rec | rec 2 | jaume balaguero | paco plaza | manu diaz | jonathan d. mellor | maneula velasco | oscar zafra | infection | zombie | zombies | sequel | action | adventure | fantasy | mystery | sci-fi | sci fi | thriller | spain | found footage | pablo rosso | religion
Film: [REC] 2
Director: Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza
Writer: Jaume Balagueró, Manu Díaz and Paco Plaza
Starring: Jonathan D. Mellor, Maneula Velasco and Óscar Zafra
This was a movie that I was late to seeing the original, but since that first viewing last October, I’ve been intrigued to check out the other movies in the series now. When it appeared on the Summer Challenge Series list for the Podcast Under the Stairs, I knew I had a reason to move it up my list. This also fulfilled requirements for October Movie Challenges that I’m working on as well. The synopsis here is in order to ascertain the current situation inside, a supposed medical officer and a GEO team step into the quarantined and ill-fated apartment building.
We actually get to see the last images from the previous movie where Ángela Vidal (Manuela Velasco) is in night vision on the camera and something pulls her into the darkness.
It then shifts over to a vehicle that houses a group of what look to be SWAT team members. It appears that in Spain, they’re referred to as a GEO team. Their leader is known as Jefe (Óscar Zafra). His team members are Larra (Ariel Casas) and Martos (Alejandro Casaseca). There is also a camera man with them. Since the building is quarantined, they are requiring everything to be filmed as proof. Rosso (Pablo Rosso) is the camera man, but the voice we hear is actually from Rafa Parra. All of the men also have a camera mounted on them as well.
They meet up with Dr. Owen (Jonathan D. Mellor) who is from the Ministry of Health here in Barcelona. They are to follow whatever he says as he collects a sample from inside of the building. The group enters through the front door where they are then sealed in. They head up to the penthouse suite and it is up there that Dr. Owen reveals some more information to them. This is going to be a spoiler for the first film here, so keep that in mind before reading on.
This movie is dealing with possession as an infection. The priest took this woman here to do research and was able to isolate from her blood this fact. The possession then takes on as a form of rabies. In the penthouse, they’re attacked by a creature that comes from an attic/crawl space area. They need to find Tristana Medeiros’ (Uncredited played by Nico Baixas and Javier Botet) blood as from it an antidote can be made if this gets out. They find a secret cooler, but when Dr. Owen does a test, they confirm it is her blood. The problem is that Jefe also drops it. Dr. Owen is also a priest and demands they find Medeiros to take a sample with them.
To complicate things more, there is another group in this building. Ori (Àlex Batllori) and his friend, Tito (Pau Poch) convince his sister Mire (Andrea Ros) to follow a firefighter and the father of Jennifer (the father played by Pep Molina and his daughter by Claudia Silva) into the apartment building. They are then sealed in as well. Things aren’t as they seem though as this one pulls the series into a more supernatural vibe to find Tristana.
That’s where I want to leave my recap of this movie. I don’t necessarily like to go into spoilers, but as a sequel this movie really plays these cards pretty early and it is assuming you’ve seen the original movie. If not, it does get you up to speed as well.
The first thing I wanted to go into here is that this is series is pretty unique for me. It kind of feels like a book by Brian Keene called ‘The Rising’. That is taking the infected sub-genre and making it supernatural by what is taking people over and causing them to become possessed by demons. That first REC, doesn’t reveal this until the end, where we are getting this pretty early on. I like that it turns out Dr. Owen is a priest and by doing prayers, it hurts those possessed, but it also allows us to progress some aspects of the story with it as well.
A lot of what I have heard about this movie is that it is more of the same from the first one. I think that is partially true, but I like the changes we get here and building on the mythology. This time we’re following a unit of trained police. No matter what they do though, they’re overcame a few times and have to run. When you think also that it will just follow them, we shift point of view a couple of different times. That worked for me as well to raise the stakes for what we’re getting.
The last thing here would be I like that they stuck with the found footage angle. It does make it problematic to what happens at the end of the first movie though, making me question well then how did we see the footage? It has a bit better explanation here that Dr. Owen requires the proof of what they’re doing here and some of the cameras are mounted so they don’t have to hold them. I also don’t have to question why they’re filming. The teens that get stuck are trying to use their footage at first to get rich, but then to leverage their survival so I can them filming as well.
Much like many of these found footage films, the acting really doesn’t stand out. As I tend to say though, I would prefer that as it feels more natural. Mellor is good as Dr. Owen though. He does create more problems for them, but I get what they are using it for. Zafra, Casas and Casaseca are all solid as the GEO police officers. We don’t get to see much of Rosso, but it is fine. Ros, Batllori, Poch and everyone with that group are good. I also want to give a shout out to all those that played infected people. They were quite creepy, especially since some of them do some things with their bodies to make it feel scarier.
Going along with this last thing here, the effects of this movie are good. I’ve already touched on how the movie is shot and that the people that are possessed did a good job at being creepy. This is in part due to the make up for them. Being that this is found footage, we don’t get to necessarily linger on them for too long and even if we did, I think it would hold up. There is a bit of CGI, or at least it looked like it with how they moved at times. That was fine, I had no issues there. I really do have to give credit to Baixas and Botet. They’re both creepy with how they look as Medeiros. I’m positive overall on this aspect of the movie.
So now with that said, I thought this was a good follow up to the previous film. Something that really works for me is to flow right into this one and to build around the story we got in the first one as well to continue it on. This movie leans into the religious aspects much earlier and I really don’t mind that. It isn’t as impactful though, I will say that. I think the acting works for a found footage movie and it makes sense as to why things we see here are being filmed. Effects worked for me overall and there isn’t much in the way of soundtrack. That adds to the realism in my opinion. I will say they do some creepy things with the possessed people’s voices that add another element to this overall. I would say this as a worthy sequel and I’d rate it as a good movie.
My Rating: 8 out of 10