Sony PicturesKimberly Peirce's new adaptation of "Carrie" is updated for the social media savvy Generation Z, but it's not exactly a revolutionary take on Stephen King's source material. If anything, it's even slightly more faithful to the book than Brian De Palma's classic (and still definitive) 1976 version, although with a decidedly more feminist lens. Starring Chloe Moretz as the titular misfit with telekinetic abilities; Julianne Moore as her devout and abusive mother; and Judy Greer as the sympathetic gym teacher Ms. Desjardin, "Carrie" is a bloody, upsetting horror film that at the very least will make older teens think twice about bullying a classmate.
The horror movie is rated R for "bloody violence, disturbing images, language and some sexual content," but in case you're on the fence about whether your teen is ready for it, here are 10 of the most shocking moments.
1. The Opening Scene: Staying faithful to the book, the very first scene in "Carrie" is of her mother Margaret White (Moore) giving birth. Only this isn't your typical cinematic hospital birth; it's an unassisted home birth with a confused and moaning Margaret yelling and praying and seemingly not understanding why she's bloodying the white sheets until baby girl White's head crowns under her nightgown. Once she reaches down and catches her own baby, Mrs. White grabs a huge pair of scissors, not to cut the umbilical cord but to kill her evil spawn. At the last moment, however, Margaret's maternal instincts kick in and she spares her baby. It's not quite as gross as "Prometheus" or "Breaking Dawn," but it's a pretty freaky scene – especially for those who've yet to witness or give birth.
2. Carrie's First Period: Even when you're familiar with the story and De Palma's 1976 adaptation, it's still shocking to see a teenage girl's first menstruation captured on film. Carrie is showering by herself after gym class when she realizes her soap is caked in blood. Since she's a senior in high school but has no idea why she's bleeding, she covers herself with a bloodied white towel and starts screaming and crying for help. The other girls are horrified when they realize she's covered in "period blood" and start throwing tampons and pads at her, chanting "Plug it up!" and even recording it on a smartphone.
3. Bible Thumping: Margaret White is a religious zealot who believes her daughter is evil and who therefore must repent and ask for God's mercy on a regular basis. When Carrie's gym teacher and principal call her mother, Mrs. White is horrified to learn her daughter "is a woman now" and forces Carrie to get into her "prayer closet" (a creepy closet filled with various religious paraphernalia, including a crucifix that starts to bleed). Margaret at one point even literally thumps Carrie in the face with her bible. This is definitely not a movie that makes faith appealing.
4. Sex in the Backseat: There's a brief but realistic sex scene depicting two teens doing it in the backseat of a car. Sue Snell (Gabriella Wilde) and Tommy Ross (Ansel Elgort) go at it for a little bit -- and there's no mistaking what they're doing. There's no nudity, thanks to a conspicuously placed blanket, but you can see Tommy's bare back and thighs thrusting and moaning, while Sue is underneath him wearing only a bra. The scene lingers a while as Sue stops feeling in the mood, because of what happened with Carrie earlier in the day, but they keep kissing and talking half-naked for a while.
5. Dirty Pillows: Let's just say that Carrie's mom is a little bit obsessed with the evil power of sexuality. When Carrie wears the dress she proudly made for prom, Mrs. White anxiously suggests they share some mother-daughter bonding time by burning it together and then asking God's forgiveness. After all, Mrs. White points out, "I can see your dirty pillows." That is pure Stephen King dialogue right there. Mrs. White believes only evil women (the root of all sin) grow "dirty pillows," but as Carrie counters "they're just breasts, Mama. Everyone has them."
6. Sadistic Pig Slaughter: Chris Hargensen (Portia Doubleday) is so upset about being banned from the Chamberlain High prom that her older boyfriend Billy Nolan (Alex Russell) comes up with the legendary prank that ends up dooming the entire town: they're going to kill a pig, collect the blood in a bucket and pour it on Carrie as she's crowned prom queen. That's all fine and good (and to be expected by anyone familiar with "Carrie"), but what you might not see coming is the scene in which Chris and Billy literally bludgeon a pig, and then gleefully slit its throat (they even make out right in front of the dead pic). Eeeww.
7. Carrie Gets Vengeful: So Carrie has her sweet and platonic prom night with Tommy Ross, and it ends in their unexpected win as prom king and queen. Then Chris and Billy drop the bucket of pig's blood on Carrie, and let's just say she is not amused. Tommy is killed by the blunt force trauma of the bucket falling on his head, and then Carrie has had enough. In fact, she's downright deadly as she unleashes her anger on the school population that caused her so much pain. Carrie's telekinesis leads to senior bullies (and innocent passersby) getting crushed by bleachers, electrocuted, trampled by stilettos and burned alive. And that's not even the worst of it.
8. Car "Accident": After Carrie has killed most of the people at the prom, she leaves in search of Chris and Billy, who have fled the scene in his vintage sports car. But Carrie isn't going to let it slide that she's completely drenched in pig's blood, so she follows them and starts to destroy the streets until the car is right in front of her. Sadistic Chris urges Billy to run Carrie over, but he's no match for her mind control. She's able to crush the car and kill Billy and then Chris, whose death face (it's bloody and covered in glass) is shown close-up through the shattered windshield. Then Carrie finishes her off by slamming the car into a gas station and lighting it on fire.
9. Infanticide and Matricide: At the beginning of the movie, Margaret nearly kills Carrie immediately after giving birth, and at the end of the movie, Margaret once again decides that she must kill her daughter and deliver her "back to God." Margaret stabs Carrie in the back, but Carrie, confused and shocked, doesn't want to die, so she does what any telekinetic girl would do and commands every sharp object in the house to take aim at her mother. When Margaret refuses to stop trying to stab her daughter, Carrie has the knives and scissors impale her mother to the wall. Naturally, Mother doesn't survive.
10. Teenage Pregnancy: Right after Carrie kills her mother but before she decides to commit suicide, she's visited one last time by a grieving Sue Snell, who feels partially responsible for the prom incident, because she was the one who insisted her (now dead) boyfriend Tommy take Carrie to the prom. In case it was unclear earlier when she threw up at school, Carrie reveals to Sue that she's pregnant and that the baby is a girl. One can only guess that Carrie spares Sue, because she hopes Sue will do a better job with her baby than Margaret White did with her. There's a little bit more to the movie at that point, but nothing else that will shock sensitive younger viewers. That famous ending in the De Palma movie? It's not in Peirce's remake -- sorry folks hoping for the hand!