Overall, I found this remake entertaining and satisfying, and there were a few scenes I felt had even successfully outdone what Brian DePalma managed in 1976 on a very tight budget. I also felt that Chloe Moretz performed admirably in the lead role. I'd found it hard to imagine her as Carrie, but from the moment of her first appearance my doubts were immediately and completely dismissed.
DePalma has expressed his own disappointment over his failure to adequately portray the rain of stones that destroys the White home in the climactic scene, and it was satisfying to see it done convincingly. I also admired the portrayal of Carrie's rampage beyond the high school (which DePalma couldn't afford), though I got a strong impression that the final body count, curiously, was quite a bit less than in DePalma's version (which in turn contained far less devastation than the "440 known dead and 18 unaccounted for" that Stephen King's novel had described). In particular, the portrayal of Carrie's final confrontation with her two chief tormentors as they tried to run her down in the street was impressively expanded, not just by the special effects budget, but also by drawing it out in a way that expressed how much Carrie had suffered at their hands and how badly she wanted to make them suffer in return.
A couple of changes intrigued me without really influencing (much) my general opinion of the film. Notably, at least twice after her breakdown Carrie went out of her way to protect someone who'd been kind to her from the general carnage she wrought, suggesting that she was somehow more "in control" than when Cissy Spacek portrayed her. In a way, this actually had me wondering whether she was in fact *more* culpable than if her outrage were directed more aimlessly. And subtle change which stood out to me was in the character of Sue Snell. DePalma's version left me wondering whether she'd ever really repented from her earlier abuse of Carrie or, in fact, was actively participating in the plans for her final humiliation (while doing an excellent job playing innocent), and only suffered an attack of conscience when it was too late. This version stuck closer to King but I missed the ambiguity; her sense of guilt for participating in the locker-room harassment was repeatedly proven beyond any doubt, a degree of guilt I can't help wondering if a "normal" teenager is even capable of feeling.
My great disappointment was with the repeated use of elements which had been original to the DePalma film, not even hinted at by King (especially since the filmmakers had expressed their intent to be MORE faithful to the novel). Even Carrie's pink dress was bittersweet; it only achieved its iconic status because someone in the wardrobe department had failed to produce a red one as specified and the actors responded with rare inspiration, Piper Laurie delivering her "red" line as specified (further cementing her portrayal of disconnect with reality that earned both Golden Globe and Oscar nominations), and leaving Spacek to correct her with the immensely memorable "It's PINK, momma!" While it's hard to dislike the recreation of such a wonderful scene, I couldn't quite repress a slightly sick feeling over the blatant appropriation of such a legendarily successful "accident" in film history. I reacted similarly to Margaret White's "crucifixion" with household implements; while visually impressive, it would have been nice to see an attempt to match the creativity with which DePalma had embellished King's original (or at LEAST just let Carrie pull a "Vader" on her like in that one book this reminds me of...) rather than just imitating the *product* of that creativity.
That failure of creativity was the disappointing side. But in many ways this film was a fine reinterpretation, making good use of its budget and technology to enhance many aspects of the earlier film, and founded on acting that was generally quite respectable and sometimes even outstanding. I do NOT think it will replace DePalma's version in the minds of many viewers, and might even encourage more to take another (or a first) look at the film which, after its legendary resurrection from the wastebasket, made one of the most successful authors alive today into a household name.