Chloë Grace Moretz
It’s rarely a good idea to walk into a film with preconceived notions, but it’s rarely something a person can help unless they’re able to go completely blind. But, unless you’re at a festival, it’s hard to do that these days given the advertising saturation film culture. Even if you’re not intentionally surrounding yourself with it, chances are, it’ll still be in the background. So, that being said, I walked into If I Stay, a YA weepy movie based on a YA weepy novel by Gayle Forman, with average to low expectations. I thought, At worst, it’ll be forgettable. And somehow, I was so, so wrong.
As far as formative experiences go, high school is one of the big ones. There is nothing like the stress of trying to fit in, one of those age old stories that effectively describes humanity cruelty to one another and to the Other. You could argue that, from high school on, everything is the same, just perhaps more brutal and more overt in this enormous seeming microcosm with deadly fluorescent lights. But no one is deadlier than Carrie White, whose special powers render others to be lifted up or to be thrown into deep peril. In Kimberly Pierce’s adaptation of Stephen King’s breakout novel Carrie, the director and screenwriters Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Lawrence D. Cohen update high school Hell to contemporary times, offering a middling depiction of the bitch of growing up and finding empowerment.