If Prince of Darkness married The Exorcist and they conceived a bouncing bundle of terror while watching Bava's Demons, its name would be [REC] 2.
Zombos Says: Very Good
[Rec] 2 picks up immediately where [REC] left us, only this time we are with a 4-man SWAT team waiting to escort another Ministry of Health official, Dr. Owen (Jonathan Mellor), into the locked-down building. Only he knows more than they do.
With one skittish hand-held camera and three helmet minicams worn by the heavily armed police, directors Balaguero and Plaza criss-cross the action across apartments and up and down the stairwell with reckless abandon, informing us and terrifying us with what we fully see, partially see, and don't see.
Under Dr. Owen's insistence they head to the attic, stepping over pools of blood as they climb the staircase, guns poised. When they reach the attic, he tells them to record everything, including the newspaper clippings taped to the walls. A frightened voice played from a reel to reel tape recorder hints at an experiment gone out of control. Distant screams prompt an argument when the police want to investigate and Dr. Owen tells them not to. Over the doctor's protests and warnings, Martos heads down the staircase and enters one of the apartments. We see what he sees as his helmet minicam switches on. What he sees in the dim light rushes towards him with ill-intent, leaving his helmet on the floor and him fighting for his life. They rush to his aid but it's too late--"He was fine a couple of minutes ago. What kind of a virus does that?"--He's now infected and attacks them. Dr. Owen stops the attack in an unexpected way and they lock Martos in another room.
How the doctor did it leads to an explanation for what is going on, who lived in the attic apartment, and why they must return there to find a potential cure. The police officers are incredulous and fraying at the seems by the minute. The infected tenants want to pry those seems apart even more. Patient Zero, hinted at in the last minutes of [REC], is also in the attic. Only they need to figure out how to find her...And she's not alone...And the old reliable gimmick of using an air duct big enough for an elephant to fit through is used for a scare. At least it's grimy like it should be and the scare is worth it.
[REC] 2 is an old school horror show dressed up with enough exuberantly creative point of view camerawork to keep you dizzy and jumpy at the same time. Unlike its Americanized version, Quarantine, which resorts to a more "plausible" terrorist-weapon plot line to explain the source of contagion, [REC] 2 unabashedly returns to the roots of cinematic horror to overwhelm the apartment building's tenants with a supernatural malevolence that will not be stopped. By kicking old school for their modus operandi, while playing with our perspective to the point of disorientation, [REC] 2 maintains a freshness and exhilaration that many American horror movie sequels fail to do.
Better keep the popcorn and soda safely cradled while you watch this movie and your seatbelt fastened at all times. It's a bumpy-in-the-night ride, the ending of which leaves [REC] 3 a strong possibility. And if that happens I'm definitely taking Dramamine before I see it.
I can't wait for [Rec] 3. The film went beyond my expectations of the first. I should have Jaume's Fragile delivered to my house any day now from Netflix.
Posted by: ChilledTeeth | September 29, 2010 at 01:17 PM
[Rec]2 was made to give the horror folk the unrelenting bumps. It succeeded.
But how about that ending?
Posted by: Thrill Fiction | June 22, 2010 at 05:56 PM
[REC] 2 was superior in scare factor compared to [REC]. Rather than wondering how Jaume Balagueró can top himself in the third film, I think I’m going to see his film Fragile that’s opening with Fangoria FrightFest.
Definitely looks like another great Balagueró film
Posted by: tangerse12 | June 16, 2010 at 03:22 PM
Posted by: Cortez the Killer | June 12, 2010 at 01:28 AM
I'm a sucker for supernatural-themed horror, and this movie takes zombies and gives a fresh/old approach when everyone's moving more toward bio-weapon, military experiment gone wrong angles. You've got to love the intensity brought to this movie with the subject matter it works on.
Posted by: Zoc | June 11, 2010 at 05:02 PM
God how I loved this movie. Truly genre convention challenging and the plot turn was, for the most part, surprising and unexpected. I loved the whole concept. Incredible film.
Posted by: Cortez the Killer | June 11, 2010 at 04:51 PM