Movie Review By Heather Clisby
In 1976, Brian de Palma helped form the teen scream genre by unleashing "Carrie" starring Sissy Spacek, as an unpopular teenager with telekinetic powers . . . which, as you may remember, makes a great accessory on prom night.
Well, it's 24 years later and the legacy continues. This time, Katt Shea directs "The Rage: Carrie 2" starring Emily Bergl as Rachel, the troubled teen with powers beyond her comprehension or control. With her mother committed to a mental institution, Rachel grows up in cold, lonely foster homes that merely regard her as check in human form.
Amy Irving reprises her role as Sue Snell, the sole survivor of the 1976 debacle; this time she's a high school guidance counselor with a really scary hairdo. She's knows first hand, if Rachel is unhappy, everyone is going to be unhappy or else, y'know, dead.
Rachel is unpopular and has but two friends, her dog, Walter, and fellow outcast, Lisa, played by Mena Suvari. When Lisa takes an early exit, Rachel's already-shaky world starts to crack. Things become more complicated when one of the popular guys, Jessie, played by the scrumptious Jason London, truly takes a liking to her.
The script itself is not as insulting as you might imagine. Thanks to Miss Bergl, Rachel is a character we come to respect, with or without her powers. Carrie White was intense but, let's face it, a real pushover. Rachel is tougher; a 90s teen that takes less crap but still wants to be popular. Other than maybe "Revenge of the Nerds" there has never been a plot more satisfying to anyone who was ever shunned in high school, and weren't we all - at least in our own adolescent minds?
As if the popular kids weren't evil enough, there is a sexual conquest race going on amongst the boys a la Spur Posse (which originated at my alma mater, Lakewood High School, thank you very much.) It's all quite real, unfortunately, but I had to laugh when Sue takes Rachel to the burned out remains of the 1976 gymnasium. It's been 20 plus years and no one's cleaned up a spot where dozens of kids died? A newspaper clipping would've sufficed as a less laughable souvenir.
Let's not kid ourselves, the whole film is about The Final Scene. No pigs blood this time but plenty of creative deaths to go around. We wonder why one of the 'in' crowd girls sports thick glasses the whole time but all is explained in the end. Supernatural angst meets teen revenge. Fun, fun, fun!
© 1999 - Heather Clisby - Air Date: 3/17/99
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