Sunday, October 19, 2014

Film Review: [Rec] 2 (2009)

[Rec] 2 (Review)
Spain/2009
Format Viewed For Review: Blu-ray (eOne Films)
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No
A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!*

"...a fantastic action-horror movie."

Immediately after the events of the first film, a Special Operations team with helmet-mounted cameras enter the quarantined apartment with a doctor from the Ministry of Health...

So, obviously you should watch the first film before watching – this is not a standalone sequel. The story follows a very distinguishable 3-act plot. It begins with the team and the doctor entering the building to investigate and complete their mission – which is to extract a vial of blood from the source of the infection. The second act follows a the father of a tenant, a firefighter, and a group of teenagers who sneak into the building – each with their own intentions. Finally, the ending pieces together the mystery with some interesting revelations and characters. I like the final act and the ending of the film – it's definitely different, but I like the originality.

In fact, the entire film is original. I love the blend of possession and zombie, and the found-footage perspective works very well with the setting. In this case, the ending goes beyond the possession and zombie genres, and treads into some experimental territory – and I like it. I also like how this sequel implements a new set of characters. Okay, there is one flaw in these characters – or, more like three. The only thing I didn't like about this film are the annoying teenagers – I mean, they're not only blatantly arrogant, but I think they're borderlines stupid.

It should be noted, though, Rec 2 is different than the original in more ways than simply the characters and some of the new ideas it implements. Rec 2 is more of an action-horror movie rather than a traditional horror film. Where I found Rec to be terrifying, I find Rec 2 to be more thrilling. Rec 2 still offers great suspense, gory visuals, and some jolting jump-scares, but it moves at a more ferocious pace and has much more action than the first. A lot of shooting, a lot of wrestling, and a lot of running. It's exciting and thrilling, and it has a scary atmosphere – so, I still count it as a horror film. But, it's different from the first. I don't find it detrimental – in fact, I think both films compliment each other well – but it is worth noting for those expecting more of the same.

The acting, although better than most horror films nowadays, is a bit more overdone this time around. The sense of panic and terror that was so masterful in the original feels louder and more unnatural this time around – especially from the teenage cast. The film looks great, though. I love the setting of this film; the claustrophobic hallways return in full force, but I enjoyed how we revisit this setting – it's a very memorable set. The shaky camera returns, and it's still better than most shaky cams we see in found-footage films nowadays. I also like the first-person perspective we see from the helmet-mounted cameras. Directing pair Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza return with a vicious action-horror movie; it's definitely less frightening than the first, but more exciting and thrilling – pick your poison.

Overall, Rec 2 is a fantastic action-horror movie. Although it's not the better film, it masterfully compliments the original film. If you love exciting and thrilling horror movies like Aliens, I think you'll love this film – well, if you can tolerate found-footage and have seen the first, of course. As a matter of fact, now that I think of it, Rec 2 is sort of the horror equivalent of The Raid. Anyway, this film sits between an 8 and 9 for me, I'll give it the benefit of a 9, though. (again)

Score: 9/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore.

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