First the good news: there are quite some good scenes in “The Rage: Carrie 2”, unfortunately most of them are the inserted scenes from the original “Carrie”. That’s a little bit sad for Emily Bergl: the flashbacks make you aware that whereas Bergl is doing a good job, Sissy Spacek she ain’t. (Speaking of which, will someone please cast Emily Bergl in a decent movie? In “The Rage: Carrie 2” you get the feeling that she might be a good actress, but so far – with stuff like “Happy Campers” – she hasn’t been able to prove that.)
Apart from the flashbacks, “The Rage” also borrowed Amy Irving for the sequel. It’s not sure why she’s in this movie: they probably cast her because she’d be able to connect Rachel’s ‘problem’ to Carrie’s, but really, couldn’t another psychologist make the link to telekinesis just as well as Sue Snell (who proves that it isn’t because you threw tampons at a girl having her first period that you can’t become a school’s psychologist)?
It’s almost as if “Carrie 2” wants to be compared to the original movie. Both films follow the same path, so you can predict that, just like “Carrie”, the sequel will also have a scene where Rachel will punish all those who taunted her in a merciless way. “Carrie” is still famous for that finale where Brian de Palma showed you all in slow motion and a split screen. I’m not going to tell you how “Carrie 2” ends and whether everyone will die or not, but Rachel’s revenge is filmed with a cheap special effect (comparable to the so-called drug trips in the 60s movies). You can only wonder why: did the makers of this film think they were doing as great a job as Brian de Palma that they absolutely wanted the constant references in? We can only hope not. “The Rage” disappoints you, even if you haven’t seen the original or if you saw the original years ago. You can’t say there aren’t any original ideas in the film (e.g. the way Rachel’s body changes when she’s angry – as seen on the posters), but these original ideas are often ludicrous (why would her body change that way? Are we being prepared for “The Mutation: Carrie 3”?).
It’s true that Robert Mandel (director of a.o. “F/X” and “The X-Files” pilot) left “The Rage” after creative differences and that Katt Shea (director of a.o. “Stripped To Kill” and “Stripped To Kill II”) took over. Maybe that explains why “Carrie 2” feels uneven. Some scenes are actually quite good and some make you think that Rachel used her telekinesis ‘gift’ to make the script fly away. Sadly the script wasn’t found anymore and they still had to shoot 65% of the film.
Mena Suvari has an interesting part here: disappointed after being dumped by her date, she jumps off the school building (if you blinked and missed that scene, don’t worry and wait a while: it’s constantly repeated). Her date, a football player, only deflowered her to score some points with his friends (literally). When Sue Snell tells the sheriff, he should arrest the boy because in a way this boy used an underage girl for sex. The sheriff replies that this would be far-fetched and adds: “Sue, are you sure you aren’t still trying to save a girl who died twenty years ago?” I can’t seem to shake the feeling that not many sheriffs would react that way, but that’s just the way “The Rage: Carrie 2” is: full of far-fetched dialogues. Very likely the worst example of this is the scene in the English class (and by the way, can you really say – as the teacher does – that Romeo and Juliet died together?). If you want to see a movie where dialogue doesn’t always make sense and your video store is out of badly translated Japanese films, then go and rent “The Rage: Carrie 2”.