Quint at Fantastic Fest thinks REC 2 is a creepy, fun and just plain awesome rollercoaster ride of a sequel!
Published at: Sept. 30, 2009, 6:27 a.m. CST by quint
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with my thoughts on REC 2 or [rec] squared or however you type it.
I’m a big, big, big fan of the first REC. It gets the award for best use of the “recorded footage” off-shoot genre of horror. REC 2 is the rare sequel to not only live up to the first film, but expand the mythology in a satisfying way.
Picking up where the first film left off, REC 2 follows a swat squad into the building. The film quite literally takes place in the moments after the original ended. In fact, I think there’s an overlap if you lay the timelines side by side.
The SWAT guys are protecting a medical officer whose mission it is to gather data on the contamination, which gives us a good reason to have one of them holding a camera… Also, they ALIENS it up a bit, giving each SWAT member a camera on their helmets.
I’m not going to spoil any huge moments in the movie, but I am going to discuss the flick a bit more in-depth than I’m comfortable doing without a warning of spoilers beforehand. If you don’t know what Rec is, hopefully you didn’t see the tamer, crappier American remake QUARANTINE, so it can still kick your ass. Netflix it, rent it, buy it… watch it and you will understand my enthusiasm for it. And then know that the sequel doesn’t focus on building terror like the original, but it’s more of a rollercoaster ride. Just as awesome, just in a different way.
Now if you want to know a little more, feel free to read on.
Here’s some things you’ll see in this movie: the best undead ass-kicking priest since BRAINDEAD (or DEAD ALIVE for us Americans), the creepiest evil monster children since Reagan in THE EXORCIST and the best use of a bottle rocket I’ve ever seen in a movie.
Writer/directors Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza expand on the religious implications of their mythology, which I really enjoyed. By doing so, they take REC out of the realm of zombies and into a great horror subgenre that isn’t exploited as well as it should be: demonic possession. And there’s nothing better than demon kids, especially the way they handle them here. I won’t go into detail about them, but I can guarantee at least one, if not multiple, “fuck that” thoughts running through your head during this film. For example:
Yes, there are faults, as there are in most films. The movie hits a bit of a speedbump when we’re introduced to a second group that snuck into the building, teenagers that just happen to have a small video camera. Luckily the acting is good with this bunch and their inclusion in the story is paid off in spades.
The other thing that could give you pause is that a video camera always happens to show up when we need it to finish out the story this movie’s telling. It happens not just once, but twice. Convenient? Yes. But fuck it. The movie’s so entertaining I gave it a lot of rope.
I would have preferred Balaguero and Plaza try to figure out how to do the whole thing with the cameras mounted on the soldiers’ helmets as that makes so much more sense than one of them carrying a big, spiffy HD camera around on their shoulder during all the crazy shit. That would make it easier to swallow the premise, but the execution is what really matters and they made a flick so fun, creepy and energetic that if you can’t just go with it, let the story unfold, then you’re not ever going to get it. All the nitpicks I have are just that. None of them derail the film.
The easiest analogy is that Rec 2 is to Rec as Aliens is Alien. I’ve heard it put that way a good half-dozen times already at Fantastic Fest and I’m sure you’ll hear it a ton more before this film sees any kind of release stateside. It might be easy, but it’s also true and the very best movie geek example to instantly put you in the right mindset for this movie.
I had a blast with it and can’t recommend it enough if you get a chance to see it.
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