The Rage: Carrie 2

After the first few clips from the 1976 Carrie made me wish I were watching it instead of this sequel/remake, The Rage begins to function so well as an examination of the conceits of exploitation filmmaking that it's hard to imagine the critique is inadvertent. Rachel (Emily Bergl) is a high school outcast who, like Sissy Spacek's character in the earlier movie, finds herself inexplicably courted by a popular jock as she starts to realize she has telekinetic powers. We knew Carrie's prom date was involved in setting her up, but when Jesse (Jason London) suddenly seems genuinely interested in Rachel after she reveals a deep cynicism during a discussion of Romeo and Juliet, his motivation is elusive. What's most charming about this supernatural-revenge vehicle is that its sense of humor is often one step ahead of where it seems to be. Even as you're wincing at what you thought was misguided earnestness, it's being subverted by filmmakers who've turned many of the genre's weaknesses into tiny triumphs. Katt Shea directed a screenplay by Rafael Moreu, based on characters created by Stephen King; with Amy Irving.

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