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The Rage is a 2018 American Psychological Slasher Horror film written, produced and directed by Kimberley Peirce, a prequel to Peirce's 2013 adaption of Stephen King's 1974 classic horror novella 'Carrie'. Rage is an original extension of the plot retold in the following story of the 2013 film, with King serving as an executive producer, and Mike Flanagan who had previously adapted King's 1992 thriller novel Gerald's Game in 2017.

Julianne Moore, Chloe Grace Moretz, Gabrielle Wilde and Portia Doubleday reprise their respective roles from the 2013 film with an all new ensemble cast featured with Jacob Lofland, Kristen Wiig, David Dobrik, Angus Sampson, Sophie Turner, Noah Munck and Jonas Dassler.

It was released theatrically and in IMAX select theatres on November 13th, 2018 to commercial and critical success.

Plot

A child Ralph White uses telekinesis for the first time at age 6, as his mother Imelda accidentally crashes into a man's car. Enraged the driver exits his vehicle and aggressively confronts her, becoming violent. Ralph causes a passing wagon to blow it's wheels and run him down, shredding him to death.

In 1976 Ralph begins his senior year of high school with his best friends Mitch and Gabe, the three of them pranked with a dog feces fiery bag on their first day, by delinquent baseball player Drew Deckard.

Ralph's home life begins to implode as his father descends into drug abuse and becomes hostile at home, starting nightly domestic disturbance incidents with Imelda. The school groundskeeper Psalms intervenes on a gay bashing incident with Mitch as Ralph attempts to come to his defence. Psalms then reveals himself as a telekinetic like Ralph, and instructs him to channel his anger. Mitch reveals to Ralph after school that he is in fact gay and in a secret relationship with Drew's fellow team member and friend, Peter Hayes (the son of the school principal, who acts as a pastor at their local church).

Mitch's sister Julia begins to get dressed in front of them for Drew's house party that night, prompting Ralph, Mitch and Gabe to follow.

There local mechanic and drug dealer Casper attempts to sexually assault a drugged Julia, Gabe's staked out deputy brother intervening. No charges are brought and later that night, Casper arrives to provide Ralph's father Marcus with narcotics. As Imelda awakens to start an argument with him regarding it, a violent altercation occurs, and Ralph enraged telekinetically propels Marcus off the cellar stairs, twisting his head around.

The death is ruled an accident by Officer Bryor and Imelda reveals Marcus to not be his biological father, but that his father in fact had the same abilities.

Ralph flees to Mitch's where down at their usual quarry spot he demonstrates his power to he and Gabe. Ralph now unstable proceeds to the local mechanics and kills Casper via causing a violent motorcycle accident.

He attends Drew's girlfriend's Samara's birthday party, where a withdrawal struggling Drew cheats with Samara's best friend Amber. Mitch arrives to help Ralph and is smuggled into a bedroom upstairs by Peter, who promises to help and come clean about their relationship, the two proceed to have sex.

Samara catches Drew and Amber, rushing out to the garden where Ralph awaits, he breaks his trance and consoles her, before flaring with rage again as she tells him of Drew & Amber. He promises to handle it, leading her inside he flings Drew outside, horribly breaking his back and spine. Amber has her head cracked against the kitchen dummywaiter. Ralph momentarily snaps out of it as Samara begins screaming, ultimately as she calls him a monster he kills her by knocking her into the river outside, where she drowns.

A massacre then follows as a broken Ralph kills partygoers Maury, Jeff, Gena and Jenny with a collapsing staircase, electrical short-circuit and fire. Upstairs as he advances Peter, Mitch grapples with him and the two propel outside from an upstairs window. Mitch dies from his wounds and Peter attacks, killed as he is spiralled onto the back of his head on the patio.

A final confrontation initiates at the quarry with his real father Psalms, who applauds his violence and subsequently dies by a rockslide. Gabe and his mother Imelda arrive, asking him to turn himself in. Ralph flees and comes into path with local church girl Margaret, who is fleeing her father, the two leaving together.

