MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
Jonathan Mellor as DR. OWEN
Oscar Sanchez Zafra as JEFE
Ariel Casas as LARRA
Alejandro Casaseca as MARTOS
Pablo Rosso as ROSSO
Pep Molina as PADRE JENNIFER
Studio: Sony Pictures Entertainment
Directed by: Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
After the terrifying events of [REC], we jump right back into the infected building. This time, we’re with a police crew sent in to secure the building that has apparently been taken over by a fast-acting infection which results in violent, rabid victims. As we watch through first-person cameras, we learn more about the infection and the incredible thing that is causing it.
WHAT I LIKED
Like many Americans, I saw the Hollywood remake “Quarantine” before I saw “[REC].” And that was a good thing because I thoroughly enjoyed both movies. However, if you’re going to take the plunge with “[REC]2,” I suggest not just going on with what happened at the end of “Quarantine.” Rather than the infection being caused by a doomsday cult in the American film, the Spanish-language original shows a more paranormal and spiritual cause. These concepts are carried into its sequel.
Where the first “[REC]” was a jump-and-scare flick that put you in the victim’s point of view, “[REC]2” takes things a little further. Rather than just seeing things through one camera, we see it through multiple lenses, and we are told multiple stories in a single film.
This sequel is less “real” than either “Quarantine” or “[REC]” because it delves deeper into the spiritual reasoning behind it. Thus, the film becomes more of a high-concept monster movie. Personally, I enjoyed this because I’ve never been a fan of continuing stories that just pitted humans against run-of-the-mill zombies for a string of movies.
Still, “[REC]2” is made with the same shooting style and techniques of the first film. It’s shakycam, but it’s not too shaky. And it’s gory as hell, which is fun for those who can stomach it.
I wouldn’t expect to see a mainstream American movie like “[REC]2” anytime in the future, and that’s okay. This is one of those films that just works better in Spanish. Otherwise, a Hollywood treatment would just get silly. It’s worth it to deal with subtitles for this one.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
While in general, I really liked where this film went with its spiritual explanations of the infection. However, the directors stretch their believability almost to a breaking point. The film holds together, but its high concepts at times threaten to overtake itself.
Also, the secondary storyline, which is introduced about half-way through the film, works in the grand scheme of the film. However, it’s a real stretch and a bit forced to get another camera in the building. Still, these are not problems that make the film too problematic to enjoy for a good night of bloody fun.
Supplementals include deleted scenes and three behind the scenes featurettes: “A Walkthrough of the Set,” “[REC]2 on Tour” and “Sitges Film Festival Press Conference.” Even though these special features are in Spanish, they still offer some decent insight into the film.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans of “[REC]” and anyone who wants to see a violent and bloody film that you won’t get from mainstream Hollywood.