Oh baby, I have been waiting for this. [REC] 2 pretty much went straight from the mailbox to my DVD player and then into my horror-loving brain through my greedy eyes. [REC] is an insanely awesome Spanish horror film that I loved from the word "go" and I've been shaking in my pants ever since news of a sequel came out. Well, now I've finally seen it and gladly, [REC] 2 does not disappoint.
Taking off right from where the first film left us, [REC] 2 follows a small group of SWAT team-like leaders and a doctor from the Ministry of Health as they enter the quarantined apartment building after losing communication with those inside. Their orders are to record everything that happens and hopefully they can finally put a stop to the deadly infection that has taken over the building and the people in it.
The first doubt I had about this movie was how the filmmakers were going to justify using the real-time camera-vision thing from the first film. It made sense for that one because Angela and Pablo were already filming for a television show when they happen upon the apartment building. The SWAT guys going into the building and having to record everything for the health officials is a sort-of good excuse, but still a little iffy. Then the whole story gets turned on its head when we find out that the Ministry of Health guy leading the team is really NOT a Ministry of Health guy but a priest and what's been happening in the building is part of a religious experiment.
I truly thought that this little turn was quite ingenious. The idea of demonic possession as being a biological problem is a bit of a stretch, but it worked on me here. It's a different way to look at the monsters than if they were just zombies, or as the American version of [REC], Quarantine, interprets it, as people infected with rabies. There are a couple of good twists toward the end of the movie and while I usually enjoy spoiling the endings of movies, I feel like I should keep these to myself and just let you discover them on your own.
Big downside to the movie was repetitiveness of the action sequences. Same thing, over and over - crazy yelling and red bloody eyes coming at our characters, teeth ready to chomp. The thing that got annoying in this movie was that different people are attacked several times and they are always able to throw them off - even if they remain at teeth distance for a long time - and walk away unscratched or unbitten, and therefore uninfected. With all the crazy kamikaze attacks by the possessed in this movie, a lot more people should have been turned or at least severely injured.
That aside, I was ecstatic to find a sequel that was just as good as, if not better than, the original. The acting was believable and real - loved the guy playing the priest. Very creepy face right there. The documentary style filmmaking was never distracting or too shaky or anything like that. As in [REC], scenes were often framed up very well to both look like a real film and like an amateur was shooting it. You could see all the important action, although at times the lighting was quite dark. But then again that sort of added to the scare factor.
[REC] 2 truly expands on the original film, answers questions from the original film, and brings in tons of new elements to make this movie almost a totally different experience.