‘Looks can kill’
The Rage: Carrie 2 is a 1999 American supernatural horror feature film directed by Katt Shea (Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase; Dance of the Damned; Stripped to Kill and sequel) from a screenplay by Rafael Moreu.
The movie is a belated sequel to Carrie (1976), which was based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King. Produced by Paul Monash, it stars Emily Bergl, Jason London, Dylan Bruno, J. Smith-Cameron, and Amy Irving (reprising her role of Sue Snell from the previous film).
The Rage: Carrie 2 is released in the UK on Blu-ray by 88 Films on 8th April 2019.
- Limited edition o-card slipcase
- High definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
- Optional English SDH subtitles
- Audio commentary with director Kat Shea and DoP Donald Morgan
- Archive Audio Commentary with director Kat Shea
- Alternate ending
- Deleted scenes
- Original theatrical trailer
In Carrie 2, Rachel (well-played by Emily Bergl) is the half-sister of the original Carrie White. Like her sister, she can move things with her mind and, again much like Carrie, Rachel goes to a high school that is totally and completely dominated by jocks.
However, these are not just your typical high school football players. No, this is the most dangerous collection of clean-cut young sociopaths to be gathered in one place since the beer garden scene from Cabaret.
With the exception of sensitive Jesse (played by Jason London), the entire football team is obsessed with seducing every virgin at the school. When Emily’s friend Lisa (played by Mena Suvari) is deflowered and then rejected by moronic jock Eric (Zachary Ty Bryan), she ends up killing herself in a scene that is surprisingly effective because of both Suvari’s sensitive performance.
Anyway, Rachel soon starts to investigate the circumstances behind Lisa’s suicide and this leads to the jocks hatching a ludicrously complex scheme to silence her. Much as in the first Carrie, it involves humiliating Rachel at the biggest party of the year and, just as in the first film, the end result is Rachel killing a lot of people.
Like a lot of filmgoers and horror fans that have been burned by so many bad sequels to classic movies that, as soon as I see a number in a title, warning flags go up. I tend to watch these films with the expectation that they’re going to both cheapen the original and not bring anything new to the table. However, Carrie 2, while hardly a perfect film, is an exception to the rule. No, it’s nowhere close to being as good as the original Carrie but, when taken on its own term, it’s an effective and entertaining movie.
Along with the strong performances from the entire cast (seriously, you will hate Zachary Ty Bryan’s character so much by the end of this movie), Carrie 2 is well-directed by veteran genre director Katt Shea. Wisely, Shea does not attempt to recreate the original film (despite the similarities in plot) but instead, she brings a unique, feminist perspective to the story. Under Shea’s direction, Emily Bergl makes Rachel into a strong, independent character. She may be victimised but — unlike Sissy Spacek in the original — she is never a victim.
There’s a lot of scenes that stick in my mind from Carrie 2. The film’s final massacre is outrageous and over-the-top and it’s all the more effective because of it. (It also features death by shattered lenses and I have to admit that this myopic reviewer always cringes whenever she sees that scene.) However, to me, Carrie 2 is most disturbing when it explores the pathology behind the film’s doomed football team.
One need only watch the scene where the entire team gets their heads shaved, transforming them from being individuals into a mass of virtually indistinguishable teammates, to understand that Katt Shea was looking to accomplish more here than just making a run-of-the-mill horror sequel. And, to a large extent, she succeeded.
“The first eighty minutes could have worked well without the subtitle as a TV movie high school drama. The final twenty minutes are Hellraiser III. Because of this unbalanced approach it’s likely viewers will either be upset at the scenes of CDs chopping people’s heads off and teenagers being squished, while the audience who might appreciate such mayhem will have switched off long before.” John Llewellyn Probert, House of Mortal Cinema
“The Rage is the kind of film that gets unintentional laughs. They happen when Sue takes Rachel to the site of the burned-out old high school, where nobody has even cleaned up the rubble after 20 years […] The actors are attractive and do credible jobs, and in the tradition of the original film, there’s one really good scare at the end.” Anita Gates, The New York Times
” …you can’t fault The Rage: Carrie 2 too much. It is simply what it wants to be: a silly nod to the horror classic while commentating on and participating with the high school films of the 90s.” Mandy Manslaughter, Rock! Shock! Pop!
“Leave it to a female director to depict misogyny. The teenage boys are presented as feral and complacent, while the girls in their circle are just as vicious. It’s clear that The Rage is working when, long before the finish, the viewer stops rooting for Rachel to control her rage and starts wondering at her restraint.” Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
Cast and characters:
- Emily Bergl … Rachel Lang
- Jason London … Jesse Ryan
- Dylan Bruno … Mark
- J. Smith-Cameron … Barbara Lang
- Amy Irving … Sue Snell
- Zachery Ty Bryan … Eric
- John Doe … Boyd
- Gordon Clapp … Eric’s Father
- Rachel Blanchard … Monica
- Charlotte Ayanna … Tracy
- Justin Urich … Brad Winters
- Mena Suvari … Lisa
- Eli Craig … Chuck (as Elijah Craig)
- Eddie Kaye Thomas … Arnie
- Clint Jordan … Sheriff Kelton
- Steven Ford … Coach Walsh
- Kate Skinner … Emilyn
- Rus Blackwell … Sheriff
- Harold Surratt … School Principal
- David Lenthall … English Teacher
- Kayla Campbell … Little Rachel
- Robert D. Raiford … Senior D.A.
- Katt Shea … Deputy D.A.
- Deborah Knox … Party Girl (as Deborah Meschan)
- Robert C. Treveiler … Smiling Patient (as Robert Treveiler)
- Gina Stewart … Female Vet
- Claire Hurst … Night Nurse
- Albert E. Hayes … Head Banging Patient
- Colin Fickes … Tuba Player
- Rhoda Griffis … Saleswoman
- Eric Hill … Jesse’s Spotter
- Jennifer Nicole Parillo … Fleeing Party Girl
- Jessica Cowart … Gardening Girl
- Tiffany LeShai McMinn … Girl
- Steven Culbertson … The Ref
104 minutes | 1.85: 1 | DTS | Dolby SR
Originally titled The Curse, the film was initially scheduled to start production in 1996, however production stalled for two years. The plot borrows heavily from a real-life 1993 incident in which a group of high school jocks known as the Spur Posse were involved in a scandal.
The film eventually went into production in 1998 under the title Carrie 2: Say You’re Sorry. A few weeks into production, director Robert Mandel (The Haunted, 1991) left the project due to creative differences.
Former Roger Corman protege Katt Shea took over with less than a week to prepare to start filming and two weeks’ worth of footage to reshoot. Shea was told that she would not be able to use footage of Sissy Spacek from the original Carrie, but she edited several scenes into the film and presented the film to Spacek, who granted permission.
The Rage: Carrie 2 was released on March 12, 1999. The film was a box office bomb at the time of release, grossing $17.8 million against a reported $21 million production budget.
The name of the mental asylum in the film is “Arkham”, a reference to a town in the works of H.P. Lovecraft.
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