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[REC] 2 (2009)

REC 2

The action continues from [REC], with the medical officer and a SWAT team outfitted with video cameras who are sent into the sealed off apartment to control the situation.

SPOILERS LAY AHEAD! Please only read on if you have seen part one, (REC) – [click for my review!] as this post will spoil parts of the original. (Or if you just don’t care about spoilers that’s cool, read on!)

rec 2

Ok, now I can begin 🙂

rec 2Written and Directed again by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza, REC 2 begins by showing us the end of REC, where we see that Ángela was dragged away into the darkness. We then cut to the SWAT team who have now been brought in to investigate what happened in the apartment building and neutralise any threat. The team have helmets with cameras on them to record every happening inside the apartment building, so again we get to watch the action unfold from a ‘hand held point of view’ so to speak. It works better than the camera work in the original in my opinion, as now we get multiple camera views as they are all linked, and they can all see each others camera feed which gives us some cool picture-in-picture split screen action. I will try not to spoil too much, but as there is a lot more going on in this film than in the original, I want to try cover as much as I can but give away as little as possible, if that makes sense!

rec 2Nicely expanding upon the religious connotations of the first film’s twist ending, the team is led by Dr. Owen, who insists that their only mission is to search the building and retrieve a sample of infected blood from the penthouse of the building. Dr. Owen has a voice recognition system on him, and the building will only be opened when he gives the go ahead. After encountering some of the infected, Dr. Owen uses religious mantra and rosary to fight them off. It turns out that Dr. Owen is actually a priest sent by the church to get a blood sample from the Medeiros girl who we see briefly towards the end of the original. Obviously that will be easier said than done then, and there is action and scares galore as the team head into the penthouse to find said blood.

A little while later, in a nice twist to the story, the team leave the penthouse and look down the stairs and see some kids armed with a video camera looking up at them. The film then changes direction and cuts to three teenagers messing around on an adjacent buildings roof. They see the building being quarantined off and run down to street level to investigate. In a nice throwback to the original, we also see Jennifer’s (the infected girl from REC) father, who was outside getting medicine for his daughter, and he manages to convince a firefighter to take him into the building via an underground sewage system. The teenagers follow and also gain access to the sealed building; however, police have seen them and seal their exit. Inside, the teenagers find Jennifer’s father and the firefighter and soon find out they are trapped so head upstairs through the building, and eventually the two groups find each other. After some intense fighting and some scenes very reminiscent of movies like ‘The Exorcist’, the group finds Angela Vidal (Manuela Velasco), the reporter from REC. She has her camera with her and appears to be fine, just very shaken up and frightened naturally.

rec 2

That’s as far as I go with the story. The final act really picks up pace, and ‘shines a light’ on the ending of REC and how things came to be as they are. The ending of REC 2 is arguably better, again another great and unique twist, and one that I certainly didn’t see coming.

Given that it is set in the same building as REC, it was nice to venture outside, however briefly, and we also get some nice nods and winks towards characters from the original. Multiple camera angles worked brilliantly and effectively I felt, and therefore visually it was a step up from REC. The directors know what scares to use and when, again delivering some great horror moments mixed in with genuine twists and turns, and another great storyline. REC 2 is very reminiscent of a video game at times. As the zombies come thick and fast a gun is the only way to take them down, and watching from this point of view is like playing Call of Duty!

rec 2

The biggest problem that I can say about REC 2 is that while characters in the first film were well-developed and memorable, especially having such a great lead in Angela Vidal (who again was superb in her albeit smaller role here!), you don’t get that with these new characters. It’s not that they’re bad characters at all, but none of them really made me think about them afterward, and they ultimately just became SWAT man #1, SWAT man # 2 etc. I just couldn’t really identify with them. Dr. Owen was a good character, but he just seemed so set in finding the blood that it didn’t matter how many casualties there were, he just had to find the blood. The kids were fine, but again not really given enough time to become memorable, despite one of them giving a pretty good ‘possessed’ demonstration once something took hold.

When it was all said and done, after the credits rolled I couldn’t wait to see what happened next, and hoped that REC 3 would address it. It didn’t. 😦 BUT REC 4 will do so I can’t wait for that next year! I absolutely loved REC, and REC 2 was so good just not quite at the same level, I think mainly down to the characters. Still, it was a great watch and one that I recommend fully not only to fans of the franchise but to horror fans in general. Scares, blood, twists, turns, zombies, the devil – REC 2 delivers the lot.

rec 2

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27 Comments

  1. theipc

     /  August 9, 2012

    I thought 2 was way better than the first in the intensity factor.

