If REC 2 proved anything, it’s that co-directors Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza were not one-hit wonders. It is awesome. It picks up right where REC leaves off, goes into some far-out, unexpected territory and delivers an experience that’s similar in pace and intensity to the original while retaining a wholly original character.
That being said, zombie purists that were a little uneasy with some elements of REC will be off the bus within twenty minutes. The cause of the zombie plague revealed at the end of REC plays a huge part in the story here. And if you haven’t seen the first, stop here and go watch it. Beyond the jump I’ll be spoiling some elements of the first movie’s story in discussing the second. The rest of you, follow me…
So, demonic possession is the name of the game here, as was revealed in the final moments of REC. It gets a lot of play here (one of the main characters is a priest). The “demonic possession as zombie causative” angle is great and, honestly, I’m somewhat surprise it hasn’t been utilized more often (I know Brian Keene has used the idea and the television show Supernatural has done something similar with the demonic Croatoan virus). It works really well, although, again, zombie purists may find themselves outside of their comfort zone. Go ahead and argue that they aren’t zombies; I disagree, and so do the filmmakers (they have “zombies” in the credits).
REC 2 plays out like the best moments from The Exorcist mashed up with a zombie movie and portrayed like a first-person shooter. The story offers some great twists and turns and clearly sets itself up for the already announced sequel. It feels more “movie” movie than the first, but that’s not really an issue for me. There are some fantastic sequences, a great feeling of dread and claustrophobia and plenty of surprises. An excellent sequel, all told. Can’t wait until it comes out on Blu-ray so I can own it.
Because of an extremely late start, I skipped the short last night. Maybe I will watch two later to make up for it.