The Rage: Carrie 2 would be considered a dandy little horror flick, if it were not for the fact that it is a sequel to Carrie, a classic of this genre. It is a prime example of the pitfalls of trying to copy any movie that has attained cult status. Of course, if you haven't seen the original, the new movie should work for you. Your best bet is to watch this one first, then see the original.
The Rage takes place twenty-plus years after the original Carrie wreaked havoc on most of the students in her high school. The new heroine with an attitude is called Rachael, and she is played rather well by Emily Bergl. Rachael is the quintessential movie character with a rotten childhood. Mom flips out and is thrown in a mental institution when Rachael is five or six years old. Fast forward to the present. Rachael is now a high school senior. She's been brought up by cold foster parents, who seem to be keeping her around for the money the state pays them. Girls in movies like this are allowed only one friend, who is usually female and always crazier than she is. Rachael's friend goes from girl on top of the world on a Monday morning to girl who jumps from the top of the school that afternoon. All of this serves merely as an excuse for Rachael's madness to be unleashed. As soon as she discovers that her friend's leap was caused by group of callous, rich, beautiful students, she goes to work. Like the original Carrie, this young woman has telekinesis, which is the ability to move objects. She moves them with a vengeance.
Poor Amy Irving returns as Sue Small, who was student in the original movie. She tried to befriend Carrie. That attempt gave her a nervous breakdown, and now, as the school's principal, she has not learned her lesson. She does everything to help Rachael, including enlisting the aid of Rachael's insane mother. Sue doesn't really deserve to be principal of anything.
Jason London tries hard as Jesse, the boy who falls in love with Rachael. I found his fate in the movie to be a bit bizarre, or at least less logical than what happened to the kid who fell for Carrie in the original.
The music is properly eerie. The photography is decent. The dialog does little more than move the plot along. The special effects are quite good, but in comparison to those in Carrie, it's obviously true that less is often more.
By the way, Carrie, which was directed by Brian De Palma, was the movie that originated the surprise double ending that all horror movies use to this day. Sue Small went to visit Carrie's grave. As she kneeled over it, a pale arm shot up from the ground and tried to pull her down into the earth. Young moviegoers can hardly imagine the impact that scene had. The audiences were literally screaming. In The Rage, there's a trick ending, but the only thing much of the audience screams for is for the movie to be over.
I think one way to determine how a important movie is to you is to see how much of it you remember later on. In The Rage there are several flashbacks which are taken from Carrie. Each of these reminded me of how much better and more memorable the original was. They even caused my mind to recall other scenes. And that's the power of the movies in action.