The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999)

While it has been a long while since I have been a student in full-time education, memories of the time still return from the highs to the lows, and everything in-between. A topic that is no stranger to the world of fiction, or even sequels to popular works of fiction. In 1999, a film built upon the legacy of Carrie to tell a fresh story that explored similar topics and the after-effects of the incident’s only known survivor in The Rage: Carrie 2.

Straight from the headlines storyline fuels the drama.

Meet Rachel, she appears to be a typical teenager who lives with her foster family down in Florida. She might appear as a quintessential Gen-Xer, but she is also the half-sister of Carrie White, and her peculiar abilities run in the blood. When an underground list of conquests results in suicides, the callousness of High School life may once again bring a dark and violent tragedy. Can Snell (the sole survivor of the first film and now guidance councillor at Rachel’s school) prevent history from repeating itself, or will the burning rage destroy Snell and Rachel’s lives?

Emily Bergl takes the leading role as Rachel, in this late 90s sequel!

The first film is quite unrelenting in its depiction of the perpetual torment that Carrie went through. Rachel’s road to rage isn’t as straightforward. Yes, tragedy does befall one of her closest, and the similar scheme that enveloped her friend looks to envelop Rachel too. The inclusion of real-life classmate score system surviving as the basis for The Rage’s major subplot, with Rachel taking on the role of an avenger for her friend. Suffice it to say, The Rage tackles some hard-hitting topics. We also get some further exploration into Carrie’s origins, namely that her father was the one responsible for her peculiar abilities, and managed to make his way down to Florida at least.

Some familiar faces do return…

Emily Bergl, who you might remember from the 2000s miniseries Taken, takes on the leading role of Rachel, she’s a relatively interesting new protagonist. Yet this sequel looks fondly to its past, for inspiration and characters. Sissy Spacek graciously permitted her likeness to be used in flashbacks, and it is also fortuitous for the plot that the sole survivor, Sue Snell, also works as a guidance counsellor at the school. She recognises some similar traits to her departed friend and harbours her fair share of P.T.S.D. from her experience too, with Amy Irving fully on board with returning as Snell.

…And despite the new story, callbacks and references are ever present.

Using Carrie as a vantage point of the life of a high-schooler during the Daria generation is a fine route for the sequel to go. Its ripped-from-the-headlines subplot has an intriguing effect of feeling both topical and offering a unique direction for this Carrie sequel. The Rage skilfully brings back plot points and characters from the first and continues exploring these from a new angle, after the tragic effects of the first film still live on. For those who wish to see, a young woman preaching a brand of telekinetic vengeance on those who wronged her, The Rage certainly offers that. For those who want a slightly more novel take, The Rage still captures Carrie’s wrath in a whole new bloodline.

The Rage also indulges in some more artistic moments, especially during its flashbacks.

If you want more positive reviews delivered to the e-mail box of your choice, you can click on that little text bubble at the bottom of the screen. Do you agree or disagree? or have a suggestion for another pop-culture artefact that needs a positive light shone on it? Leave a comment in the comment box below! But remember to keep it positive!

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