Monday, June 28, 2010

Rec 2 (Review)

Rec 2

Rec 2 (2009)

Directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza

I've admitted countless times I hate POV horror movies. Diary of the Dead and Cloverfield were pieces of crap in my opinion. But recently, I've been seeing some cinema verite/1st person POV horror that's been solid.

Evil Things ended up #18 on my Top 20 Horror Movies of 2009. I gave the original Rec (review here) 2 spinkicks. It was scary as hell but just dizzying and generic zombie sorta stuff. There were good moments and I wrote:

"The 1st 20 or so minutes sets up the chaos to come. The 2nd 30 is so minutes is everybody trying to find out what the fuck is going on and the final 20 is a survival horror at its best."

So going into Rec 2, I knew the SWAT team was going to get involved, we were going to get some possessed zombie kills and I was gonna get nauseous again. Cue the Dramamine.

Rec 2 is a superior movie to the original. It's amped up the infected, brought in the heavy weaponry via SWAT officers and thrown in some crazy Spanish hipsters who get exactly what they deserve. What you end up with is a sequel that twists and turns you on every scene and makes you big gulp in complete darkness.

After the flick ended, I tweeted...Wow just wow. That says it all.

Boring Plot-O-Matic

The highly anticipated sequel to one of the scariest films of all time, [REC] 2 picks up 15 minutes from where we left off, taking us back into the quarantined apartment building where a terrifying virus has run rampant, turning the occupants into mindlessly violent, raging beasts.

A heavily armed SWAT team and a mysterious government official are sent in to assess and attempt to neutralize the situation. What they find inside lies beyond the scope of medical science—a demonic nightmare of biblical proportions more terrifying than they could have possibly imagined. Above all it must be contained, before it escapes to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting world outside.

Awesome Review-O-Matic

As I always do, let's start off with what the formula for shot on video, POV horror films.

1.) The camera "person" films everything
2.) His friends become part of the video
3.) Something sinister starts to scare them
4.) The film ends with "the final shot" that gets the audience shocked

1.) The camera "person" films everything

Continuing right after Rec, SWAT is called to our quarantined building. Their orders are to take a "medical" official to the building and see what's what. So who films everything? In Rec 2, Rosso a SWAT team officer is told to film so as to document what's going on. Soon our SWAT team are going up all the same places we saw our tenants did in the original.

Plot is explained as we find out whats up with these zombies. Seems our med guy is a priest and we've got a Vatican conspiracy, demon infection and the Medeiros girl being Agent 0. You know its the rehashed plot from part 1. Soon our crew is being attacked but they fire back with machine gun kellys and are chased throughout the building.

My gripe with these POV movies has always been the guy holding the camera never does shit. But as Rosso is told to do this and actually does things to help, it seems natural. In addition we've got SWAT cam as the cops have head cams on their helmets. This was actually a clever camera gimmick as it gave us a different POV instead of the one camera shot.

2.) His friends become part of the video

Our SWAT team shows true emotion. Their mission compromised, all they want to do is get the fuck out. It's high anxiety and it feels real. Most of the characters feel pseudo real in Rec 2. From the cops to the priest to the Spanish hipsters and fireman guy....wait what the hell did I just say?

Yup, seems Plaza and Balagueró saw Diary and Cloverfield and added in some camera happy kids as well. They end up in the apartment building leading to yet ANOTHER different POV as they are filming everything too. I sighed when they started these scenes as I didn't want to see annoying kids doing stupid things. But shit hits the fan and the 2 groups meet leading our kids to get what they deserve for being so fuckin annoying.

3.) Something sinister starts to scare them

Lots of the POV shots are nicely done. With the SWAT, we get our Silent Hill meets Call of Duty MW2 shoot em up perspective. It's clever and I did get a little jumpy at some scenes including one in an air duct and another in a hallway. You never know when a possessed demon kid is crawling upside down will come at ya.

The hipster kids and a fireman looking for his buddies from Part 1 get in the act as they too are attacked. The shots are designed for maximum WTF and they accomplish it with some long extensive panning shots.

