As noted on the main page, Portia Doubleday's Chris is done up to look far trashier than previous films' The Beautiful Elite interpretation. This gives the impression that Chris could secretly be jealous of Carrie's more natural beauty.
Chris's antagonism towards Carrie, as mentioned above, could be out of jealousy. However, one might question if Chris has some mental issues—the sheer joy she takes in Carrie's suffering is unsettling at best, accompanied by either a creepy smile or what are basically bedroom eyes.
A line from Chris also says that Carrie had been calling everyone sinners back in elementary school (clearly repeating some of Margaret's teachings). This implies that the bullying could be a result of Carrie being Innocently Insensitive years ago. Or given Chris's narcissistic personality, maybe she interpreted an innocent comment from Carrie as a taunt directed at her and used that as an excuse to torment her.
This version really plays up The Atoner with Sue's character. She fully intends to go to the prom at first, considering the detentions suitable punishment for what she did. But after Chris calls her out, it's then she suggests Tommy take Carrie. This implies that the gesture might be more about Sue punishing herself than making Carrie feel better.
Chloë Moretz's Carrie seems a little less cynical than Sissy Spacek and Angela Bettis's. She sometimes seems to suggest that she's The Pollyanna or at least she's trying to be, and could be looking to her future. Maybe this Carrie was keeping positive by imagining the day she would get to leave home and go to college or something (there being more opportunities for women after high school than in the 70s).
Tina's motive in playing the locker room video. Did she play it per Chris' request as the cherry on top of Carrie's humiliation at the Prom, or did she play it all on her own terms without Chris knowing? Playing the video is never mentioned in the film when the bullies conspire in the prank until Tina actually plays it, so either scenario is possible (there is a scene where Sue spots Tina, Nicki and Lizzy gathered around the laptop giggling, suggesting Tina could have come up with the idea independent of Chris). According to the original script, it was all part of the plan.
The complicity of Heather and the twins is much vaguer in the finished film. In the original script, all three were definitely in on the prank, but anything confirming it was cut - and Heather's line that Chris isn't at the prom could be taken either as surprise at a weird question or evasive lying. Heather seems nice to Sue when she sees her nauseous and also a bit afraid of Chris, but then again is laughing hysterically at Carrie's humiliation, so it's up in the air.
Mr. Hargenson is assumed to be abusive by some fans, given how he gets angry towards Chris once he discovers that she filmed a video of Carrie's first period. However one could also take that as understandable anger that his daughter withheld such information that he'd need to know about if he were planning to sue the school - meaning she just made him look like an idiot and wasted everyone's time.
Tina looking shocked when Tommy is hit with the falling bucket. A case of Even Evil Has Standards? Or is she realizing just how much trouble she's going to be in when she's found out? For that matter, is Chris's momentary reaction to Tommy's death the same?
Carrie spares Miss Desjardin at the prom. Was she originally going to strangle her to death and relented at the last minute? Was she always going to be saved? Or was it a Cruel Mercy - as before she's thrown to safety, she's Forced to Watch as the rest of the students get electrocuted - as punishment for throwing Sue out when she was trying to stop the blood being poured?
The kiss between Tommy and Carrie in the original film is subject to Fridge Horror at the implication that Tommy is cheating on Sue. This version makes it clear that Tommy sees Carrie only as a friend, as he texts Sue during the prom to make sure she's okay. This is ultimately averted in a deleted scene where Carrie and Tommy do share a kiss.
It's also much clearer in this version that Sue was not in on the prank, as she only goes to the prom when she receives a threatening text from Chris, at which point she hurries over to try to stop it.
Chloë Moretz's take on Carrie received a very mixed reception. One notable (albeit small) faction thinks she's just as good if not better than Sissy Spacek. Many believe she pales in comparison to Sissy, but holds her own quite well. A large potion also believes that Chloe comes up completely short, being miscast in the role and hilariously over the top at Prom.
Judy Greer's performance as Miss Desjardin is held up by some as one of the areas in which this film is definitely superior to the original (Betty Buckley's performance as the teacher being somewhat divisive in itself). For many others, she's egregiously miscast and, at best, so bad she's hilarious, while, at worst, being downright cringeworthy.
Gabriella Wilde as Sue, which largely depends on how much the person feels about Amy Irving in the original. To some, Amy is the definitive Sue and Gabriella's performance is flat, dull and lifeless. To others, Amy's Sue was too underdeveloped and this one restores the book's complexity - and Gabriella Wilde did a fine job. There's a third camp who prefers Kandyse McClure to both of them.
The film's take on the prom scene as a whole tends to divide audiences. While there seems to be a consensus that a few things were done better than the original 1976 version (for example, not so many deaths-by-firehose), everything else is divisive. Is the blood slowly rising from Carrie's body creepy, or too much? Were some bits, like the twins getting trampled to death, too over-the-top to be cathartic? Was the scene dragged out too long?
The death that everyone was cheering for was Tina's. As she's one character in the prom massacre that absolutely deserved it - sneaking Chris and Billy in, switching prom ballots, playing the video of Carrie and laughing cruelly the whole time - seeing her get a drawn-out comeuppance is pretty satisfying. And no less horrifying.
Chris's death also deserves some mention. She yells at Billy to run Carrie down and is lucky to be alive when Carrie stops the car with telekinesis and kills Billy with the backlash. Carrie then hesitates, giving her a chance to run. Chris decides instead to try running her down again, making it satisfying when Carrie sends the car through a nearby gas station.
Critical Backlash: Like the 2002 film, hate towards this one has died off over time. There are now plenty of fans of it who consider it their definitive Carrie. Appreciation has grown for the performances of Chloe Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore and Portia Doubleday.
