Wednesday, September 22, 2010
NOTE: This review will contain spoilers for [Rec]. If you have not seen the first film in the series I suggest that you stay away from this review. As always, I will try and refrain from any sort of spoiler during the process of writing this review.
[Rec] is a Spanish horror film originally released in 2006. Shortly after release it gained worldwide fame and even spawned a Hollywood remake 12 months later. The movie followed a TV Journalism team following around a fire squad. As filming came to a close a call came in and they decided to catch them doing their job for the show. The call was at a local apartment complex, shortly after entering they realized this was no fire. Many people filled with rage were attacking everyone in sight just like zombies. Whoever got bit by them was also infected by the disease. As the team tried to leave the building they realized that the government has sealed it off and would shoot anyone and everyone who tried to get out. The final scene was in a penthouse on the top floor. It was full of mysterious recordings and religious artifacts and a very different looking creature. The film ended with the main character getting dragged off into the darkness, screaming, looking into the lens of camera.
Now it’s 2010 and [Rec2] has hit stateside (late 2009 in Spain). The film exceeds every expectation I had for it. The plot is very difficult to describe without giving spoilers but I will do my best. The movie takes place 15 minutes after the events of [Rec]. Outside the complex a Swat team is readied to infiltrate and record their time inside the building with someone who claims to be a “Medical Examiner”. Shortly after entering we find out that this is not entirely true and that he has a mission and it must be completed if anybody ever wants to walk out of the building alive again. The movie answers every question possible from the first movie as well. Most importantly, what was up with the penthouse and all the religious artifacts within. Less than half-way through it’s all answered and many new plots within that form. The movie is very gripping from beginning to end.
The thing many people including myself enjoyed a lot about the first one was that it is in fact scary. Something rare in modern horror. The movie does not overdo jump scares or “is he going to die?” moments either. The movie goes at a very nice pace and does not overdo anything. I can’t think of one bad thing to say about how the scare factor played out this time around. If anything, it does even better than the first. Ontop of this, the gore effects aren’t over the top. They seem realistic and that’s what adds to the gritty feeling within the movie.
The acting is top notch. While I may not speak Spanish, I know when the characters are conveying the proper emotion. Even if I watched this without subtitles I could vaguely tell what would be going on. The actors did that great of a job. Nothing seemed really corny or out of place (except for one small scene, which in context did make sense). Overall, just a fantastic cast.
If I had to think of just one minor gripe I had with this movie it would be some of the effects used in one particular area. This would be the overlays used to make it seem like the cameras used were handheld much like the first. If you have not caught on yet, the second is a Point of View film much like the first, Cloverfield or Blair Witch Project. The overlays just looked out of place. I did not really need to see a battery indicator on the top right hand of the screen all the time. Some of the feedback given if a camera was dropped looked too static and out of place. It didn’t totally ruin the experience but it definitely did hinder my enjoyment here and there.
This movie is an absolute thrill ride from beginning up to the final two minutes. The final two minutes of this film are jaw-dropping. Simply, outstanding. This is how an ending should be done and it leaves an opening for a [Rec3] which I would really be excited to see.
Overall, [Rec2] is another Modern Horror Classic. It takes everything that made the first great and expanded on it. A lot of questions were answered and many new ones brought into the mix. A lot of plot twists all over. Amazing acting and some very well placed scares. The only thing that detracts it from perfection is some very badly place effects.
Overall I give [Rec2] a 9.8/10
+Well Placed Scares
+Jaw Droppingly Amazing Ending
-Some fairly cheesy effects on the camera.