RAGE: CARRIE 2, THE

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Reviews

When I saw a poster a few months back advertising The Rage: Carrie 2, I initially thought it was some sort of a joke. Remember at the end of Brian De Palma's 1976 film Carrie when everybody died? You would think that was it, that it was over. The 20-plus years that have passed since that film would also have you believe that there was indeed some closure to that particular story.

Unfortunately, as the resurgence of teen horror flicks carries on (no pun intended), there is the inevitable tendency of Hollywood to pick at the bones of some of the horror genre's classics. This was the case last year when the horrific Halloween: H2O hit the screens. This time, the innocent victim is Carrie, as if she hasn't been through enough already.

Actually, it is not Carrie exactly, but Rachel (Emily Bergl). Rachel is a high-school outcast who just doesn't seem to fit in, much like Carrie two decades before. Like Carrie, she attends Bates High School, though this is a new Bates High, as Carrie completely destroyed the first one. Oh yeah, like Carrie, Rachel has telekinetic powers and a temper, which is certainly a dangerous combination.

However, unlike Carrie, The Rage is not a very good movie. In fact, it is little more than the original film plus a '90s facelift, minus originality. Obviously absent from these proceedings are Carrie director De Palma and author Stephen King. They would have been better served by re-releasing the original--just computer-generate some new clothes and hairstyles, add a few nose rings and tattoos and you pretty much have it.

While current horror auteur Kevin Williamson (Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Faculty) realizes the absurdity of this genre and its conventions and is willing to poke fun at them, any laughs in The Rage are unintentional. In one scene, the characters visit the ruins of the old Bates High School. Wouldn't you think that, after 20 years, somebody would have cleared the rubble away, if not out of common sense, then to remove the memory of the horror that once happened there years ago?

The intermittent flashbacks to scenes from the original movie only add to the feeling of 'Why bother?' There is nothing worse than watching a bad movie while being constantly reminded of a great one. A better horror film could be made about movie executives who dig up the corpses of old movies and unleash them on poor, innocent moviegoers.

FADE IN: INT - MOVIE EXEC'S OFFICE…this thing will write itself.

--Thom Bennett