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    • Yeah, I think a bit like with the ‘Alien’ films the sequel just threw in more guns and more action! But there were some great scenes that I didn’t want to go into really in fear of spoiling stuff. Just another brilliant film though

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  2. citychickcountrylife

     /  August 10, 2012

    I Loveee the REC movies! The American remakes were okay but it never really compares

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    • I feel the same! Decent watches but tame in comparison. REC 1 & 2 are two of the best horror films I’ve seen in a long time. Thanks for the comment 🙂

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  3. I’m seriously considering taking most of tomorrow off from work and if I do I am definitely having a REC marathon so I can watch 2 & 3! Great review!

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    • Thanks Misty. Definitely do the marathon, I watched all 3 back to back and it was good fun! Thats maybe why I feel like I do towards REC 3, after sitting through the first 2 it just lacked…….but I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts if you catch them.

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  4. Man, this sounds pretty awesome. I’m gonna try to check it out!

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    • Definitely is. Now you can talk about the ending of REC! It does however show you in more detail what happened to Angela at the end in REC 2, so maybe just watching it will shed some light on it for you. It definitely made the ending even better in my opinion

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  5. I only skim read as I haven’t got around to seeing it yet. We’ve had it lying on the shelf for months after we enjoyed the original. You’re review has wet my apetite for it a little more though.

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  6. Thomas Priday

     /  August 11, 2012

    Nice review, mate.

    I only really enjoyed the first, but the second is not bad. 🙂

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  7. Yeah, loved part I, haven’t seen part II yet!

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    • You will love Rec 2 then (I hope!). Just as good pretty much as the original, and gives another perspective and offers up some more answers. Great film

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  8. Carly

     /  August 11, 2012

    Although tyson doesn’t remember I watched this with him last week. I wasn’t keen but as we started watching I couldnt leave. I haven’t seen the original Rec just quarantine but think I’ll have to dig out the original now. Really liked how the story split into two perspectives and the ending didn’t that coming. Great review as always.

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    • Weird you referring to me like that 🙂 Good old pseudonyms!! I forgot you were with me………goldfish memory as you always say. Nice when you actually like a horror film I subject you too 🙂

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  9. Victor De Leon

     /  August 14, 2012

    good write up! I felt like I ran a marathon after watching the first 2 Rec films

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    • Thanks!! Yeah they do not let up, non stop action. I watched all 3 back to back, was a great afternoon!! Roll on REC 4

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      • Victor De Leon

         /  August 14, 2012

        very cool! you did review Rec 3 correct? I’m going to read it if you did. I want to see if we agree on it. I have yet to review it. And if they green-light another Rec movie then I am so there.

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        • Yeah I reviewed Genesis, I see you already found it! Hope you also saw the synopsis for Rec 4, which brings us another look at the beautiful ‘survivor’ from recs 1&2. I can’t wait!

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        • Victor De Leon

           /  August 14, 2012

          I missed the synopsis for Rec 4. I’ll go back and check it out. I hope they get back to basics for it. Thanks.

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        • It appears as though we follow Angela and see her held safely on a boat. At least she is in it, so hopefully it retains the more serious tones of the first 2 movies rather than include the comedic elements of Genesis. Thanks for checking out all my REC reviews, appreciate it Victor 🙂

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  10. Great review. As I did with the original REC, I watched REC 2 three or four times in the span of ten days or so. As I already mentioned on your review on the original REC I think that movie is a masterpiece in horror films and in that category films that good come so few and far between. So REC 2 has a lot to live up to. Here are my thoughts… Enjoy!

    ***SPOILERS FOLLOW. READ AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION…***

    Again, your review was a great read. Nice job once again. One thing I wanted to point out is that although the SWAT team has cameras on their helmets the main camera we see through in Act One of this movie is not one of those cameras. One of the four members of the SWAT team is carrying a large video camera throughout which can be seen in the trailer you have posted above. It’s a shot of the SWAT team in their van and the camera man is testing everyone’s helmet cameras. If you pause the trailer at 23 seconds you can see in the helmet camera shot that it is pointed at the main camera man, Rosso, who is holding a large video camera. This is why the main camera man doesn’t hold a gun in his hands throughout the movie. Also, I don’t think everyone else can see each other’s feed; only the main camera man can through his large video camera.
    In Act Two we are of course seeing it through the lens of the teenagers’ camera but it actually took me three or four viewings to realize that in the Final Act we are back through the lens of Pablo’s original camera since Angela was seen holding it when she first appears as the teenagers’ camera battery dies at the end of Act 2 and the SWAT team’s main camera breaks at the end of Act 1.

