Rage: Carrie 2 (1999)
Director: Katt Shea
Rachel (Bergl) is an awkward teen who lives with a trailer trash foster family. In high school, she ain't all that and things go from bad to worse for her. Her best friend offs herself, her real mom is in the nut house and falling in love with one of the “kool” kids brings her even more trouble. Oh I forgot to mention…Rachel could move things with her mind…kill with her mind…and break things with her mind…thought you should know.
When I first saw this flick on the big screen I loathed it. Catching it on video made me appreciate it more but its still pretty messy. I’ll start with the positive. First off on a visual standpoint the film is very beautiful to look at. It mixes black and white with color, has great image composition and I really enjoyed the poetic/sad feel the movie gave out. It also has a great lead in Emily Bergl (Rachel) who acts this one out as if an Oscar was looming above her head. She’s too good for this movie. The love story aspect of this film is also quite touching. Kind of like a “Romeo And Juliet” thang. (the reject girl falls in love with the hip popular jock). Everytime Bergl and London (he plays the jock) share scenes together the chemistry flies, they’re interaction comes across as very real and natural. Now what does all of this have to do with a girl that slaughters people with her mind? Alas there’s the rub.
The blood-soaked finale bothered me. I mean its fun stuff but it definitely feels out of place. I was like when did this become an action flick with flare guns and harpoon guns being used as weapons? Why is all this blood being shed, haven’t I been watching a drama for an hour and a half??? It just didn’t gel. Also can you tell me when did Rachel become such a pro with her powers? Throughout the film she’s breaking shite left and right cause she has no control. But in the massacre scene she uses her mental skills like an “X-Men” recruit!
The conclusion is not the only thing that’s off kilter, the characters too. All the hip guys are heartless a-holes and are so mean that it’s not human. All the hip girls are mega bitches in disguise always ready to backstab. The hip gang’s plotting against Emily is taken way too far and I didn’t buy it for a second, especially since their reason is so damn weak. Now I could buy one super evil character…but ALL OF THEM??? Come on! Is this High School or hell? Felt like the latter. Their one-dimensional presences clash with the truthful vibe Bergl’s and London’s characters emanate therefore making the whole of the film feel disjointed. Bergl and London’s characters belong in another (better) movie.
Another thing that didn’t help the film’s structure was slapping in Sue’s (Irving) plight in there. Sue is the only survivor from the original “Carrie” and that’s the sole purpose of her presence… to connect both films. The whole ordeal she goes through with Rachel and with Rachel’s mom drags the flick down, kills the pacing and the film could have easily done without it. The Sue character is not the only element that’s there to create a forced connection between the two films. We get flashbacks galore from the first one and Rachel is eventually tied to the original Carrie in some far-fetched way (Ralph this…).
I don’t get why they tried to tie both films together so hard? The original was released 23 years before this one. Why feel the need to connect them? The audience this movie is aimed at weren’t even born when the first one came out! What I’m trying to say is that this film could have stood on its own two feet. It should’ve just been called RAGE.
In the end I enjoyed this film’s two main performances, I dug some of the beautiful images and the tattoo effect wuz gnarly. But the film tries too hard to be a sequel and goes over board in its attempt to make us hate the “kool” kids. All that paper-thin bullcrap is only there to justify the bloodbath that occurs in the end. Rage should’ve been a full out drama cause as a horror flick it just doesn’t work. Where’s the party…
The end gore fest is straight out of Hellraiser 3. Remember the club carnage? Same thing. We get beheadings, flying CD’s that kill, burnings and a double hitter murder that involves shattering glasses, a spear gun and some guy’s crotch…ouch! The finale stands out but it belongs in another movie.
Emily Bergl (Rachel) is amazing as Rachel. She’s focused, charming and so real. She’s not your classic beauty but has that little something that made me think…yeah…I’d date her. Where is she now? Jason London (Jesse) underplays it and it works. He and Bergl have solid chemistry. Dylan Bruno (Mark) looks like an evil “Ethan Hawke”. He plays menacing very well. J. Smith-Cameron (Barbara) didn’t do it for me but that might have a lot to do with how her part is written. Amy Irving (Sue) comes out of this looking ok and collects that check. Zachery Ty Bryan (Eric) of “Home Improvement” fame plays an asshole with blonde hair…that’s it. Rachel Blanchard (Monica) plays her “Clueless” part but evil. Charlotte Ayanna (Tracy) has a nice ass and learned her lines. To be fair a lot of the parts are very one-dimensional written so it makes the actors look bad.
T & A
Some dudes asses in a locker room and Charlotte Ayanna in her bra and panties. Oh and Jason London takes off his shirt. Not much for us hetero guys…
Shea goes all out on the visuals and I liked it. She uses black and white when Rachel’s mind thang happens, she uses a stretched lens, lots of slow motion and neato camera shots. She sure knows how to paint beautiful images…the suicide and the fire finale come to mind. She also uses sound in very effective ways. Nice work.
Some hopping ska, some sad blues and a good score that sometimes goes over emotional on us but works most of the time.
This flick tries to be everything for everybody: It’s a sequel, it’s a love story and it’s a gorefest. The two main leads and the moving visuals make it happen but the paper-thin characters and stupid plot turns almost ruin the fun completely. Once the overly gory conclusion was over I had almost forgotten the sweet and honest love story the film was working so hard on for an hour and a half. This flick should’ve kept it simple: be a love story with a supernatural twist…that’s it. Did we really need a sequel to “Carrie” anyways? I don’t think so.
Charlotte Ayanna was Miss Teen USA in 1993 and was known as Charlotte Lopez.
Mena Suvari (from American Pie/Beauty) has a small part here. She plays Lisa.
Robert Mandel was directing the flick but quit over creative differences with the studio. Shea moved in and is the only one credited for it.
There’s another ending out there where Jesse awakens from his dream and a snake erupts from Rachel’s mouth, wraps itself around his neck and chokes him.
Emily Bergl is English from England…great accent girl…call me…
Did you guys catch the “Scream” reference? One hint: It’s when Mark is on the phone.