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CARRIE 2: THE RAGE

SYNOPSIS:
Rachel Lang (Emily Bergl) has a miserable home life and only one friend at Bates High School, Lisa (Mena Suvari). When that friend bubbles excitedly on the bus trip to school about her new love, Rachel hasn’t the first idea that in just a few hours Lisa will have jumped to her death setting in motion a terrible chain of events. But school counsellor, Sue Snell (Amy Irving), has seen it all before. Twenty years ago, she was the only one to survive when Carrie White, unable to control her telekinetic powers, wreaked havoc on the Bates school community. Sue sees those same powers in Rachel. All seems to be going well when Rachel falls in love with football hero Jessie (Jason London), but she is not to be upset …

"I wouldn't have guessed, but doing a sequel-cum-remake of Brian de Palma's seminal high school horror film was actually a very smart idea. The climax of the original, with poor miserable Carrie White taking the ultimate revenge on her tormentors, operates even today as a kind of primal scene in the background of many teen movies (such as the current Never Been Kissed). Carrie's fate marks the point where the intense adolescent fear of social humilation and rejection, displayed in a thousand nerdy comedies, becomes unbearably distressing and horrific. It's also the point where a downtrodden outcast turns into a monster; and even aside from the Marilyn Manson poster in Rachel's bedroom, it's hard not to think of the similar (if largely male) horror-film scenarios played out in recent months on the evening news. Beneath its admittedly schlocky stylistic surface, The Rage approaches these topics in a quite thoughtful, serious manner, far removed from the jokey camp of most recent horror films. In the best exploitation tradition, director Katt Shea retains a largely familiar plot while subtly changing its implications. Rachel is clearly neither a monstrous freak nor a passive victim. Rather, she's a fairly ordinary, lonely person who copes as best she can with her school's viciously policed hierarchies of sex and class. This story can have only one ending, and the impressively gory finale doesn't disappoint; but by the time blood is gushing and limbs are flying, we can fully sympathise with Rachel's plight and share much of her righteous anger. As always, the relationship between onscreen and real violence works both ways - and while I don't think this movie, by itself, will inspire any more massacres, it does indicate some of the rage that lies behind them."
Jake Wilson

"If you’ve seen the original Carrie, the climax of this late sequel is obvious from the opening scene. And that’s the problem with this effort. We wait. And wait. We know what our protagonist will do when provoked. We know that the provocation will come in the form of taunting by ‘the cool kids’. We know that when she’s pushed to breaking point, we’ll see terrible telekinetic devastation and just wonder what the effects boffins of the nineties can do that was not possible twenty years ago. The answer is lots, but then we already knew that so really, what’s the point? Sure the original Carrie was as formulaic as this one, but it had three pretty important ingredients that this one is lacking: the fine performance of Sissy Spacek, the imaginative direction of Brian DePalma, and the assured plotting of Stephen King. Emily Bergl gives a solid performance, but she doesn’t yet have what it takes to carry (sorry) a film over bad dialogue and predictable scenes. Director Katt Shea (Poison Ivy) has given us a visual construction which is no more imaginative than that which would have been done by a high school filmmaker. Perhaps this is a clever move given the intended audience. But she did need to provide us with a much tighter narrative for the film to have any chance of surprising. That said, the film does have a very positive spin in its portrayal of the central female character. She is not a wimp. She takes responsibility for her own actions and her own life. And her behaviour is never informed by the need to have the right boy in her life. A most redeeming feature in this otherwise forgettable teen horror flick."
Lee Gough

"Two decades after Brian De Palma's chilling and visually striking Carrie, comes this inferior sequel, or rather remake. Despite the new film's tenuous links with the original, The Rage ultimately delivers more of the same: the idea of the outsider who ultimately is forced to wreak havoc on those who torment her. The film is another teen slasher film, which takes itself far too seriously. A routine script by Rafael Moreu contains some interesting thematic comments; yet again, they seem hackneyed and contrived. For those familiar with the genre, we know high school kids can be relentlessly cruel, and we hope they will be ultimately dealt with. Characterisation is a little more even-handed here than in the first movie, which does, to the film's credit, make us care more about what happens to Rachel's contemptible tormentors. But in the scheme of things, there seemed no reason to make this film, it's such an irrelevancy and insignificant. The film's fundamental mistake is showing flashbacks of the original, at which time one is reminded how superb and arresting the original film was."
Paul Fischer

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 2
Mixed: 0

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TRAILER

SOFCOM MOVIE TIMES

CARRIE 2: THE RAGE (MA)
(US)

CAST: Emily Bergl, Jason London, Amy Irving, Mena Süväri, Dylan Bruno, J. Smith-Cameron, Charlotte Lopez, Rachel Blanchard, Zachery Ty Bryan, and Kayla

Campbell

DIRECTOR: Katt Shea

PRODUCER: Paul Monash, Patrick J. Palmer

SCRIPT: Rafael Moreu

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Donald M. Morgan

EDITOR: Richard Nord

MUSIC: Daniel B. Harvey

PRODUCTION DESIGN:

RUNNING TIME: 104 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: July 29, 1999

VIDEO RELEASE: December 7, 1999

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Home Video







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