*NOTE* This Blu-ray disc comes in a two pack with the TV version of Carrie, released by Scream Factory*
It’s been forever since I’ve seen the sequel to the original Carrie, The Rage: Carrie 2. In fact, besides seeing it in theatre in 1999, I would’ve seen it once more on VHS back in the early 2000’s, so my memory was quite fuzzy when I popped in Scream Factory’s Blu-ray release of said movie (TV version of Carrie willbe reviewed at a later date,) but I’m happy to report that, besides the cheesy late 90s vibe, the movie seems to hold up quite well. Let’s rage on and see what it’s all about…
DISCS: 2 RUN-TIME: 132 / 105 min ASPECT RATIO: Various RESOLUTION: 1080p AUDIO: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, DTS 2.0 LANGUAGE: English SUBTITLES: English REGION: A RATING: Various PRODUCTION DATE: 1999/2002
In this horrifying 1999 sequel, Rachel (Emily Bergl, The Knick) is a high school misfit who gets caught in the middle of a vicious prank orchestrated by a group of jocks that turns deadly. Once the police bring one of the boys in for questioning, his teammates target Rachel for squealing, and hatch a devious scheme to publicity humiliate her. But messing with Rachel is worse than playing with fire, for when her temper’s crossed, it triggers a powder-keg of anger and unleashes horrifying powers that turn a wild teen house party into a wilder mad-house inferno! Also starring Jason London (Dazed And Confused), Rachel Blanchard (TV’s Clueless), Mena Suvari (American Beauty) and Amy Irving (reprising her role as Sue Snell from Brian DePalma’s original Carrie), this fast-paced, white-knuckle revenge fantasy takes telekinesis to the next level of terror!
Now, I know what you’re thinking, The Rage: Carrie 2 sucks and it’s nowhere as good as the original classic. Okay, I get that, the movie isn’t some brilliant masterpiece of cinema, but you know what, for being a sequel to a movie that didn’t really need a sequel, it does a wonderful job of trying to establish its own footing, without stepping on the toes of the first movie. The movie isn’t loaded with references to the original, but sprinkles in a few bits and pieces, just so you know it still is a sequel. Returning character Sue Snell, played once again by Amy Irving is the biggest connection to the first and she does a wonderful job at trying to right the past with helping Rachel with her soon to be out of control powers.
As for our main telekinetic wonder, Emily Bergl does an admiral job at playing the gothy loner, Rachel, who loves to be alone. Of course, we the audience get to connect with her and see that she is a nice person, who unfortunately is placed into a shitty situation, with a foster family that doesn’t love her, a mother who is placed in an asylum, I assume with the Joker, as it’s called Arkham and fellow students who are just a bunch of a-holes. If you thought the kids in the original Carrie were bastards, wait until you check out these twits. They are cruel beyond belief and honestly, they deserve every last piece of telekinetic forces thrown at them, besides Jesse (Jason London) of course, who falls for Rachel. He’s cool, even though he is clueless.
The Rage: Carrie 2 isn’t without its issues, as it is sadly plagued with the problem of all late 90s horror films, the cheese factor. First, on the list is the music, which more often than not is out of place. Filled with some twang, the music is god awful and no offense to the composer, but you could’ve done better. Next up, we have some strange use of black and white, which to me is unnecessary. I assume it’s representing her rage boiling to the surface, but it just seems… well, cheesy. Besides that, the movie makes up for it with a wonderful ending, filled with some violent killings. This is an ending where you’ll be cheering at the screen, watching in delight as all these bastards get their just desserts. (Although, I can’t quite explain the expanding tattoo on Rachel. That makes no sense.)
Scream Factory does two things with this Blu-ray release, one is confusing and the other is wonderful. First the confusing; they released The Rage: Carrie 2 in a two pack with the TV version of Carrie, which was released in 2002. I assume this is done because the rights to the original couldn’t be obtained? I don’t know, but honestly, it just seems weird. Thankfully, though, we get to the wonderful. This time around, instead of this double feature coming on one disc, the movies are split up into their own individual Blu-rays, which is fantastic. This way, if you are so inclined, you can keep both or sell off one if you don’t like it. Plus, the quality of the transfer doesn’t take a hit, as the TV Carrie is quite long, which means compression would’ve been an issue if they were crammed on one disc.
The Rage: Carrie 2 comes with a helping of special features, most carried over from the DVD. We do get a new commentary with Director Katt Shea and Director Of Photography Donald Morgan, which is a welcome bonus. The original commentary is also included, along with cut scenes and an alternate ending, both with director commentary. Throw in a trailer and you can spend a good amount of time with this movie. Rounding out the package is a wonderful looking transfer and some solid audio. The video to me looks fine, but of course, with it being a newer movie (new as in not 80s or earlier,) I wasn’t expecting any issues to begin with. The audio also wasn’t a concern for me, with two options to choose from: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 DTS-HD MA
BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
NEW 2015 Audio Commentary With Director Katt Shea And Director Of Photography Donald Morgan, Moderated By Filmmaker David DeCoteau
Original 1999 Audio Commentary With Katt Shea
Alternate Ending With “Before And After” Special Effect Sequence
Additional Scenes Not Seen In Theaters
The Rage: Carrie 2 will never surpass the original Carrie, but for being a sequel, it does a pretty good job not stepping on its toes. It has a few nods, with a returning character, but isn’t trying to copy the original scene for scene. Yes, it does have some similar beats, but what more can you do about a telekinetic teen getting picked on and finally getting some sweet, sweet revenge.