The film ends as in 1997 after a drunken bar crawl, a construction working Ralph, now residing in Chamberlain, Ohio maritally rapes his now wife Margaret. The day after Ralph commits suicide using his power to decimate a building structure he is on.

A post-credits scene has an adult Gabe stop by a cemetery, where he puts flowers down at the graves of Ralph and Imelda White. A jump-scare initiates as he turns to face the horrific Crimson King, which then disappears as he turns to leave, Carrie approaches her father's grave with a single rose.

Cast

  • Jacob Lofland as Ralph White
  • Kristen Wiig as Imelda White
  • Michael Rapaport as Marcus White
  • David Dobrik as Mitch Porter
  • Chelsea Zhang as Yuri Ata
  • Lauren McCrostie as Margaret Brigham
  • Jonas Dassler as Drew Deckard
  • Ross Butler as Maury Ata
  • Sophie Turner as Samara Letterman
  • Angus Sampson as Groundskeeper Psalms
  • Kaitlyn Dever as Julia Porter
  • Noah Munck as Gabe Bryor
  • Charlie Rowe as Peter Hayes
  • Kelli Berglund as Amber Mewes
  • Ida Nielsen as Gena
  • Nadji Jeter as Jeff Combes
  • Blake Michael as Casper Neuterhauser
  • Sami Gayle as Jenny
  • Julianne Moore as Margaret White
  • Chloe Grace Moretz as Carrie White
  • Gabrielle Wilde as Sue Snell
  • Portia Doubleday as Chris Hargenson
  • Doug Jones as The Source/Crimson Ralph/Crimson Carrie
  • Scott Cooper as Donald Porter
  • Bellamy Young as Faiza Porter
  • Alysia Reiner as Mrs. Deckard
  • Debbie Gibson as Mrs. Letterman
  • Shemar Moore as Coach Combes
  • Michael Shanks as Principal Hayes
  • Dominic Purcell as Officer Bryor
  • Pip Torrens as Adult Ralph White
  • David Morse as Adult Gabe Bryor
  • Tate Ellington as Adult Mitch Porter/Miles The Gas Station Attendant
  • Boston Hoellin as Young Ralph White
  • Tom Beyer as Road Rage Victim
  • Kerry Bishé as Road Rage Victim's Wife

Soundtrack

  1. I Will Follow Him - Peggy March
  2. Candida - Dawn
  3. Instant Karma! (We All Shine On) - John Lennon feat. The Plastic Ono Band
  4. Cracklin Rosie - Neil Diamond
  5. The Love You Save - Jackson 5
  6. Hitchin' A Ride - Vanity Fare
  7. Let It Be - The Beatles
  8. Get Ready - Rare Earth
  9. Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel
  10. Call It What You Want - Foster The People (End Credits Song 1)
  11. Ways To Go - Grouplove (End Credits Song 2)
  12. Here It Goes Again - OK Go (End Credits Song 3)

