The Rage: Carrie 2 Blu-ray Review
Looks, plays and feels like a made for TV movie
The Rage: Carrie 2 Film Review
We're missing a real killer partyTwenty three years after Carrie White wreaked havoc on her small town, when a cruel prank unleashed her telekinetic powers to devastating effect, her half-sister (groan) with similar powers, seems to be following in the same direction, so school counsellor, Sue Snell, survivor of Carrie’s rampage, tries to avert disaster, once again.
I was actually quite surprised by this little horror which will never get out of the shadow of the mighty original; not only was that based on a Stephen King novel, but had a class director, Brian De Palma, in the chair. However, this troubled production, that saw the director changed with little to no chance for prep, has managed to produce an easy on the eye follow up, even if it is somewhat hackneyed. There is simply no hiding the fact that the script was originally a standalone feature (girls, many underaged, being used by the football players and their ‘scores’ being kept in a book that had a telekinetic heroine that stood up to them) but when its similarities to the 1976 classic were drawn, a hasty sequel was shoehorned together. It’s so obvious as to be laughable.
However, the film, thanks to cinematographer Donald Morgan, looks quite amazing; he bathes the frame in light (check out the lighting in the car while it is raining, or the primaries used to denote shock, or the stark black and white photography when Rachael’s powers dominate) that really give the film a style all of its own. And I like that it is not trying to emulate the original in any way, but be seen as separate and distinct. I also like the fact that the cast looks like they are of the right age to be at school, something the original was laughably bad on. And then remove the psychic ability aspect, you still have quite a nasty little feature.
Ultimately though, the film does suffer; its biggest flaw is that it looks, plays and feels like a made for TV movie, or a direct to DVD feature, simply because all the 'Carrie' aspects are so forced in, and no matter how glossy everything else tries to be, that is just one hurdle it cannot overcome.
The Rage: Carrie 2 Blu-ray Picture QualityThe disc presents a theatrically correct widescreen 1.85:1 1080p image, using the AVC codec and is Region locked to B.
A surprisingly detailed image, this, with plenty on show from skin texture (wrinkles in the supposedly high school aged students!) to clothing weaves, from classroom paraphernalia to bedroom clutter, there are keen edges throughout.
Colouring is well held too, the palette is, at times, very rich, the bold reds and greens giving an immediacy to the picture: check out the climactic fire, or the grass of the football pitch. Flesh tones are natural enough, if a tad pink at times.
Brightness and contrast are set to give a decent sense of black, there is good depth of frame and a reasonable amount of shadow detail. The black and white sections show a terrific grey scale as well.
Digitally, there are no compression issues but the source does suffer from a few nicks and scratches in the form of black and white specks; nowhere near as bad as some I’ve seen, but nevertheless noticeable – the grain structure is good though, giving a nice filmic sheen.
The Rage: Carrie 2 Blu-ray Sound QualityTwo tracks to choose from: DTS-HD MA 2.0 and DTS-HD MA 5.1, I went with the surround.
There is a reasonably wide separation to the track that opens up the surround field; the football match, the music at the party, the student commotion in corridors all benefit from this. Effects are more of the left-right, rather than the front-back, variety and sometimes are effective – the truck pulling away in the field for example. Dialogue is natural sounding, given some directionality when required, but is dominated by the frontal array. Bass is seldom plumbing the depths, but manages to keep the score buoyant and fills out effects nicely – the climax makes the best use. The score itself makes full use of the speakers, with the various rock tracks coming through thick and fast.
The Rage: Carrie 2 Blu-ray ExtrasAudio Commentary – With Katt Shea and Donald Morgan, moderated by David DeCoteau. Reasonably jovial chat about the film making process with plenty of background information, sometimes quite candid.
Audio Commentary – This time Katt Shea flies solo, covers similar ground but is more personal.
Alternate Ending – Wisely removed.
Deleted Scenes – 3 in total.
The Rage: Carrie 2 Blu-ray VerdictA surprisingly well put together film, that looks fabulous, even if ultimately it plays out like exactly what it is; a standalone film that shoehorns in Carrie due to the similarities in the script and, therefore, ends up looking and feeling like a TV or straight to DVD release. Very ‘teen centric’ there is little in the build-up and whilst the climax is reasonably bloody, it lacks the conviction of the original or, indeed, any horror film in general.
The Blu-ray set from 88 Films is pretty good; the picture is bright, detailed well coloured with good blacks, only let down by some occasional print damage. The surround track is well separated and equally as detailed but slightly bass light and has more of a stereo aspect than full on surround, even if there are the occasional, well realised effects. Extras are a tad light, but both commentaries have something to say.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £14.99
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