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Marina Antunes [DVD News 07.11.11] zombies movie review news dvd horror thriller

Year: 2009
Directors: Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza
Writers: Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza
IMDB: link
Amazon: link
Trailer: link
Review by: Marina Antunes
Rating: 7 out of 10

When it hit in 2007, Rec was a bit of a phenomenon. The story of a zombie outbreak which took place inside of one building made effective use of the tight quarters, the cast of characters and the premise which saw most of the film through the eyes of a video camera. Two years later, writer/directors Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza return with a second entry into the planned four film franchise.

I was a bit sceptical of Rec 2. I liked the first film but could a second entry taking place in the same location under similar circumstances provide any new material? Truth is that Balagueró and Plaza's film doesn't skew too far from the original but offers a few plot twists and a handful of scenes that make the film effective.

Starting only a few minutes after the end of the first film, the building is still under quarantine. A swat team is en route with little idea of the details that are unfolding. They've been told there's a contagion in the building and their job is to accompany a doctor to the penthouse where they are to collect data. Once inside they find out the virus isn't airborne, get attacked and discover the doctor they're escorting is actually a priest. Welcome to the new vision of demonic possession.

I love religious thrillers but I must admit I shook my head a little with the introduction of this angle to what can best be described as a zombie movie. It's certainly different but once the initial surprise wore off, I found it an interesting, unconventional way to add a different perspective to a familiar premise and added a new drive for the story which now features the group not trying to get out but instead searching for very specific and nearly impossible to find information.

The familiar story unfolds in much the same way as the first: through video. The swat team is recording everything and at the insistence of the priest, the camera is never turned off except for the occasional blackout when the audience is left with a black screen. When the camera eventually stops working, a new one miraculously appears at the hands of an unlikely character and the story shifts gears here to introduce a few additional new characters (though there is a nice hint of them earlier in the film): three trouble seeking teens, an escapee from the first film and a fire fighter in search of his buddies who we know to have suffered an untimely death in the first movie. The action really ramps up once these characters make their way into the building and the last ten minutes are frantic.

I love that this franchise is sticking to their short running times, avoiding the pitfall of running with a limited premise for too long. Clocking in at just under 80 minutes, Rec 2 ends just before you start to bore of the premise and though I'm not sure the franchise can withstand another entry limited to the confinement of the building, there's definitely some great potential; especially when one considers that two movies in and the kills are still effective. Blood splatter and pools of gore are everywhere and they're much more effective when glanced over with a flash light. I expect that with the ending Balagueró and Plaza deliver, Rec 3 will be taking the contagion into the world.

I can't wait to see how the church responds.

Rec 2 is out on DVD and Blu-Ray on Tuesday, July 12th.

DVD Extras: An assortment of deleted and extended scenes. Pretty short collection and nothing that is particularly thrilling – except for the CNN on-site report which, for some reason, I really got a kick out of.

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agentorange (11 years ago) Reply

Between REC 2, Insidious, Brazil, Damnation Alley, Naked, Deadtime Stories and Things this is turning into an incredible week for releases.

Can't wait to finally catch this!


trogen (11 years ago) Reply

dont forget phase 7 (or is that not out yet?)

Insidious was a real ride!
REC 2 was good but not quite as good as the first
and the others i duno :/

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