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Film Review: The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999)

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SYNOPSIS:

A massacre strikes up after an outcast girl is taunted by a group of high school jocks, all of them unaware of her violent, cutthroat psychic power. (source: IMDB)

REVIEW:

Director: Katt Shea
Writers:
Stephen King (characters), Rafael Moreu
Stars:
Emily Bergl, Jason London, Dylan Bruno

I dislike sequels that are essentially rehashes of the original, with a little bit of re-work here and there. The Rage: Carrie 2 is essentially this, so if you’ve seen Carrie you know exactly what you’re in for in this pretty limp sequel.

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Rachel Lang is an outcast. Orphaned at an early age due to her mother going batshit insane thinking Rachel was possessed due to her “abilities”, Rachel, a teen, lives with foster parents who are only in it for the money. As if that’s bad enough, her best friend offs herself after learning that the jock she rooted (played by the eldest brother from Home Improvement!) only did it as a gag.

She befriends jock Jessie Ryan (played by the pretty low key Jason London) and to the shock of everyone else, the two fall in love. This doesn’t sit well with Jessie’s friends who hate Rachel as she told police about Home Improvement dude’s connection with her friend. Nor, does it sit well with the head cheerleader who wants Jessie all to herself.

Meanwhile we have a completely useless side story in Sue Snell, who witnessed Carries destruction in Carrie (it’s good that they got the same actress to play the character). She learns of Rachel’s powers and tries to help her to avoid another Carrie from happening… She doesn’t…

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The jocks and gals concoct a plan, and invite Rachel to a “cool kid” party. Thinking it’s all part of a peace treaty, Rachel agrees and as Jessie is being stalled elsewhere, the jocks and gals tease and taunt Rachel until she finally, and inevitably, snaps. When this happens, everyone learns about Rachel’s “powers”, which until now have done nothing other than push a cup, a snow globe and closed a window. But now, NOW, oh boy, filled with rage, Carrie—I mean, Rachel is a telekinesis killing machine, able to control her powers with pinpoint accuracy. Hell, even her tattoo magically grows and covers her face and body with a barbed wire like line… I didn’t know telekinesis could do that…

After this admittedly gory killing spree, we a treated to a sappy ending that felt like the writer really didn’t know how to end the script.

The above is pretty high level, but trust me, there is absolutely no need to go deeper into this film than that. Essentially the film’s core is the final act, with the preceding two acts mere placeholders to stretch the runtime. I will admit that having the love angle between Jessie and Rachel was an interesting touch, giving the film an almost Romeo and Juliet feel (which it references), but it’s all just, meh. The story is all a glaze, not solid enough to develop characters or connections for the viewer. It’s the bare minimum to service the film until the carnage at the end.

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And the carnage is pretty, er, carnageful… We have decapitations, impaled genitalia, crushed bodies and people on fire. There is a healthy serving of violence at the climax of The Rage and it looked pretty good. Too bad you had to sit through an hour and twenty minutes of limp film to get to it though.

I really disliked the “stylistic” touches added to the film. It was out of place, laughable and annoying. When Carrie—sorry, Rachel used her “powers” we were treated to either a loud “shing” sound or electrical strike noises. At other times black and white was used and even the screen was squished slightly to emphasise her “powers”. The black and white was used at odd times, sometimes when powers weren’t even involved, let alone anything else. It was obtrusive. Thank goodness that the sound effects weren’t used at the climax, I think I would have switched my sound off if it did.

Acting wise, Emily did a good job portraying Carrie—I mean, Rachel. She was adequately able to play the outcast and her eyes nicely bugged out when she went into “Carrie” mode. It nice to see that Rachel was made a more independent and strong character, unlike Carrie. Everyone else was serviceable too. No standout performances to be had in this film though.

The story, as mentioned above, is pretty much an updated version of Carrie with some differences here and there to make it a sequel. They link the two together via Sue Snell and the fact that Carrie and Carrie—sorry, Rachel have the same father. Apparently telekinesis is passed on via the dad. How do I know that? Because Sue Snell told me. How does Sue know that? NFI, mate, because it’s never explained and just chucked in flippantly mid convo.

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If you have any idea about Carrie you know exactly what you are in for so the film isn’t thrilling to watch. You are literally waiting for the “rage” to come and that’s down to the mediocre story. If it was more engrossing, and I don’t mean by making it gory throughout, it would have helped. The story just wasn’t good enough. I would have liked to have seen this flipped on its head some way, doing something completely different with Carrie’s—er, Rachel’s powers.

Would I watch this again? Not if I can help it. Do I recommend it to anyone? It’s hard to say. Most of the film is essentially a romantic drama with the 3rd act a gore fest so I don’t believe there are too many people out there that can enjoy the two together. Those who enjoy their gore may be bored by the first two acts (as I was), but those who like their romance may be too squeamish for the violence that ensues.

If you like romance with a bit of horror, go watch those glittering vampires as I assume they do it much better. If you like gore, go watch Hellraiser 3 as the climax in The Rage is very reminiscent of that far better film. It even has impaling CDs like Hellraiser 3.

Carrie-bluray-shout-factory2 out of 5 speared genitalia

Bonus Features

    • — CARRIE —
    • NEW Audio Commentary With Director David Carson
    • Trailer
    • — THE RAGE: CARRIE 2 —
    • NEW 2015 Audio Commentary With Director Katt Shea And Director Of Photography Donald Morgan, Moderated By Filmmaker David DeCoteau
    • Original 1999 Audio Commentary With Katt Shea
    • Alternate Ending With “Before And After” Special Effect Sequence
    • Additional Scenes Not Seen In Theaters
    • Theatrical Trailer

Carrie 2 – The Rage is now available on bluray per Shout Factory

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