The Rage Part II is a 2023 British zombie horror, written and directed by Joshua Cleave. After studying film and television production at Leeds Metropolitan University, Joshua went on to write and direct several award-winning short films including The Lolly Ranger (2014), Time (2015), as well as the multi-award-winning horror film and prequel The Rage (2017).

A bioscientist and a diminutive team of soldiers have been sent to investigate the bio lab where a deadly virus was accidentally released. Unbeknownst to them are the horrors that await as they uncover the truth behind the terrifying RAGE virus.

Beginning immediately after the conclusion of Joshua’s first project, The Rage Part II provides an unbroken continuation of this zombie apocalypse as it spreads throughout Liverpool. Fortunately, viewing the first film isn’t required to fully comprehend the story, as a brief summary of the main plot points is concisely relayed to the audience within the first minute.

Continuing to film mostly on location at Liverpool science park (a real bio lab), the film uses its scientific surroundings in a vastly superior display compared to similarly budgeted films. Typically, represented by a dressed-up classroom or office, this real-life locale’s inclusion of technical apparatus and authentic details unequivocally intensifies the credibility of the production.

Shot entirely on a single GoPro action camera, the short—similar to its predecessor—features a continuous first-person perspective similar to Ilya Naishuller’s Hardcore Henry (2015) and Franck Khalfoun’s 2012 remake of Maniac. However, The Rage Part II’s story hardly breaks the mold, consisting of a relatively simple concept of collecting data that is vital for creating a cure, akin to a plot in a video game. Consequently, with the film’s first-person perspective, viewing the film through a VR headset could create a unique viewing experience (motion sickness permitting).

Whilst the prequel certainly wore its budget on its sleeve, The Rage Part II is a monumental increase in overall production quality. While The Rage was created with a non-existent budget of only £100, the sequel received over 200% more in funds due to a successful crowdfunding campaign, receiving around £2000 from backers. The additional influx of cash undoubtedly assists in broadening the scale of the production, providing an increase in the competent level of visual effects, an expanded roster of actors, along with an extensive story and shoot locations to boot.

An enjoyably entertaining caper of zombie action, The Rage Part II is an incredibly auspicious resumption of Joshua’s series, as well as a genre that has taken a backseat from found footage cinema in recent years. Although its budget is undeniably visible in certain scenes, the film still contains great performances, a skillfully-written story, and striking special effects that are sure to strike the eye of any undead enthusiast. As the story is left open-ended, it would be interesting to see where the up-and-coming creator will take this tale of animated corpses running riot.


We watched The Rage Part II (2023) as part of Unnamed Footage Festival 666.

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