While the film was divisive, many viewers felt that Chloë Moretz does very good work in the title role, nailing Carrie's withdrawn demeanor and making her very sympathetic.
Zoe Belkin was considered a bad choice to play a mean girl, fans feeling she looked too wholesome to be believable as a bully. When the film came out, although her part was small, she was found quite good in the role.
It's quite obvious that Chloë Moretz is a stunningly beautiful girl, and giving her unflattering clothes and messy hair doesn't hide the fashionably layered hairstyle with highlights. Still, Moretz does at least amp up Carrie's awkwardness to make her believable as a social outcast.
Downplayed with Chris. While by no means a dog, Portia Doubleday's brunette and tomboyish style as Chris is in stark contrast to both how she looks in real life and the blonde goddesses that Nancy Allen and Emilie de Ravin portrayed in the previous versions.
One scene has Chris and Tina fooling around on Chris's bed, and Billy jokingly telling them to kiss. Tina actually seems willing to go for it, but Chris brushes her off. There's an alternate take of the scene where they do kiss.
The argument between Chris and Sue in the gym has a vibe like Chris thinks she's in a love triangle and Sue is picking Carrie over her. She also suggestively calls Carrie "your girl" when she taunts Sue before the prank.
At the prom, Tommy gets in a joking shoving match with one of his friends. The other guy's date laughs and says to Carrie, "If those two kill each other, I'll dance with you."
Love to Hate: As with the two Chrises before her, Portia Doubleday makes the girl such a horrible brat that she's fantastic to watch.
Nausea Fuel: Billy kissing the hammer before hitting the pigs with it. Alex Russell even threw up because the hammer had pig droppings on it.
Opening with Margaret giving birth to Carrie. Worth noting that the incident is referenced in the book, but the police find her there; in both films Margaret is alone.
For the scene in the principal's office, Carrie's powers do something incredibly strong (in the book and 1976 film, she just flips an ash tray off the desk); in the 2002 film she moves the desk across the floor, in this she smashes the water cooler.
Carrie using the internet to research her powers and someone in the library giving her help.
Miss Desjardin being present for the scene where Chris's father tries to sue the school.
When Tommy first asks Carrie out, she asks him why he isn't taking Sue, and he lies to say she doesn't want to go.
Carrie accuses Margaret of making up her crazier religious texts, and also making statements about her own faith.
Tommy wearing a white tux to the prom that also gets splattered with blood.
A shock wave going through the gym to signal the start of the rampage.
Tina being singled out for a drawn-out death (crushed by a basketball hoop that comes loose in the 2002 film, whipped by electric cords until she catches fire here).
Miss Desjardin seeing everyone else get electrocuted thanks to the water on the gym floor (in the book she escapes through the fire doors before the worst happens).
The video being played on a giant screen at the prom was an element taken from the 1999 sequel The Rage: Carrie 2
In the opening scene, Margaret gives birth to Carrie in her bed (with a good bit of blood) and almost kills her with a pair of scissors. When she picks her up instead and the camera pans out, the blood and scissors are both missing.
In the slo-mo shot of the blood falling on Carrie, it's painfully obvious that the blood is fake—it's fairly transparent and looks too gooey. It only looks better once Tommy and Carrie are drenched in it.
The alternate ending for this film tries to recreate the Jump Scare of the original by having Sue dreaming that Carries hand is reaching out for her, only this time, instead of bursting from the ground, Sues nightmare is that of her giving birth with Carries bloody hand reaching out.
After the twins are trampled to death, marks can be visible on their backs where various students' high heels punctured them. And they're still bleeding.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: The twins Lizzy and Nicki get barely any lines or screentime. They could at least have been given a few more lines during the scenes with the Girl Posse. Overall the popular girls had more characterization that was cut by Executive Meddling wanting to have the film stick closer to the 1976 version.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The film originally followed the book's Scrapbook Story - updating it for the 2010s. Sue's autobiography would be in the form of a video diary, and the police interviews would be done in video form too. They would also include the flashback to Carrie making stones rain on her house, and the interview with the neighbour who saw it happening. Additionally the popular girls - Tina, Lizzy, Nicki and Heather - would have more scenes to flesh out their characters (and thus make their deaths have more meaning). Carrie would also cause destruction in the town as she does in the book. Around forty minutes of footage was cut altogether, and fans have petitioned for it to become available.
"Piper Laurie's Margaret was a psycho who deserved to be impaled multiple times. Julianne Moore's Margaret is a woman struggling with mental illness who needs to be Mercy Killed before she can hurt anyone else. A MacGuyvered heart attack is fine, without being turned into a pincushion.
What an Idiot!: Chris and Billy trying to run Carrie down in this version. Sure, as the road is cracking up and you see an angry blood-drenched telekinetic coming for you, trying to murder her is going to work great. Even worse is that after Carrie kills Billy by stopping the car and making his body suffer the backlash is that she hesitates on doing the same to Chris since Chris is reacting the same way to Billy's death that Carry did to Tommy's. Rather than take the chance to run, beg, or apologize, Chris's response is to try to run down Carrie again. She dies as well thanks to shattering windshield glass and running into a gas station.
WTH, Casting Agency?: Carrie is described as being unattractive in the book and Sissy Spacek and Angela Bettis were, while not bad looking, not conventionally attractive and withdrawn enough to make it believable that they would be looked down upon. Chloë Moretz, however, is very pretty and zero effort is made to obscure that fact and had previously played more assertive and confident characters, leading many to wonder why she was cast in the role at all. This died down quite a bit when the film came out and many praised her performance, saying she nails the characters shy and awkward nature despite her looks.