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A teen outcast named Rachel Lang sees her best friend Lisa kill herself after a Jerk Jock has sex with her in order to score points in a "game" he's playing with the rest of the team (based on a real event, unfortunately). Rachel seeks revenge against the football players that caused her friend's suicide, and along the way, learns that she possesses psychic powers. She develops a crush on Jesse, one of the smarter football players, and the two enter a relationship, much to the ire of Jesse's teammates, who start plotting against Rachel. Meanwhile, the school's guidance counselor, Sue Snell (a survivor from the original film), finds out about Rachel's powers, and steps in to help her, fearing a repeat of what had happened before. The entire situation comes to a head at the after-party for a football game, where a tape is played of Rachel and Jesse having sex. It does not end well.
This film was part of the post-Scream wave of hip, post-modern teen horror films, and was originally planned as a standalone film titled The Curse. Some fans of the original film regard it as a stain on its legacy, although others feel that it's So Bad It's Good, and still others feel that it's a worthy film in its own right. You make up your own mind.
This film has examples of the following tropes:
- Abusive Parents: While not as bad as Margaret White, Rachel's foster parents are very neglectful, and the father has no problem hitting her. In an early scene, it's strongly implied that the only reason they raise her is to get $300 per month from the foster care system.
- Alpha Bitch: Most of the female characters, save Rachel and Lisa -- and the latter's death opens the film.
- Blond Guys Are Evil: Eric, who is the reason Lisa commits suicide.
- Dawson Casting: 23-year-old Emily Bergl, 26-year-old Jason London, and 22-year-old Rachel Blanchard all playing teenagers. Mena Suvari, however, was 19 when the film was shot, not far from her character's age.
- Dolled-Up Installment: The film was originally written as The Curse, a movie that had no connection to Carrie in any form. It was retitled and rewritten presumably because somebody pointed out the obvious similarities and decided that calling it a sequel would not only allow it to cash in on the success of the original, but would help it avoid accusations of Plagiarism.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Sue gets killed the moment she arrives at the party.
- Eye Scream: Rachel uses her powers to smash Monica's glasses and shove the broken glass into her eyes.
- Falling Chandelier of Doom
- Follow the Leader: The film followed in the wake of Scream and other teen horror films.
- Foot Focus: Rachel has several barefoot scenes, and they're usually accompanied by close ups of her feet.
- The Fundamentalist: Rachel's original mother, who loses custody of her daughter and gets sent to an insane asylum in the first five minutes. This may be a Deconstruction of Margaret White from the original, as social services would never let a woman as violently insane as her raise a child by herself.
- Groin Attack: Seconds after the Eye Scream moment described above, a blinded Monica fires her spear gun into a guy's crotch, ripping his balls off.
- High School
- Jerk Jock: With the exception of Jesse, the entire football team is a straight example, rating girls according to how hot they are and scoring points with each other for having sex with them.
- Kill It with Fire: Rachel dies after getting trapped in the burning mansion.
- Long Lost Sibling: Rachel turns out to be Carrie's half-sister, the two of them having both been fathered by Ralph White.
- Marked Change: After Rachel goes berserk, her tattoo of a thorny rose starts spreading itself all over her body, causing her to look as though she is covered in vines.
- Meganekko: Monica is a subversion -- while she's got the "good-looking in glasses" part down pat, she doesn't seem to care about the "pleasant" part.
- Pass the Popcorn: A group of stoners sits outside the party in their truck, watching as Rachel burns the place down. One of them comments, "Dude, we're missing one killer party."
- Person of Mass Destruction: Rachel.
- Psychic Powers
- Ripped from the Headlines: Sadly enough, the Jerk Jock villains were Truth in Television -- they were based on the Spur Posse, a group of athletes at a California high school who used a point system to keep track of their sexual conquests, and wound up being let off on charges of statutory rape.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge
- Shout-Out: Rachel's friend Artie is a shout out to Stephen King's Christine.
- Social Services Does Not Exist: Averted. Not only do they put Rachel in foster care the moment they find out how her mother is abusing her, they send her mother to a mental hospital as well.
- Sorry, I'm Gay:
Eric: How about I swing by when you get off work, I'll take you out for a little cruise? Come on, I don't bite. Unless you want me to.
Rachel: I don't think so.
Eric: Why not?
Rachel: 'Cause I'm a dyke.
- Theme Naming: There are characters named Rachel, Monica and Bing.
- There Are No Therapists: Subverted. The therapist is one of the main characters, and a survivor from Carrie's rampage in the original. She doesn't survive the sequel, though.
- Wild Teen Party: The climax, replacing the prom from the original.
- Zen Survivor: Sue, who is now a school psychiatrist. When she learns about Rachel's powers, she immediately steps in to try to help her, hoping to prevent her from going nuclear like Carrie did. She fails, and gets killed for her effort.