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Film review: 'The Rage: Carrie 2'

12 March 1999 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Brian De Palma, Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, John Travolta, William Katt and Stephen King are nowhere to be found. And with the exception of a near-catatonic Amy Irving, reprising her Sue Snell character, and some copycat plotting, "The Rage: Carrie 2" has virtually nothing in common with its 1976 forerunner.

Heck, there isn't even anybody named Carrie here, save for some cheesy flashbacks composed of the sow's blood-soaked De Palma footage.

Still, that hasn't stopped Paul Monash, the original's producer, from trying to hop aboard the big high school/horror bandwagon. But the result is a hamfisted clunker that is certain to induce more guffaws than goose bumps.

Given the above plus the lack of name leads and the current glut of teen product ("Cruel Intentions", "She's All That"), very few will likely get "Carrie-d" away.

Here's the set-up:

Rachel (Emily Bergl) is your average unpopular high school student with an institutionalized mother, nasty foster parents and a best friend who commits suicide. Oh, and she has a habit of flying into a telekinetic tizzy every time she gets a little upset.

As it turns out, the dad Rachel never met also happened to father one Carrie White and we all know what happened to her. And just in case we don't, they've thrown in a bunch of lame flashbacks to remind us.

Things seem to improve somewhat when she meets nice guy Jessie (Jason London), but it turns out he's an unwitting part of an elaborate school hoax to humiliate Rachel. Of course, they'll all pay a dear price for messing with her mind.

Newcomer Bergl is actually quite good in the role, grounding her character in a believability that somehow manages to defy screenwriter Rafael Moreu's ("Hackers") ultra-dumb dialogue.

The rest of the cast isn't so lucky, particularly Irving as Carrie's former schoolmate-turned-guidance counselor who unsuccessfully attempts to avert imminent disaster. For some mysterious reason, her performance is given in what appears to be a hypnotic trance.

Perhaps director Katt Shea ("Poison Ivy") could provide some explanation. While the picture clearly has some seriously arty aspirations, the plodding pace makes for mind-numbingly dull viewing. There's more kinetic energy in an episode of "Charmed".

Once again, as with the original, the special effects budget is saved up for the big vengeance finale. And while some of the gross-out elements (with decent digital effects created by Kleiser-Walczak Construction Co. and special makeup effects by Thomas R. Burman & Bari Dreiband-Burman) finally deliver, it ultimately commits the cardinal sin of supernatural thrillers: This "Carrie"'s not scary.

THE RAGE: CARRIE 2

MGM

United Artists Pictures presents

A Red Bank Films production

Director: Katt Shea

Screenwriter: Rafael Moreu

Producer: Paul Monash

Executive producer: Patrick Palmer

Director of photography: Donald M. Morgan

Production designer: Peter Jamison

Editor: Richard Nord

Costume designer: Theoni V. Aldredge

Music: Danny B. Harvey

Casting: Gretchen Rennell Court

Color/stereo

Cast:

Rachel: Emily Bergl

Jessie: Jason London

Sue Snell: Amy Irving

Mark: Dylan Bruno

Barbara: J. Smith-Cameron

Brad: Justin Urich

Running time -- 104 minutes

MPAA Rating: R

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1 item from 1999


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