying degrees of mediocrity. So it’s no surprise the seminal 1976 shocker, based on Stephen King’s story of a schoolgirl who discovers she possesses devastating telekinetic powers, should be given some 21st-century spit and polish.

A scene from the remake of Carrie

A scene from the remake of Carrie

Award-winning director Kimberly Peirce, who guided Hilary Swank to her first Oscar in the harrowing true story Boys Don’t Cry, is an intelligent choice for the remake.

Unfortunately, working within the confines of Lawrence D Cohen and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s script that slavishly follows King’s text and the superior 1976 film, Peirce is powerless to embellish the narrative with her own insights or brio.

All that distinguishes the two incarnations is the inclusion of video sharing as a means of bullying the titular character and a miasma of digital effects in the pivotal prom night sequence.

Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz) is a shrinking violet, sheltered from the harsh realities of the world by her religiously zealous mother, Margaret (Julianne Moore).

One afternoon after swimming class, Carrie gets her first period and classmates including Sue Snell (Gabriella Wilde) and Chris Hargensen (Portia Doubleday) cruelly record her distress on their smartphones.

While Sue comes to feel guilt for her actions, Chris is unrepentant and is expelled by sympathetic teacher Miss Desjardin (Judy Greer).

The uncaring vixen then plots revenge on Carrie with the help of bad boy beau, Billy Nolan (Alex Russell).

Meanwhile, Sue plans to atone for her sins by foregoing the prom so her boyfriend, Tommy Ross (Ansel Elgort), can take Carrie instead.

“When you turn up with Carrie on your arm, don’t you think you’re going to look the tiniest bit ridiculous?” Miss Desjardin asks Tommy.

Unperturbed, Tommy proceeds, determined that Carrie will have a wonderful night.

Distinguished by committed performances from Moretz and Moore, Carrie resembles its predecessor too closely to justify an exhumation more than 25 years after Brian De Palma’s gripping entry.

My rating 6/10

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