[Rec] 2 - DVD Review

'if the series continues with the same level of innovation then we could be looking at something akin to a musical concept album'

A rare sequel which actually adds to the understanding of the source material, Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza's [Rec] 2 betters their first film and takes the franchise in new and exciting directions. Leading off from where the previous entry finished, its possible to look at both films as one three hour long piece of kinetic horror, such is their similarity of style and location, with this film following a small group of police officers and an environmental health official as they enter the quarantined apartment which was explored in [Rec].

If the film stopped at this then there would probably be ground for a solid and claustrophobic horror of a very similar nature to the first entry, with members of the exploring party being pursued and picked off by the creatures that reside within the apartment walls. In actual fact there's plenty of this going on and, just like the original, there's not much new to offer the horror movement in this regard. Sure, there are solid scares and some nice trickery but really its another bunch of characters who are out of their depth, making stupid choices which, infrequently, lead them to peril and occasional death.

What isn't so common about [Rec] 2 is how Balagueró and Plaza completely change the sub-genre the series moves in. The infected zombie-like antagonists of the first film are still here but, once the reason behind their infection is revealed, the film pursues a different route of horror altogether. With the new sub-genre in tow [Rec] 2 works as much more of a horror-mystery with the protagonists in possession of a more developed motivation than just running away or escaping the building. It's a clever move by the directors and if the series continues with the same level of innovation then we could be looking at something akin to a musical concept album, as the films potentially continues to explore horror tropes and genres within recognisable and satisfying individual story arcs.

As well as this, the same comments about 'recording everything' are present and a mid-point diversion which adds in a couple more characters seems placed specifically to comment on society's obsession with capturing 'real' events on camera. The point is well made but increasingly its one that's too easy to trot out in this sort of 'found footage' film and, such is the fun the directors have with the motif, it feels a bit out of place, as do the additional characters who distract from the main action.

This main action though, solid and more inventive than the first film, is more than enough to lend the piece real substance and the dramatic reveal which signals the start of the final act rightly takes its place as one of the most goosebump-friendly pieces of horror in recent memory.

Look further...

'the realism of the filming, the lack of a score, the terrifying zombie creatures, they’re all still wicked effective' - Bitchin' Film Reviews, 3/4

No comments:

Post a Comment