Released during the post-Scream horror boom of the late 1990s, The Rage: Carrie 2 is a belated follow-up to Brian De Palma’s well regarded 1976 Stephen King adaptation. Katt Shea’s film lacks the freshness of De Palma’s Carrie but now 20 years on, you can give this 1999 horror a time-capsule reappraisal. It’s still not great, but it has a certain feel to it which makes it strangely captivating viewing.
This time around it’s Carrie White’s half-sister Rachael Lang (Emily Bergl) causing havoc with her telekinesis. I’m not quite sure how this timeframe works considering the passing of 22 years and the age difference between the two sisters or the fact that both film’s feature very little information on the rather randy Ralph White. But hey, I’m willing to suspend disbelief. Amy Irving’s Sue Snell is the only character from De Palma’s film to return (although Sissy Spacek does make an appearance in clips from the original) and this around time Snell is a High School counsellor out to stop history repeating itself. Yeah, good luck with that.
Performance-wise, every carries (no pun intended) themselves the way that you would expect for a 1990s teen horror. Emily Bergl makes for an interesting lead and Racheal Lang is a lot feistier than Spacek’s wallflowerCarrie. She’s a tattooed goth-chick with an attitude and magic powers to match. God help the jocks who piss her off – and piss her off they do!
Pitching The Rage: Carrie 2 as a sequel to Carrie probably did it a disservice and this might have worked better as a stand-alone horror. It could then have been judged on its own merits and maybe it would have made a bigger dent in the box office on its initial release. It’s worth watching now through the prism of time, away from the raft of other horror films which clogged the multiplex back in the day when killing teenagers onscreen was all The Rage!
88 Films gives The Rage: Carrie 2 a pretty darn good blu-ray release. You get a new commentary with director Kat Shea and Director of Photography Donald Morgan (alongside an archive commentary with Shea) as well as an alternate ending, deleted scenes and a theatrical trailer. To paraphrase Montell Jordan: this is how you do it.