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[Rec] 2 (2009)

  Tags: exorcism, Filmax, infected, Jaume Balagueró, Jonathan Mellor, Juli Fàbregas, Leticia Dolera, Manuela Velasco, Paco Plaza, Pep Molina, Possession, rec, spain, spanish, [rec]

Your rating: None Average: 7.5 (17 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
7

rec2poster5.jpg
Rating #: 
7/10
Director: 
Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza
Runtime: 
85 minutes
Cast: 
Manuela Velasco, Leticia Dolera, Juli Fàbregas, Jonathan Mellor, Pep Molina


A couple years after the first film's release, creators Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza return with [Rec] 2, starting off literally seconds after the events of the previous installment. In this movie we follow a group of SWAT members, who are sent into the building with a man from the Ministry of Health to assess the situation and hopefully find answers on the infection. At least that's what we're lead to believe, until the man from the Health department reveals himself to be a priest on a secret mission to retrieve an experimental vile of the infected blood. This is where the movie goes towards an incredibly different, but interesting, direction than its predecessor.

Hinted at towards the end of the first movie, the priest goes on to reveal that the Medeiros girl (skinny chick at the very end of the first movie) was possessed as a child and the church brought on a special priest to conduct experiments on her, in hopes of isolating the possession and somehow coming up with a cure for it with a combination of scientific and spiritual means. Somewhere along the way things went wrong, and the possession has turned into a virus that can now be spread via means of blood or a bite. The only way to stop it from spreading is to retrieve blood from the Medeiros girl and bring it back to the church for further study. If only it were that easy..

What was once a simple infection film has now crossed into supernatural realms, dealing more with people suffering demonic possession than anything. In this movie the infected talk and mimic voices and can even climb on ceilings! Fans of the first pic will be divided by the direction the sequel has decided to take, however I found it refreshing. The filmmakers successfully combined two normally separate sub-genres and transformed it into something new and interesting. We see the return of a handful of the key characters from the first (as infected of course), but some of their appearances are rather short, so you may end up missing them among the chaos.

Of course with the change of theme, the film does run into a couple plot-holes, like for instance why weren't the infected crawling on ceilings or talking in the first? However, one could choose to accept the fact that they had no need to speak since there was no priest there to call them out (not sure 'bout the ceiling thing though). The infected in this movie also seem harder to kill and turn much faster than I remember. The film also suffers from a little filler sub-story half-way through, when we take a break from following the SWAT and focus on a new set of characters whom find their way into the apartment.

The characters turn out to be a few annoying thrill-seeking kids with a camcorder that follow Jennifer's father (who left in the first to get medicine) and a fireman through the sewers that lead to a secret path inside the apartment, which I'm sure would have been used in the first had not been for the sudden death of the person who was going to reveal its existence. Not only are these kids unlikable, but their whole sub-plot seemed completely pointless. Their presence on screen did very little to move the story along and seemed to only be there for running time purposes.

Another different aspect in the sequel is the use of the POV camera -- since we're primarily following these SWAT guys they have small mounted cameras on their helmets that we occasionally see through. This naturally results in a lot of incredibly shaky scenes; more-so than the first. This will also likely be a turn-off for fans, but it didn't really bother me much and seemed to add more to the suspense and claustrophobic feel that the filmmakers were aiming for. Speaking of which, the movie offers quite a few good tense moments and scare sequences, but it pales in comparison to the first.

A good sequel that's less on scares, but more on action. The different change in theme from a simple infection movie to a combination with demonic possession will likely turn fans away, while others (like myself) will find it refreshing. If you've seen the first then you'll definitely want to take a look at this sequel. Whether you like the direction it decided to take or not, it's still a worthy addition to the genre.

Posted on March 1, 2010 - 2:46pm | FrighT MasteR

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