Let's get one thing straight: Brian De Palma's screen adaptation of Stephen King's novel Carrie was among the best supernatural shockers of the last few decades. While being deeply chilling and bowel-movingly tense, it's also an agonisingly emotional piece. Bearing this in mind, we could string you along with suggestions as to what elements a sequel would need to survive in the imposing shadow of the original, and then let you down with the news that it contains none of them. But why bother? To even imply that there's anything of worth in The Rage would be like promising a small child a Dreamcast for Christmas, then sending it a crusty old cat turd in a cardboard box.
The Rage desperately wants to be a '90s update of a '70s classic. It wants to recreate the agony of Carrie White for a whole new generation, while cashing in on the teen-boom of the last 12 months. And it is this fatal misunderstanding which kills the movie dead before it even stumbles past the opening credits. Carrie wasn't about a period in time, it was about a period in adolescence (pardon the pun),and left any sequel very little new ground to cover.
Amy Irving reprises her role of Sue Snell, now a school counsellor, in a desperate attempt to create a link to the original. Still haunted by nightmares of that fateful prom night, she recognises Carrie-like symptoms appearing in Rachel and tries to prevent history repeating itself. Ironically, it is her flashbacks which provide The Rage's only good moments. But these occasional, two-second glimpses of the original Carrie make your heart leap as you remember the intensity and horror, only to slam you back down into the wallowing monotony of the sequel.
Okay, so some crappy things happen to Rachel, but nothing the average teenager doesn't have to deal with in his or her life. Certainly not enough to bring on the laughably overblown finale, which tries so hard, but fails so wildly, to match the fiery climax of the first Carrie.