Monday, June 21, 2010

[.REC] 2 (2009)

It's been over a year since my review of [REC], and I have to admit that I was completely stoked when I heard that the sequel premiered at last year’s Venice International Film Festival.

Let's face it. Hollywood has had quite the draught when it comes to good horror movies, and I have steadily come to rely on Europe and Asia for my daily requirement of monsters and evil.

I hoped that Balagueró and Plaza would come through with another winner and for the most part, they did. However I'd be lying if I told you that things were as fun this time around as they were in 2007

The action in [REC]2 picks up immediately after the first film. Balagueró and Plaza chose to keep the "camera is the window for the audience" gimmick from the first movie, but have implemented it a bit more cleverly this time around.

Instead of one camera vantage point, the audience sees everything from the tactical cameras mounted onto the helmets of a Grupo Especial de Operaciones task force sent in to accompany a Ministry of Health official investigating the macabre events concerning a mysterious outbreak of an unknown virus in the apartment complex in Barcelona.

In true Shaw Brothers fashion, Balagueró and Plaza spill the plotline fairly early so that the bleeding and dying portion of your feature film can begin in earnest. The task force quickly discovers that the "official" is actually a high ranking official working for the Vatican and that the "infected" are not infected.

They are the playthings of a demonic force.

As if this weren't bad enough, the father of the iconic little girl zombie from the first movie shows up and manages to sneak into the building with the help of three of the most annoying teenagers in all of moviedom.

Couple that with the most unlikely cameo you could ever think of (which sadly telegraphs the ending of the movie) and you have a pretty entertaining way to burn off about ninety minutes.

While I enjoyed the plot progression of this movie and honestly believe that it is one of the stronger horror sequels ever made, I have to admit that I was a little disappointed.

The confirmation that the force at work is indeed a demon sorta kills the novelty of the first film. I love the "bait and switch" concept of Night of the Living Dead vs. The Exorcist that [REC] introduced. It really does buck the trend of the umpteen zombie virus movies that horror vets have watched since the seventies, and it was a concept that really flew over the heads of the people that made Quarantine, the film that we Americans got instead of [REC].

Quarantine lost the chance to differentiate itself from Zack Snyder's Dead retreads or the 28 Days Later films when it abandoned the supernatural angle and it became just another zombie virus movie trying to do things that other zombie virus movies did much better.

The rubber stamping of the diabolical is somewhat offputting, but you have to believe that Balagueró and Plaza had to pull the trigger on this sooner or later. If they didn't, they'd run the risk of their vision blending into the background of a zombie horror film niche whose entries are as numerous as the legions of undead we see on the screen.

The fairly short runtime worked to the advantage of [REC] but it doesn't really do as much justice for the sequel. The ideas for the last few segments of the film in which we find out that a shadowy gateway to the netherworld is forming in the attic of the building are dumped right in your lap without a lot of explanation and the previous cameo I mentioned pretty much tells you in advance what is going to happen.

I think that perhaps another fifteen minutes of runtime would've made all the difference in the world and while I still appreciate Balagueró and Plaza's determination to do more with less, the closing moments of [REC]2 probably would've been even more memorable if there had been more money in the budget for a decent visual effects guy.

Overall, I like this movie quite a bit but if things continue to progress on their current course and the final[REC] film follows through with its threat spill out of its current set piece in a tidal wave of blood and nightmares, then it is going to need a slightly larger runtime and a much larger budget in order to conclude the series in a satisfying manner.



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Hi J.T,

On behalf of Magnolia Pictures and the movie’s producers, many thanks for plugging "[REC] 2" ... .. thanks also, on behalf of the distributors and producers, for not posting any pirate copies or non-trailer clips of “[REC] 2” and if you / your readers want good quality, non-pirated, previews, then the official trailer for “[REC] 2” is available for fans and bloggers to post/ host / share etc via the official site and IGN at and ... .. for further details of on-line promotions for this movie and Magnolia releases generally, check-out and their official YouTube channel at .

Thanks again for your plug.



jasmine said...

hey guys Horror Movies are also mine favorite. i always be in the search of some scary movie that can afraid me in the middle of night.