[REC] 2 (2010)

I was very much underwhelmed by the first [REC] movie, some of you may be aware it was effectively heralded as the second coming of horror cinema. Seeing it with that fact leaping around in my mind diminished my enjoyment somewhat, as what I actually saw was a fairly run-of-the-mill cinéma vérité take on the zombie genre. However, it did throw out some interesting ideas towards the end, and these ideas are the basis for the massive amount of enjoyment I gleaned from this sequel.

Initially, I was worried about how the directors would shoe-horn in the first person shot element into the film. This was handled fairly adeptly in the plot by sending in a SWAT team complete with helmet mounted cameras into the quarantined building of the first flick, just moments after the previous film had ended. Entering with them is a doctor assigned to the team by the Ministry of Health, who may not be all he seems. Infected people show up, as is customary, and battle with the team. Later, we are re-shown the first section of the film through the eyes of a different set of characters who sneak into the building with a camcorder. If anything, that apartment building is incapable of not having a camera in it. While it is a little bit extraneous to believe the initial event of the second section, if you operate the “suspension of disbelief” switch in your mind, you might just get through it. I know I did.

As a lot of other people have said, this is the Aliens to the original’s Alien, in more ways than one. Obviously, it echoes the plot of Cameron’s entry into the Alien canon, but also works as a more beefed up, action-packed counterpart. The ideas touched on in the previous entry are given centre stage here, and the film benefits from it greatly. Great action films about demonic possession are few and far between, this is the only one I can even think of at this point. It is interesting to consider a possession epidemic, and the religious implications of that. I’ll say no more, as we are dangerously close to spoiler city.

The films action scenes are short and frequent, which helps to build the tension right up. Due to the fact the SWAT team have cameras and guns, occasionally [REC] 2 can feel a little like you are watching someone else play a video game, which may alienate a few watchers. Alongside this, it also instils a computer game mentality where you have no idea what is coming, but you know it is only round the corner. Some of the writing is of a game level too, although that could just be in the translation, it definitely isn’t the first Resident Evil bad.

It is quite striking, with a specific grainy look carried over from the first entry. I, like many others, am getting a bit bored with this current cinéma vérité fad in horror flicks, but this one works. I am keen to see the directors out of their [REC] comfort zone with something new, but I’m almost certain that [REC] 3 will come first. If you enjoyed the original [REC] then this film should blow your mind, and even if you didn’t, this film may surprise you. It certainly surprised me.

Rating: ★★★★★★★½☆☆

One Comment on “[REC] 2”

  1. Scullion says:

    I totally agree – great review, and a great film.

    It scared the crap out me all over again. There were some truly fantastic moments – the “girl” in the bathroom, the firework incident, “shoot him in the head!” – memorable and cleverly constructed.

    The “video game” feel was a bit distracting at first, but once you bought into it the whole experience becomes immersive and utterly compelling.

    The concept did confuse me a little at first, especially when the first once focused on an infection that leapt from dogs to Humans… but the more I think about REC 2 the more I loved it.

    I saw it with someone who had never seen REC, and they thought it was brilliant. It’s rare a horror sequel can boast that.

    REC 2 is simply a quality horror film.

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