Saturday, 9 November 2013

Review - Rec 2 (2009 - Dir. Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza)

Continuing straight on from the end of Rec, a medical officer (who wears a high-vis vest - surely not a good move) accompanied by a SWAT team enter the house where all of the action occurred in the original. Armed with big guns, head cams and camcorder - for documenting the evidence obviously - they head into the murky zombie infested dwelling. Except they may not be zombies...

Yep, Rec 2 takes a bit of a turn in a different direction. I won't go into details but more is happening than just your usual everyday zombie outbreak. In reality, it doesn't change much. There are still the fast paced zombies from Rec charging about ripping people's throats out and changing them into new zombies. The twist to the original formula doesn't add much but it doesn't detract either.

The directors also make a change in the way the story is told. Gone is the linear story, replaced by a fractured story that jumps about in time. Not massively, but enough to be interesting. As time passes, familiar events are seen from different angles. The best use of this device is probably the ending, which is a bit gippy. It raises the rating by a notch as it explains some slightly niggling questions.

The last quarter of the film is similar in style to games such as Soul Reaver and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past where two worlds are present in the same space. In Rec 2 the swappage is done through the use of normal lighting, or the night vision mode on the camera. It's actually quite effective as the characters change between the two modes to uncover a room's secrets. And its inhabitant. It's pretty tense stuff.

Something that doesn't work quite so well for me is the use of long takes. Well, supposedly long takes. As in The Silent House and Rope, I couldn't help spotting where the hidden cuts were, bringing me out of the film on every occasion. This may only be a problem for a technical sicko like me. I did get more used to it as time went on and the story managed to draw me in enough so that I didn't notice.

Rec 2 isn't earth-shattering but it is an okay little film. It's got at least one good jump and a few moments of creepy horror. I've been told that Rec 3: Genesis isn't that good but I may have to investigate (if I can get it cheap).

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  1. Yeah, if you weren't crazy about 2, I doubt you'll get much out of 3. I'm hoping 4 delivers.

    1. But the front cover of 3 is so cool...