[REC] 2

[REC] 2 PosterRating: ★★★☆☆

The foremost flaw of “[REC] 2” is its futile attempt to include a baffling, supernatural plot within its generic, but nonetheless scary, concept. To begin with, the first “[REC]” wasn’t even the kind of film that opens itself to the possibility of a sensible sequel, but here it is anyway, along with the promise of a third and fourth installment.

“[REC] 2” is an immediate continuation of the original’s conclusion. The fast-acting, death-inducing virus is still contained inside the quarantined apartment, surrounded by snipers and covered with some sort of special, government plastic. If there are any human survivors trapped inside, the authorities are determined to keep them in that state. We revisit the apartment when we follow a group of SWAT officers, who are commanded by a Health Official.

[REC] 2They charge into the zombie-infested building with thick armor and heavy weaponry, but their reasons for entering it in the first place are rather unclear. Surely, this isn’t a rescue mission, for in the first film, anyone who tried to leave the building was rewarded with a bullet to the face. Once inside, we are informed that their objective is to come up with an antidote against a disease no one outside the apartment has contracted. Yes, a more reasonable option would be to burn down the building until it resembles dust, but no, because that idea wouldn’t be enough for three more “[REC]” movies.

Besides the practical questions it raises, “[REC] 2” degrades itself by becoming more complicated than it needs to be. It tries, and fails, to combine the straightforward idea of zombies with the paranormal principles of demonic possession. It fails as a strategy for horror, and it fails when placed within the context of the original film. If a demon is responsible for the infections, doesn’t that make the quarantine useless? Can the special, government plastic contain the devil? By squeezing ideas where they don’t fit, this sequel damages the reputation of the original by contradicting its own purposes.

“[REC] 2” still manages to earn a positive score when seen in terms of the filmmakers’ Intention in relation to the audiences’ Expectation. You don’t go looking for a film like this and expect to be enlightened by logic. There are well-made moments of fright and gore. Except for the unnecessary, awkward demonic traits, the zombies are standard in their behavior, as usual. They are here to chase the living and scream at them, while the people are treated as nothing more than running meat, doomed with the impending scene where they won’t be able to run fast enough.

Comments

  1. Hm. Strong and sound arguments there. I was told that REC 2 is a sort of love-it-or-hate-it type of film. Most are thrown off by the spiritual addition to the plot, other found it intriguing. I think I find myself to be on the “intrigued” boat, because I’d like to see it more as a glimpse into culture. Catholicism is a major issue in Spain, as we know. And I find it quite interesting how the American spin-off didn’t quite take the same path, because it just didn’t appeal to them and preferred something more close to home (they opted to go with Terrorists. Go figure.)

    It’s a crazy and elaborate theory. But it’s worth a shot. I wrote about it in our class horror blog if yer willing to read up on it (and maybe other reviews my classmates did as well: http://horror2011.wordpress.com/2011/08/22/rec-2-cliches-and-culture-on-the-rise/) I personally think most Filipinos would be on the in-between for this one, having been invaded by both Spanish and American colonies.

    Good review, Auti! Saludo talaga ako sayo! :))

  2. Hey! I read your review! 😀

    My response to both your comment here and your review there can be found, uhm, on the link you posted above. Haha. Anyways, thanks for stopping by again. And thanks for giving the movie thought and insight, which makes up for productive conversations, such as this! :)

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[REC] 2