Directed by: Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza
Premise: Immediately following the events of the first film, a SWAT team enters the infected apartment complex to retrieve survivors. While inside, they discover the truth behind the outbreak.
What Works: [Rec] 2 continues most of what was effective about the original film including the first person documentary camera work and the big jump scares.
What Doesn’t: The trouble with [Rec] 2 is that the film lacks any reason to exist. Like the conclusion of the original Halloween, the unresolved ending of the original [Rec] was part of what made it so effective and this addition to that ending is largely superfluous. Very little is learned about the secret behind the outbreak that careful viewers didn’t already know from the first film and the story doesn’t do anything to expand upon it. And where [Rec] 2 tries to appeal to fans of the original film by repeating a lot of the popular elements of the previous picture, [Rec] 2 is largely an inferior imitation. Part of what made [Rec] such an exemplary pseudo-documentary was the way it provided authentic character moments without feeling contrived and photographed moments of violence effectively so as to capture the action without seeming staged. That’s not true in [Rec] 2, which is largely made of anonymous characters running around in the dark with no intelligible purpose.
Bottom Line: [Rec] 2 isn’t a very good sequel because it doesn’t raise the stakes or further the themes or characters of the first film. Hopefully future sequels in the [Rec] series will take the plot out of the basement and into new and interesting directions.
Note: The original [Rec] was remade (almost shot for shot) for American audiences as the 2008 film Quarantine.
Episode: #304 (September 5, 2010)