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The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999)

Directed by Katt Shea Screenplay by Rafael Moreu

  I know what you may be thinking. No, a sequel is not necessarily any better than a remake. But it did “Carrie” on the story in some sense and show clips from the first film of which Sue Snell (Amy Irving) is the only member to have survived the first events. Having spent time in a hospital, she returns as guidance counselor, her past haunting her every day. But I’ve gotten a bit ahead of myself. I enjoyed the opening sequence consisting of yet another deranged mother who begins dipping a brush in red paint so as to make a “barrier” of some sort around the house. Whispering that they couldn’t take her daughter and to stay away, a young Rachel watching nearby. After slapping her daughter with the brush, the cops are called (somehow) and the girl’s told she’d be put in foster care. Rushing through her house to her room with the doors being slammed as she walked past and the windows opening and shutting on their own, she takes solace in her closet. Flash forwarding to her Sophomore year and we find Rachel (Emily Bergl) stuck in a house that has only keeps for the extra 300 a month. Meeting up with best friend Lisa (Mena Suvari) on the bus whose upbeat mood was due to finding love, more or less, but promised to be told later of all the details.

  In class we find the majority of the cast. Jason London playing Jesse Ryan, perhaps a distant cousin to Jake; anyone? Dylan Bruno is Mark, Zachery Ty Bryan as Eric playing the jerky jocks. Rachel Blanchard as Monica and Charlotte Ayanna as Tracey playing the “skanky, popular” girls. Eddie Kaye Thomas as the brief, comedic relief. The topic being Romeo and Juliet and the question of what makes us so moved by love that ends in separation. The correct answering coming from Jesse after stating that Romeo and Juliet couldn’t be a tragedy because the only way they could be together was in death. We see Lisa briefly as she puts something in her locker and begins walking towards the top of the roof, clearly solemn and going right off the roof with no second thought. Rachel’s shocked reaction being the trigger for a number of lockers being thrown open and everything flying out. Looking through Lisa’s locker later the administrators find a note and slip for photos at the lab Rachel worked at. We also see Eric speaking with Mark about going out with Lisa the previous weekend and how after she started acting happy, he had to break the news of her “only being a pump.” Worried more about the scouts coming to the next game; ending with Mark saying he would “take care of it.” That night going to visit Rachel at work and asking if able to pick up Lisa’s photos; “It’s not like she’s going to be picking them up anytime soon.”

  Ms. Snell wanting to make a case against Eric being 18 and Lisa, only 16. A stretch but had several girls come in that semester complaining of football players sleeping with them and dumping them the next day and not wanting anymore girls to lose their life over. Rachel’s home life doesn’t seem to be looking any better while she struggles to control her emotions which only seem to control her powers, knowing very little about them. Later that night her dog runs out to the middle of the road and cannot help but fall victim to a car with Rachel pleading with the drivers to stop; that someone being Jesse. The dogs pretty bruised up but will make it and the two go to a diner, dropping her off as we see sparks between them (literally). The next day at school she speaks with Sue who opens up a bit about her past and how trying to help a young girl had backfired in her youth. Witnessing Rachel’s powers for the first time, she goes about her day, giving a warning to Eric about knowing what he had done. His punishment being suspension after saying he had never seen or talked to Lisa as the officer questioning, raised the photo to ask who he was holding onto exactly. Who simply runs to Mark whose solution is to mess with Rachel who was momentarily home alone.

  The next day she’s confronted by Jesse who asks why she stood him up the night before with Rachel suggesting maybe “all of these” not being that great of an idea. Making up for it later that night by sharing some conversation as she stated wanting her first time to be special. Ms. Snell having visited Arkham, (hey, wait a second…) where Rachel’s mother was currently, inquiring to whom Rachel’s father had been. We find out that hers was that of Carrie White’s and having kept it secret with people not being too fond of what she had done to the town so long ago. Rachel choosing to rather not receive any more help and becomes closer to Jesse in the meantime. His friends devising a plan to sabotage the two; it wasn’t like they had classwork or anything like that to do instead. Mark tries to make up for being a jerk by giving Jesse the keys to his parents lake house to “enjoy some time together.” The big game finally arriving with Rachel unable to attend after being grounded for her late night romp with the football hunk. Going any way after hearing on the radio of Jesse getting knocked down; apparently very convinced that the sight of her would heal his wounds. But alas! All is not lost when she makes it just in time to watch the last play, ending with Jesse scoring the final touchdown and the two sharing a somewhat awkward moment, that scene used to work in films but not so much now.

  Which brings us to the house party everyone had been talking about at school recently, thrown by one of the football players. Wanting to make Rachel feel as comfortable as could with a little drinking, some dancing and then discussing the “game footage” that they enjoyed so much. A game of catch turns into Rachel grabbing hold of the guy’s book where they make her view Lisa and her score as they stand around her and encouraged one another cruel ways. Making her view the footage taken of her trip with Jesse to Mark’s lake house. Next, much as in the original, we see distorted images of their laughing/taunting voices and Margaret White’s cry of “They’re all gonna laugh at you” ringing in the background  The doors slam shut as Rachel’s tattoo begins to continue on throughout her body with the glass behind her shooting out, taking life after another. *The scenes used real glass that ended up scaring Emily which was why she wasn’t shot from behind after this point.* By far the best scene in the film coming up and one of the few reasons to watch, really. The cowards run off and definitely get what’s coming though hitting Rachel in the process with a flare gun. It’s at this point that Jesse and Tracey arrive and he states not knowing about the tape and that he loved her. Having simultaneously heard it on the tape still playing (just at that opportune moment). A board falls as Rachel moves him out of the way to save his life and in turn causes her own death, devoting her love for  him right before. Seeing him a year later at Kings University with Walter (Rachel’s dog) and the ending being a bit confusing but at least not what originally intended. Which was Jesse having a nightmare where Rachel comes back to him but a serpent is released from her body that takes hold of him and was to be inferred as somehow passing on the powers to him. Instead she still visits but shatters as though glass and he sees a warped reflection in the mirror. Still a bit confusing but the other ending just sounded interesting, but looked terrible.

  The cast fit with the type of film it was. I had seen Bruno in Where the Heart Is so already knew he was good at being a prick, no surprises there either. After this I only saw Bergl in Gilmore Girls and I thought she was better at being the mean, stuck up kid then the one picked on. Ayanna had been best in Jawbreaker as Liz Purr when she didn’t really have to act and was just, there. Does anyone remember the show Clueless, not the movie, but that’s where I had known Blanchard from. I had been such a fan of Alicia Silverstone’s version that it kind of ruined any other time I saw Blanchard but her revenge was definitely a favorite in the film. Again, it’s not the original but it’s not trying to be. It turned out to be a not too bad attempt at a sequel, maybe I’ve just seen so many that I was pleasantly surprised. Nothing to rush out to view but does make for a great double feature night.