Review Date: October 17, 1999
Released by: MGM
Release date: 10/12/1999
Region 1, NTSC
Widescreen 1.85:1 | 16x9: Yes
The Rage is the sequel to the highly successful 1976 film Carrie, which was based on a novel by Stephen King. MGM has done justice to the sequel, releasing it on a special edition DVD with a fair amount of extras.
It's been 23 years since Carrie White lit the school gym on fire, killing everyone except for Sue Snell (Amy Irving), who is now a school counselor. The whole 'Carrie White' story has become an urban legend with most people, except Sue. Turns out that Carrie has a stepsister who has just reached the same age as Carrie was when she went psycho. Her name is Rachel Lang (Emily Bergl) and she's a telekinetic just like Carrie was. They share the same father but have different mothers. We learn in this film that the telekinesis powers they have are actually a gene that was passed down from their father. Rachel is aware of these powers since childhood, and goes to great lengths to control them throughout her everyday life. The film opens with Rachel as a child making windows open and close aas authorities take her mother away.
Rachel is now in high school and is an "outcast", just like her stepsister Carrie was. Unlike Carrie, Rachel does have a few friends. Her best friend kills herself after finding out she lost her virginity to a jock who only slept with her to score points in a game. The game is to sleep with as many girls as possible and the uglier the girl the more points you get.
Rachel rats out the jock who was responsible for her best friends' suicide. This causes the jocks to start planning revenge against Rachel. Rachel develops a relationship and ultimately falls in love with Jesse Ryan (Jason London). Jesse is one of the jocks, but is not in on the revenge plot. Jesse begins fighting with his friends as they begin to tease and harass Rachel. As a part of their revenge plot the jocks invite Rachel to a party and start to act they like her, and tell her that she's "one of them" now.
The school counselor, Sue Snell (the lone survivor from the first film), witnesses Rachel's telekinesis and immediately associates her with Carrie. She tries to work with Rachel on controlling her powers but her efforts fail. Sue goes to Rachel's mother who is in a mental institution to find out more on Rachel and who her father was. She ultimately breaks Rachel's mother out of the institution to help her convince Rachel that she needs help.
As the film draws to it's ending we see all hell break lose at the jock party Rachel was invited to. The jocks keep Jesse away from the party while they confront Rachel. They mock her, calling her a "slut", "skank" and by playing a video they made of her having sex with Jesse. Sue's attempts at controlling Rachel's powers fail and Rachel begins kicking some jock ass at the party. Without giving too much away I'll let you find out how the film ends on your own. The ending to this film kicked ass. I wish I could discuss it more, but I really don't want to spoil it for the people who have yet to see it.
I enjoyed this film and I was pleasantly surprised when watching it. The film really stands on its own when compared to the original. I expected the usual lame sequels that you get with most horror movies, but this one was different. The character Rachel has her similarities to Carrie - to the extent that they're both telekinetic outcasts - but that's really where the similarities end. Rachel is a stronger person both mentally and physically than Carrie was. She isn't afraid to stand up for herself and is much more outgoing than Carrie was. I enjoyed seeing Rachel's relationship with Jesse develop throughout the film as well. This film had a love story to it that the first one didn't. I think the character development in this film was superb.
If you haven't seen this film definitely rent it. Even die hard gore fans will be happy once the jock party comes around. Perhaps all sequels should occur 23 years after the original. Maybe then we could start seeing some more originality in sequels.
Gorgeous! MGM did a terrific job on this transfer. Being that it's such a new film this is only expected giving MGM's track record. The colors are well balance throughout the film with solid blacks. I saw only a few speckles but other then that there were no video glitches throughout the film. And, of course, it's an anamorphic widescreen presentation. Pan and Scan is available on side two but there's no sense in discussing that, is there?
The Rage: Carrie 2 contains a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. All speakers on my system were fairly active throughout the film and the overall sound was quite pleasing.
The commentary on the DVD was enjoyable. Director Katt Shea did a fine job commenting and there were very few gaps of silence throughout the commentary. I did get a little bored at some points during the commentary, but overall it was interesting and a good listen. Not something I'll be listening to again anytime soon, but definitely worth listening to once.
There are four deleted scenes that were cut from the film that are extras are on the DVD. One interesting aspect to the deleted scenes is that they are introduced by Director Katt Shea. She explains why there are extra scenes from the film. There is also commentary from Katt Shea that can be turned on or off for each deleted scene where she explains why each specific scene was cut. The deleted scenes consist of:
1. The Mental Institution - Rachel visiting her mother at the mental institution.
2. The Date - Rachel and Jesse extended date sequence - they're bowling.
3. Are you a dawg - football players eating raw meat to prove their manhood.
4. Snake Scene - This is the alternate ending to the film. This was great to see but it really made no sense and it just didn't fit well, so it really makes sense why they pulled it and made and made a new ending. Still, it's nice to see the cool special effects in this shot.
There's a small insert included that discusses some of the challenges in making The Rage: Carrie 2. One particular challenge that interested me was getting permission from Sissy Spacek (Carrie from the first film). At first Sissy said she didn't want any flashback sequences in Carrie 2 and that she wanted nothing to do with it. Director Katt Shea put the scenes in anyway and got Sissy to watch the film. Sissy ended up liking it and worked out a deal with MGM to allow the flashback sequences. Katt discusses this more in the commentary also.
I originally planned on renting this film to do the review, but it was rented out at the time so I purchased it instead. I'm definitely glad I did. As a matter of fact, I felt it was necessary for me to re-watch the original Carrie (review to come soon) to be able to do this review, so I purchased both Carrie and The Rage: Carrie 2 on DVD. This was definitely a superb film and any fans of the original should add it to their collection. Die hard gore fans may be bored during the first two-thirds of the film, but that would be the same case for the original Carrie. All others will enjoy this little gem.
Movie - B+
Image Quality - A-
Sound - B+
Supplements - B+
- Running time - 1 hour 44 minutes
- Rated R
- 1 Disc
- Chapter stops
- English Dolby Digital 5.1 surround
- French Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
- Alternate ending with "Before-and-after" special effect sequence
- Additional scenes not show in theaters
- Feature-length audio commentary by director Katt Shea
- Collectible booklet on the making of the film
- Original theatrical trailer