Trivia

  • Conceived by Peirce after the critical failure of 2013 Carrie film adaption, inspired by the cinematic approaches and modified work of filmmakers Karyn Kusama & Mike Flanagan, the prequel was secured in collaboration with Stephen King, to make the right prequel, that would help establish the telekinetic roots of Carrie White, and clarify in the infamous Ewan High School massacre.
  • Throughout a horrifying, blood covered demonic entity titled the Crimson King appears, a character appearing as a prominent protagonist in King's popular Dark Tower book series, which helps interconnect and explain the origin of many of his monsters, characters and settings. The Crimson King was suggested and in collaboration, Peirce inspired by Stanley Kubrick's approach to King's book The Shining's film adaption, introduced The Crimson King, as an ambiguous hallucination, that is left unexplained for it's appearences. Though it solely appears to Ralph White after his overcharged use of his telekinesis.
  • Ralph White has a sequence of three dreams and daydreams that demonstrate that he possesses progressing psychic abilities in general, other than telekinesis: the first dream he has contains fragments of the murder of his stepfather, the second the party massacre and third & final has him while in the car with runaway bride Margaret: see Ewan High School on Prom Night 2013. He sees his future daughter Carrie, hidden bully Chris Hargensen and is interrupted by the intruding thought of deceased best friend Mitch Porter. He also in early exchanges with classmate Margaret: sees her future self from 2013 (portrayed by Julianne Moore).
  • The film explains Ralph White and his later unintentional killer daughter Carrie White's telekinesis as not witchcraft, or even supernatural in nature, but rather a mutation in a minority of individuals, able to tap into the unused recesses of the human brain.
  • Peirce wishing to have a whole new character approach, initially wrote a draft for Ralph White and the age demographic of the characters to be elementary to middle school characters. The idea was scrapped as Andy Muschietti's incredibly successful 2017 It adaption had already released. It was suggested in correspondence with author King to instead show Ralph at the 16 age set, like his later iconic telekinetic daughter Carrie.
  • Ralph White's construction accident demise, was mentioned in King's 1974 Carrie novel, but here the end death displays it not as an accident, but an orchestrated suicide by Ralph after grappling with the guilt of his marital rape of wife Margaret, and her reveal that morning of him sobering of her pregnancy, wishing also to spare being a destructive father to her.
  • Kristen Wiig was considered for the role alongside Jessica Lange, Mare Winningham, Kate Hudson, Catherine Keener and Kathryn Hahn. Wiig ultimately secured the role as fellow SNL comedian and frequent fellow film star Bill Hader, who had been cast as the adult Richie Tozier in It Chapter Two (2019) convinced her it may be a great opportunity. Wiig like fellow comedian actress and writer Aubrey Plaza saw great appeal in the role of a loving mother.
  • Minus the opening song I Will Follow Him by Peggy March, the rest of the soundtrack, featured in the central plot timeline of 1976 are songs released within that year.
  • Peirce's favourite scene in the film (and favourite scene to write) was the Mitch & Imelda dance to Cracklin Susie', as it combines the joy element of Mitch & Ralph's friendship, Ralph's relationship with his mother and the tense intrusion of stepfather Marcus.
  • Peirce attributes Ralph's future walkthrough of the Ewan High School gymnasium during Prom, encountering his future daughter and then seeing the manifestation of Mitch and begging for forgiveness, as the saddest scene in the film. In the film's positive reception it was considered a remedy of the unrelenting source material of her acclaimed previous work 'Boys Don't Cry (1999)', an Academy Award winning feature.
  • David Morse had previously starred in a Stephen King film adaption: The Green Mile (1999), the year that Peirce's first feature film Boys Don't Cry was released.
  • Ralph White's murders and coming of age takes place in the same year of the original Carrie novel's release: 1976.
  • Kelli Berglund was initially cast in the role of Samara Letterman, but was switched for the later written character of Amber Mewes, as Sophie Turner auditioned and was given the role.
  • David Dobrik referred to films such as Luca Guadagnino's 2017 Call Me By Your Name, Stephen Chbosky's 2012 adaption of his book 'The Perks Of Being A Wallflower', Gus Van Sant's 1989 Drugstore Cowboy and Christopher Larkin's 1974 A Very Natural Thing to have reference for the sexuality of his character Mitch Porter.
  • An original draft featured both Mitch and Gabe die by Ralph's telekinetic rage killing spree, one having Gabe die and Mitch survive for the quarry final confrontation with mother Imelda, and one having Mitch die at the party and secret boyfriend Peter live. The second last draft made before the final copy of the screenplay had an alteration where Samara actually was left unharmed as the now unstable Ralph murdered her cheating boyfriend Drew and her friend Amber. This was modified as Samara's character did not serve enough drive in the quarry final confrontation in 1976.
  • Tate Ellington portrays the dual roles of Adult Mitch Porter and the Gas Station attendant Miles, that Margaret and Ralph encounter when they flee Mortimer, Oregon. The Adult Mitch Porter manifestation that interrupts Ralph's premonition of the Ewan High School prom massacre in 2013, by his unborn daughter Carrie is his overpowering guilt for Mitch's death. The adult form of Mitch is something never to come to pass so his visage bears the appearence of the gas station attendant, a way to give, what he took from his deceased best friend.
  • Body-Count: 13
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