    After watching REC 2 the first time I have to admit I was disappointed. I think because of the change in direction… or let me say the change in mythology to be more precise. It showed me that I interpreted the ending of REC incorrectly. After watching REC 1 I took the ending as the man who was doing his research in the penthouse along with the Vatican had been completely wrong about what they were dealing with. I was thinking that these people were truly infected with a virus and the original people who were dealing with it had completely mishandled it and thus the infection spread. They had focused their attention on trying to exorcise a girl who was infected with a disease and not actually possessed by a demon and when the decision was made to kill her instead since exorcism was fruitless it was just too late and the infection spread. That’s just how I interpreted part 1. As most of us know most horror movies end similarly in the sense that they leave you guessing as to what happened and REC was no different therefore that was my guess.

    However, a sequel was made and it reveals or continues the revelation that these people aren’t infected in the true sense of the word but rather possessed by demons. Now, I should preface that I actually stumbled upon the REC series because I happened to watch a trailer for REC 3 (probably on http://www.apple.com/trailers) and saw it as a zombie movie. So i decided to catch up and expected to watch a series of zombie movies and REC 1 did not disappoint that expectation. As I watched REC 2 for the first time though I was also watching it with my own understanding of REC 1 (soon to be realized as a misunderstanding) so when the ‘Health Minister’ starts busting out his rosary and prayers I started to get confused. Then he revealed that he was a priest so I thought again that this guy has no idea what he’s dealing with. Of course once he ‘tests’ the blood and it catches fire then I realized that I’m not watching a zombie movie but an exorcism/demonic possession movie. This change of direction/mythology was the cause of my initial disappointment.

    After two days I decided to give it another chance but this time understanding that this is a religious, God vs. Satan, priest vs. demon movie. This allowed me to appreciate the film more. I love the beginning because it seriously pumps you up seeing the SWAT team loading their guns and such. The scares and attacks from the infected ones are just as heart-pumping as the original as is the grittyness of the dialogue and debates that go on. I agree with most people that REC was phenomenal and REC 2 was just a class below that.

    Somethings I didn’t like:
    -Why is demonic possession passed on like a virus? That’s weird.
    -I didn’t buy the fact that the teenagers went into the building purely for kicks. That took me out of the movie and gave me a “Yeah, right…” moment.
    -The first time I watched this I immediately questioned why Angela wasn’t deathly afraid of actually going back to the penthouse where she knew that creature was. She went willingly and without question. I know it’s one of those “she’s not who she seems to be” answers but she does flip out at the end when she wants the priest to give the order. At least a little fight, if for nothing else, to keep up the charade. It could have given her a little more character development and some sense of comfort for the audience to see that she is OK before the big surprise. Maybe some might say I’m being nit-picky on this one but I do feel like it is necessary especially for first time viewers.
    -Pablo breaks the spotlight on his camera at the end of REC and then the priest asks Rosso if he fixed the spotlight. He answers “Yes.” No explanation.

    The difference with REC is that there was nothing I didn’t like. Regardless, REC 2 is still an excellent must-see film for all horror fans and the scares are far better than most other horror movies. I am looking forward to seeing REC 3 Genesis which comes out in the US in a few weeks.

    Thanks for the “exorcise” in movie analysis; pun definitely intended 😉 I’m staying away from your REC 3 review until I actually see it although I can see from your comments here that I shouldn’t keep my hopes high. Till the next time!

    Follow me @darrylmendo on twitter and instagram

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    • Thanks for the great comment mate, longer than some of my reviews!! Appreciate you clearing up my camera comments; I wasn’t sure but thought they could all see ‘picture in picture’ but I’m sure your right and its just on the one screen, makes more sense. Strangely, he is the same cameraman, same character, same actor and everything from the original, yet we know that isn’t really possible but a weird way to do it from the film-makers, but since we never see his face they can get away with it I guess.

      I liked the religious aspect, always liked exorcism style events. I thought the kids going in was cool, they were excited and just being stupid kids, the kind of idiotic thing I would of done at that age so I liked that, but I can see why others like yourself may not.

      Yeah, Angela was a weird one. I knew something was up straight away. I thought she would be more like the girl from The Descent 2 if you have seen that, and petrified about going back up there. That aside, she is always a treat to watch and it didn’t really ruin anything for me. I loved it, but that’s why I scored REC slightly higher, was just overall a better experience but still loved REC 2. There are people that love REC 3 so you might, I can’t wait to hear your feedback either way! Thanks for stopping by and catch you soon 🙂

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  11. I copied my long post, changed and added a few things, and blogged it. Feel free to stop by 😉

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  1. [REC] (2007) | Head In A Vice
  2. [REC] 3: Genesis | Head In A Vice

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