• [REC] 2

    Released By: Sony Pictures
    Released On: 07/12/2011
    Director: Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza
    Cast: Jonathan Mellor, Manuela Velasco

    The Film:

    To sequel or not to sequel? That is the question. However, since even a suck-filled sequel to a successful film will generally result in a paycheck for everyone involved, the answer is pretty obvious for the most part. In the case of the 2007 Spanish horror flick [REC], which was remade pretty much shot-for-shot for people what don’t likes to read subtitles, it was inevitable, and maybe even a good idea.

    [REC] 2 picks up just after the first film left off…just minutes after, as a matter of fact. An armed emergency response team are being sent into the quarantined building under orders from the Ministry of Health’s Dr. Owen on a mysterious, top-secret mission. Re-establishing the setting from the first film, the team slowly move through the blood-spattered hallways and make their way up the stairs to the penthouse, where they find themselves under attack by some very infected, very hard-to-kill individuals. Though he’s lacking any kind of firearm, Dr. Owen fights back against these screaming mutants by using a rosary and some religious incantations, with some very effective results. When the team finally reach the penthouse, adorned with newspaper clippings referencing the Vatican and demonic possession, and Dr. Owen is revealed to be a Catholic priest, the soldiers are understandably confused and want answers.

    Meanwhile, three teenagers have also made their way into the building through the sewer tunnels, convinced that they will get some great footage on their cameras for the television stations. Previously on the roof filming their experiments with an inflatable female companion and a number of fireworks (somebody call Duane Peters) until they were rudely removed by the police, Tito, Ori, and Mire encounter a firefighter and a father concerned for the welfare of his daughter in the basement. Unfortunately, the police aren’t so much concerned with the break and enter as they are with stopping people inside of the building from getting out, and the secret way in is welded shut. With the firefighter trying to find his buddies, the father trying to find his daughter, the teens trying to find their ticket to fame, a priest and a SWAT team trying to find their ticket out, and a whole host of bloodthirsty zombie-like creatures trying to find a meal, you know there’s going to be chaos.

    The filmmakers involved with [REC] 2 can be credited for not taking the easy way out in telling essentially the same story, though fans of the first film will enjoy the similarities left in place. The hand-held shaky cam view still acts as the primary story teller, though many more individual cameras make it more interesting; the same building is the primary setting, so they do create the same claustrophobic atmosphere in the hallways and the smaller, cluttered apartments; and of course, the infected themselves are still as loud and as violent as they were in Part 1. Where the two films differ substantially is in examining the paranormal factor that was only briefly touched on in the first film; Whereas the first film utilized the more realistic biohazard angle for the majority or the running time, that has essentially been scrapped to make way for some blatant Exorcist-action…and that’s going to be a little harder to stomach for some.

    Still, all of the primary factors that made the first film such a success are here, and that’s the drawing power. Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza, who are responsible for writing and directing both films, have once again taken the style that made The Blair Witch Project a unique viewing experience and slapped it around some with a good result. It’s not entirely original…but at least it’s not Book of Shadows.


    [REC] 2 comes to Sony DVD in a 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer with a Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track and legible English subtitles. Though the material being presented is supposed to be glitchy and substandard due to the first-person cam view, the transfer itself is solid with very few issues. The audio track takes full advantage of the surrounds and bass response, especially in the opening scenes with the response team. Dialogue is always clear (though unless you speak Spanish, you’ll be reading the subs), and the dynamic range is good.

    A few extras are also provided on the disc. First up is a preview reel, followed by four Deleted and Extended Scenes that run about seven minutes.

    Next up is a Walkthrough of the Set, which is approximately nine minutes long, and features on-set video and interviews with Paco Plaza and Art Director Gemma Fauria discussing how they made things different for [REC]2 while using the same set from the first film. This supplement is subtitled.

    Sitges Film Festival Press Conference is exactly that, an 11-minute clip of the 2009 Conference that included a [REC]2 panel with all of the major players. Also subtitled, the cast and crew discuss why they made the sequel, the paranormal aspect of the second film, and the numerous references to other horror films that they’ve included. The panel appear to be having a good time, and it’s both interesting and entertaining.

    [REC] 2 on Tour is almost nine minutes long, and features more film festival clips from Venice, Sitges, and a film premiere in France. Lots of clips of the red carpet, and a brief audience Q&A can be found.

    The Final Word:

    More of the same, with a little bit of different. [REC] 2 is essential viewing for horror fans, though the change in storyline may not appeal to some.

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      Steve gave this 3 paws. He gave the original 4. He gave the remake none.