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1 October 2012

[•REC]2 (2009)

It’s a poorly kept secret that I quite liked REC. The Spanish zombie film has a lot going for it. There’s tension, gore, horror, terror and an ending to literally die for. As soon as I’d finished watching it I tooled up and went out hunting for its sequel. REC2 promised to pick up where REC left off. Surely writers/directors Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza had lost their minds if they really thought they could possibly hope to top their first film? I just had to find out for myself.

If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?
REC2,  Castelao Productions 2009

REC2 does indeed pick up where the last film left off. In the first film the perky TV presenter Ángela Vidal (played by Manuela Velasco) enters a house in downtown Barcelona to cover a routine fire brigade callout. Only she soon finds that they’re under quarantine, trapped inside the building, left to do battle with a zombie horde. It doesn’t end well. As REC1 closes, REC2 opens. The cavalry have been dispatched lead by the mysterious Doctor Owen (played by Jonathan Mellor). Can they enter the building and save the day? The odds aren’t great.

I've only got 3 things to say about this situation...
REC2,  Castelao Productions 2009

I’ll come clean and say that REC2 wasn’t the film I hoped it would be. I’ll try not to spoil things, but events turn supernatural in the second film. I guess in hindsight, there are hints that it could go this way in the first installment. The story dips its toes well and truly into the bloody pool of religious “possession” and it soon falls into the well-worn groove of good versus evil. That’s a bit of a shame. I guess my main problem is that religious angle. Good religion... bad religion... it’s all the same to me. Who do you root for? (Yes... I’m making a joke here... I know that I will go to hell for this).

Bloody teenagers!
REC2,  Castelao Productions 2009

Having done a google, I’m surprised to see that I’m actually a secret fan of possession films. Like zombie fans, possession-ers (possession-ites?) seem to be pretty fast and loose with their definitions. Would you class The Shining (1980) as a possession film? The Exorcist (1973) definitely is. That film gave me nightmares as a kid. What about the Evil Dead franchise? Yeah, I guess Constantine (2005) is... technically - though it does try hard to give possession a make-over.

A memorable scene from Trainspotting

Yeah, I feel a bit let down, but I won’t start getting all depressed on you! There are some great ideas, cleverly put together in this film. The special effects are great. Keep an eye out for some scenes with children on the ceiling... I’ll say no more. And we have the return of the freakish topless lady... you remember... the one with the hammer. Whaaaaa! If you’ve watched REC1 then you’ll know exactly who I’m talking about.

Doctor Owen's got a girlfriend...
REC2,  Castelao Productions 2009

What was wrong?

I’ve thought about this long and hard and I think the bit that I missed the most were the character studies that lit up the first film. The first film had characters that I got to know, learned to to love, and felt some empathy towards. REC2 dispenses with all that to explore the horror angle. I think it lost some of the magic along the way as a result. And I guess that’s it!

On the Triple-B I’ll tie 6 rockets to a blow-up doll and let’s see if it’ll fly. Three... Two.... One... Lift-off!


  1. RE:
    "Yes... I’m making a joke here... I know that I will go to hell for this"

    Be careful what you wish for KU,you'd never really want to end up working for IKEA having to appease the living dead who are always trying to quench their appetite for cheap Swedish designed Zombie made home-wares.And what sort of homes do these zombies have if they would rather be walking the hallways of hell every weekend in search of more crap to put into their homes?
    I could understand their mission better if they were chasing brains...but cheap plastic coated particle board???

  2. Talking of Swedish zombies. Here's a trailer for a film that might never be made...

  3. For the whole six minutes that I was watching that clip I was waiting
    for an IKEA logo to jump out at me, because I really thought that you had led me to an IKEA commercial.
    Boy was I relieved when I realized this was a real zombie movie and not just another plug for cheap crappy furniture.