The Legacy of Stephen King's Telekinetic Terror Carrie Rages On

The high-definition revivals continue with Scream Factory’s “Carrie / The Rage: Carrie 2” Double Feature. Before everybody starts salivating and hopping up and down in rabid anticipation of new behind-the-scenes featurettes and cast and crew interviews for Brian De Palma’s 1976 classic, be warned this collection contains the 2002 TV-movie originally planned as a back-door pilot for a series. I was disappointed as well, but found the version included here to be better than many give it credit as being.

In the made-for-TV movie “Carrie,” our young naive outcast (Angela Bettis) is tormented by her fellow high-school students. She learns of her telekinesis and begins using it as a tool for vengeance.

The 2002 version of Stephen King’s “Carrie” is a lot better than it could’ve been. It was already fighting an uphill battle trying to recapture the same tense and gloriously haunting magic the 1976 movie did. Weak performances and cheesy dialogue by many of the actors doesn’t help the situation. However, Angela Bettis’s incredible performance as the title character virtually redeems any weakness shown by the other cast members. The one thing that hinders this update is the TV-quality production and cinematography. That being said, the special effects are a lot better than they should’ve been for a TV-movie made in the early 2000s.

The Rage: Carrie 2” centers on the quiet and bookish Rachel Lang (Emily Bergl). Her closest friend commits suicide after being manipulated by the popular crowd. She decides to get back at the guilty parties. Although Rachel falls for sensitive football player Jesse Ryan (Jason London), she remains determined to punish his callous friends. When the spurned girl discovers that she has superhuman abilities, it ups the stakes for her revenge, echoing a supernatural incident that occurred decades before.

This sequel isn’t the quality follow-up most movie buffs want who revere the original as a horror masterpiece. Its ties to the first film are what will keep older viewers interested in what is really a 1990s teen genre flick. The MTV-video styled cinematography is a good indication of what the filmmakers were going for at the time. However, I still enjoy it for what it is and find it a satisfying watch as long as you don’t position yourself under the shadow of Brian De Palma’s classic.

Although 2002’s “Carrie” is rated TV-14 and includes some questionable content for younger viewers. There’s brief nudity, although nothing graphic is shown. The scenes are from the back or a profile of Carrie lying in the fetal position in the shower. There are adult situations, violence and gore, mild profanity, alcohol and smoking, and frightening and intense scenes. “The Rage: Carrie 2” is rated R for strong graphic horror violence and gore, brief strong sexuality, and language. Things get rather bloody whenever our angry anti-hero starts acting out her vengeance.

Scream Factory’s “Carrie / The Rage: Carrie 2” Double Feature Blu-ray includes some interesting bonus material. New audio commentary is provided by Director David Carson for 2002’s “Carrie.” A trailer is also included. Director Katt Shea provides new audio commentary for “The Rage: Carrie 2.” An alternate ending with a “Before and After” special effects sequence, additional scenes not seen in theaters and a theatrical trailer are found for the sequel as well.

I freely admit that Scream Factory’s “Carrie / The Rage: Carrie 2” Double Feature Blu-ray would’ve been a lot more thrilling if it included Brian De Palma’s 1976 film instead of the 2002 TV-movie. If you give the update a chance, you’ll find that it really isn’t as bad as history remembers it. Although it’s not of the same quality as its predecessor, “The Rage: Carrie 2” still holds up well and will better relate to the MTV generation and even younger viewers now.

Scream Factory’s “Carrie / The Rage: Carrie 2” Double Feature is available now on Blu-ray.




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