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Rage: Carrie 2, The (1999)

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Score: 2/10

Genre: Horror Running Time: 1 hr. 44 min.

Release Date: March 12th, 1999 MPAA Rating: R

Director: Katt Shea Actors: Emily Bergl, Jason London, Dylan Bruno, J. Smith-Cameron, Amy Irving, Zachery Ty Bryan, Rachel Blanchard, Charlotte Ayanna, Mena Suvari

T

he film opens with a disturbed woman painting her house red. She proceeds to slap her little daughter in the face with the oily brush. This leads to police taking away the crazy mother and the young girl, Rachel, taken to a foster home. When she grows up, Rachel (Emily Bergl) despises her trailer trash adoptive parents, dresses in dark gothic clothes, and is consoled only by her Basset Hound, Walter. At school, her best friend is Lisa (Mena Suvari), a similarly distant individual who reveals on the bus that she lost her virginity to a guy that Rachel simply wouldn’t believe.

The following morning, Lisa dives off the roof of the school onto a car windshield. Her death scares apparent boyfriend Eric Stark (Zachary Ty Bryan), a popular member of the high school football team, the Bulldogs. He enlists the help of leader Mark Bing (Dylan Bruno) to retrieve some photographs from the local PhotoMat, where Rachel works, that show Eric and Lisa together. Lisa was under the impression that she meant something to the boy, but she was just one of a long list of girls that the football team used to form a game of scoring points based on sexual partners. As more elements of stress are introduced into Rachel’s life, her sanity begins to unravel. These components include popularity issues, unease around the jock she likes, Jesse Ryan (Jason London), and news that her real father was also the father of Carrie White, a girl who was blamed for burning down the old high school (using the same genetic recessive trait of telekinesis that Rachel also possesses – and of course, the scenario for 1976’s “Carrie”).

Perhaps the only amusing aspect of “The Rage: Carrie 2” that has any relevancy or connection with the original Stephen King cult classic of the ‘70s is the return of actress Amy Irving, as Sue Snell, the lone significant survivor from the previous film. Laughably, she mentions her own mental trauma that resulted in prescribed time at Arkham Asylum, which, regardless of spelling, sounds entirely too similar to Batman’s renowned psychopath sanctuary. Now, she’s a school counselor who identifies Rachel’s abilities and wants to take her to a lab at Princeton for treatment.

This loose sequel, arriving a staggering 23 years after the success of Brian de Palma’s thriller, essentially dispenses with the horror and entertainment value of its predecessor, repeating a similar plotline with a new lead girl. Her torment is slightly more modernized, though the creativity is diminished to spoofing “Scream,” while flashbacks (from both inside and outside the movie) foreshadow the other sporadic recreations of the past. Black and white shots are bizarrely spliced into the picture, some representing Rachel’s point of view and others seemingly from an outside perspective. It’s as if the movie can’t play by its own rules of cinematographic stylization. Slow motion is misused, funky jazz music springs up at the most ridiculous moments, and the climax is infused with comically over-the-top, graphic violence. The goofiness is perpetuated by bad acting, silly facial expressions, and too many “American Pie” cast members, making this a most unnecessary recycling of a seminal horror masterwork.

– Mike Massie

 

 



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