SHE'S BAAAACK. JUST IN TIME TO SURF THE NEW wave of leaner, meaner teen flicks comes a sequel to the archetypal teen flick/revenge pic of the '70s: Carrie. It's not Carrie herself back from the grave. No, it's the "forgotten sister" twist. In The Rage: Carrie 2, Rachel is revealed to be Carrie's half-sister, sharing the same father, a man who evidently had a taste for psychotic Christian ladies.

It's easy to understand Carrie's appeal. Every intelligent person felt like an outcast in high school to some degree. Who wouldn't want to get back at the stupid, smarmy, rich kids who thought "ruling the school" was the ultimate in cool? But Carrie 2 starts out as a pale copy. Rachel isn't an outcast; she's just an artsy, vaguely goth type who, undoubtedly, knows what a menstrual period is. She's even cute enough to interest Jesse, a kinder, gentler jock (he indulges in the same games as his buds, keeping a tally of "points" earned for screwing chicks, but he's sensitive enough to feel guilty about it).

When another not-so-sensitive jock messes with one of Rachel's friends, locker doors start slamming on their own, snow globes start exploding, and you know you're on the way to a big, bloody, telekinetic showdown. It's violence, not sex, that's the underlying theme of Carrie 2. If the violence isn't as potent, it's because these days real high schoolers don't need supernatural powers: they simply steal daddy's rifle and blow away a few classmates before first period.

Then again, lurid, fantasy violence is the raison d'être of both Carrie films. The lead character, her friends, and even her cute doggie are subjected to hideous cruelty because the cathartic payoff provides "balance." That's exploitation. But hey! That's also why it's good, gory, trashy fun.

Support The Stranger