[Rec] 2

Reviewed by: Ryan Rotten
8 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Jonathan Mellor as Dr. Owen
Manuela Velasco as �ngela Vidal
Pablo Rosso as Rosso
Ferran Terraza as Manu
Javier Botet as Ni�a Medeiros
Claudia Font as Jennifer
Nico Baixas as Ni�a Medeiros
Ariel Casas as Larra
David Vert as �lex

Directed by Jaume Balaguer� & Paco Plaza


That saying about how difficult it is to catch lightning in a bottle twice? It doesn't apply to directors Jaume Balaguer� and Paco Plaza one stinkin' bit. The Spanish duo are back to electrify you with Rec 2, the sequel to their 2007 hit Rec. Probing the zombie subgenre once again to mine new frights, this sequel is an inspired one that just falls short of rivaling Rec yet further explores the religious thematic threads that film set up for harrowing impact. So, you can expect a dash of Lamberto Bava's Demons and a sprinkle of The Exorcist which takes our perception of the undead in bold new directions.

With Manu Diaz completing the writing triumvirate (Balaguer� and Plaza co-wrote) this time, taking over for Rec's Luis Berdejo, Rec 2 takes its cue from some '80s sequels and opens with the final, fierce moments of Rec showing the demise of reporter Angela Vidal in night creep-o-vision. The narrative then picks up minutes later introducing us to a new camera man, Rosso, a member of a SWAT team whose orders are to enter the quarantined tenement - where an infection has broken out causing its inhabitants to act aggressively. The heavily-armed bunch is to guide a Dr. Owen into the madness until his mission is complete.

Balaguer� and Plaza approach the SWAT team's scenario with the gravity and there's a palpable calm before the storm vibe as they approach their location - a scene teeming with confused officials, manic neighbors, curious press and those who have loved ones inside the building. Once inside Rec 2 plays much like how many wished the Doom feature film had been. You're essentially front row and center watching a first person shooter play out as SWAT members creep along oppressively dark hallways, the point of view bouncing from Rosso's camera to various helmet cams. The rampant, go-for-the-throat pacing - an adrenaline shot to your senses - that commences as the infected residents come out to play and are mowed down by gunfire is broken up by pivotal moments in Dr. Owen's quest to find a blood sample of the one who started it all: Ni�a Medeiros.

You see, Owen clearly knows more than he lets on, and he's not just a doctor. And those running around like zombies hopped up on acid? They're actually possessed. The revelation isn't all too surprising given the clues provided in Rec, however, you love Balaguer�, Plaza and Diaz all the more for following through with this fusion of zombie lore, religion and science. Jonathan Mellor has a terrific face for Owen; one that's literally scarred, somber and steely-eyed. This is a man who has met evil before and in this building evil is closing in on him from all sides. As the tension and frustration in his journey mounts with attacks from raging, bloody children and old women, Balaguer� and Plaza literally pull the rug out from under you during a moment of heightened energy.

And Rec 2 restarts itself with a new story thread.

A teen angle is the last thing anyone wants to see in a mature, hardened narrative like the one the Rec films present, but the directors call upon it halfway through the film for arguable results. The break, which finds three kids with a camera sneaking into the building (following a fireman and husband looking for his wife), offers the viewer some time to catch their breath, yet their dynamic (a sister, her brother and a friend) grows tiresome. Thankfully, the script makes swift work of this trio's adventure and their story is fused with the SWAT team/Owen arc. There is a certain ruthless nature to which the tater tot teens are treated as if Balaguer� and Plaza know their audience will want to see them taken out horribly. And, oh boy, do we.

Rec 2 juggles a fresh approach while placating those who are looking for the same unyielding attitude of the first film. It'll certainly jolt those Xbox controller-hugging Left 4 Dead/Dead Rising junkies whose knees get weak and jeans get moist at the sight of a zombie's head popping at the end of an assault rifle's red hot barrel. There are some great surprises, and while the story threatens to buckle at the weight of the film's ideas (paving the way for a part three), Rec 2 stands strong as solid sequel. It's an ideal companion to Rec much like 28 Weeks Later complimented 28 Days Later.

| 13 comments | Add a comment


Posted by: [A] on November 22, 2009 at 04:02:13

There were a few good ideas, fresh, like you said, but overall the movie is just not as good as the first one. Which is a shame..

Posted by: Avigrus on November 22, 2009 at 15:21:29

Sounds great. Been looking forward to this and the Descent 2.

Posted by: Eo on November 23, 2009 at 02:49:13

Finally...after 3 weeks of weak news articles and questionable reviews(seriously ryan...allowing a twilight review....AND posting news about it?) an article/review that made me happy to click on review man..

Posted by: Rodrigo on November 24, 2009 at 07:57:20

Rec shows the talented directors in the rest of the wordl and how a decent movie can be achieved without investing millions, but earning a lot more, Spanish directors are great, REC is a perfect example of it, hopefully this second one lives up to the expectation.

Posted by: Vicente on December 2, 2009 at 06:18:48

Spanish horror pioneer Paul Naschy passed away yesterday at the age of 75.

Posted by: Myerschild on December 11, 2009 at 10:05:39

Only thing Rec showed me was never to watch spanish horror films with subtitles, I dont really wanna be rude as the concept and the execution of this movie is excellent, but naturally if you have a bunch of spanish people in a high tension situation they are bound to talk quickly, I just found this made the movie hard to follow and I found myself either missing dialogue or the events on screen.That said I did watch the movie again to make sure I didnt miss a beat.

Taking all this into acount I will wait and purchase Rec 2 on DVD and prob have to watch it twice. And incase your wondering I have not and will not watch Quarentine

Posted by: °­ÇÏ´Ã on December 27, 2009 at 23:57:42


Posted by: sidney on January 17, 2010 at 16:23:54


Posted by: jersey shore must die on January 24, 2010 at 22:10:53

I can't wait to see this! Great review by the way.

Posted by: Andyof thedead on January 28, 2010 at 13:27:48

Cannot wait for this movie rec is so much better than quarantine, stupid americans who cant read are the only reason it was made!!

Posted by: Terry on February 11, 2010 at 02:48:09

I loved Rec 2 and I agree that Quarantine was not as good . I mean the ideal of some rapid-cell advanced Rabies is the cause of it all as oppossed to a demonic virus derived from a possessed girl doesn't fly with me . I don't think that Hollywood did'nt expect a sequel from "Rec" but , I think that making a Quarantine 2 would be difficult to make or change thr " Rabies " outbreak into a demonic virus (Croatoan) . Just watch Rec 2 I recommend folks to brush up on there Spanish and ebjoy the film . Much love for foreign films !

Posted by: Wilfred on March 29, 2010 at 12:06:00

Sweet. Can't wait. Loved the 1st one.

Posted by: Noob on May 16, 2010 at 13:49:58

"It'll certainly jolt those Xbox controller-hugging Left 4 Dead/Dead Rising junkies whose knees get weak and jeans get moist at the sight of a zombie's head popping at the end of an assault rifle's red hot barrel."

I resent that statement you ***got.

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