Release Date: Spain – October 2, 2009; U.S. – None
U.S. DVD Release Date: Unknown
[Rec] was released in Spain in 2007. It was very successful, winning numerous awards throughout Europe. [Rec] was so popular that it was remade into the 2008 American release Quarantine. [Rec] became available on DVD in the U.S. in July, 2009.
Now original directors/writers Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza of [Rec] are back with its sequel. Manu Diez has also been enlisted to help with the writing of this frightening follow-up.
[Rec] 2 picks up 15 minutes later after the startling conclusion of [Rec]. The action starts out inside a van as a SWAT team (Pablo Rosso, Ariel Casas, Alejandro Casaseca, Oscar Zafra) is preparing to arrive on the gruesome scene. There mission is to accompany an official from the Department of Health (Jonathan Mellor) inside to get samples of blood so that an antidote can be made to stop the spread of the virus that has caused this buildings occupants to become blood-sucking zombies.
Once inside, the SWAT team learns that this official is not from the government, but he works for a much, much “higher” authority. They are also told that it is not a virus that is causing this buildings inhabitants to become rampaging freaks, but it is the work of a much, much “higher” and evil entity.
There is only one way out of this beastly building and that is after this official completes his mission and gives everyone permission to leave. If you try to get out early, this den of wickedness is surrounded by pin-point accurate snipers, whose orders are shoot first and don’t ask questions!
There is only one familiar face from [Rec] that pops up in this vile version. This person has their own dark secret that is not revealed until the end.
While Balaguero and Plaza still do a masterful job of creating a terrifying atmosphere inside this depraved building, they decide to take the story from their original and go in a totally different direction this time and the result is a big letdown.
When the “supposed” government official finally confesses to the SWAT team who he really works for and what is really happening inside, the whole tone of the movie changes, for the worse.
In [Rec], Balaguero and Plaza crafted an intense thriller that was spine-chilling, but also very enjoyable at the same time. In [Rec] 2, this new angle they have included spoils what they created in [Rec] because it is not fresh, but rather old and stale due to the fact that it has been done numerous times in the past.
While it is a surprising story twist that is effective, when we see how our familiar face became the holder of their secret it is just plain gross and moronic.
As far as acting goes, there are no Goya award (Spanish equivalent of an Oscar) nominees here. In the cast’s defense, this type of movie does not require you to have excellent acting skills, as long as you can scream loudly and look panicked, you’ll be fine, which the cast accomplishes quite well.
Although [Rec] 2 has its shortfalls, Balaguero and Plaza are still completely successful in creating a petrifying environment. The whole movie is shot using a hand-held camera which makes you feel like you are right in the middle of all the action. You never know what or who is lurking in the shadows waiting to leap out at you. You’ll be scared stiff at times, but you’ll still have fun while its happening.
If you were spooked by Quarantine, then check out [Rec] 2. If you thought Quarantine was lame, then you’ll probably feel the same about [Rec] 2.