Most of these scenes work, as they did in the original. However, this time we get some maximus goreificus leading to a Gore-ipedia that includes shotgun blast to the head, ripped necks and POV blood and guts.

4.) The film ends with "the final shot" that gets the audience shocked

I didn't like originals ending and Rec 2's ending is pretty predictable. But it isn't without some WTF. Night vision comes into play and we seeing our demon girl in the flesh. Back is our intrepid reporter Angela who joins our remaining survivors to stop this demon infection from spreading.

There is "the final shot" in Rec 2 and it's quite a whopper earning it full WTF Moment credit. It's pretty intense and makes it feel all closed looped in a sense in our Rec series.

I gotta say, the Rec movies are the best this POV genre has to offer. They are solid flicks and use the POV gimmick very well. Rec 2 does jack up the scares, the claustrophobia and the tension. Out of all the the POV movies I've seen, Rec 2 is so far the best of the rest.

Coming from me, that's a high compliment.

The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis

Thank Barcelona the directors of the original made the sequel. They didn't miss a beat at made sure their vision was in the sequel. At times it reminded me of Demons, Demons 2 and Iglesia's Day of the Beast.

Rec 2 comes out July 9th in limited release. For now, it's the best sequel in this genre, well until possibly Paranormal Activity 2 comes out.

Check out the official site and the Facebook page for more info.

FYI. I still haven't seen the American remake Quarantine yet. I don't plan to.


Check out the trailer below.


  1. My mate watched Quarantine despite my instructions not to do so when he hadn't seen [REC]. So eventually i lent it to him (lives far far away). He watched the first 20 mins and turned it off saying it's the same film. He's kicking himself now when i told him i have the sequeal and he doesn't deserve to see it. I ain't seen Quarantine either and i don't plan too.

    He's fine with subtitles but he rented Quarantine from Blockbusters one night. Stupid boy.

    Spot on review Jaded.

  2. Stay away from Quarantine. It's an inferior remake.

    For part 2, good point as it kinda reminded me of Demons 2 in a way as well. I thought the kids were completely annoying as well, but I loved when the one kid got bitch-slapped. Had me in tears!

    And bonus points from me me due to the Manuel-mounting. Thought this is a great sequel and looking forward to another installment.

  3. I can't say I was thrilled with the plot in REC2 as it asked us to believe some completely unbelievable things. No, not the fact that the Vatican is battling demon possession, but that the Vatican is trying to SCIENTIFICALLY EXPLAIN IT. Really? Come on. For an organization that is based completely on faith and religion and is often at odds with scientists who try to explain our world down to atoms and molecules, you'd think they wouldn't forgo their own tenets to go and play scientist.

    Also, and I'm being critical here, but we have to assume that the footage comprising REC2 is "found footage" because it is seamlessly edited together from multiple video sources. If this is the case, why are we seeing battery meters, powering down/powering up icons, and hearing bootup sounds? That's only something you'd see if you were holding the camera yourself. I know it's nitpicking, but things like that really take me out of a movie that's being called "POV horror"

    So, I guess I wasn't too crazy about it? Haha.

  4. Every review I've read for this is giving it glowing praise. I'm torn as to whether or not I should rent it on VOD or hold out for the limited theatrical release-i have the feeling it'll be even better in a crowded theater.

  5. Best horror movie of 2010. Period. Loved the 180 shift and multiple shifts in POV angles.

  6. I should have been on the negative side of Rec 2 as I hate these shaky cam flicks but somehow like POT said, they diversified the POV and cameras and it became tolerable and fun.

    Matt - So true about that the Vatican scientifically explaining demons?!?! hahaha

    Mike - See it in a theater, its well worth it.

    Rhino/Geof - No doubt I'll be staying away from Quarantine. I don't even wanna think its worth a few hours.

    Aren't you all shocked that Rec and Rec 2 are like 70 and 80 min and they are perfectly right for a movie like this?

  7. ...and they work in real time.

    Who You Gonna Call
    Tel 44-(0)208-323 8013
    Fax 44-(0)208 323 8080

    Hi Jaded Viewer,

    On behalf of Magnolia Pictures and the movie’s producers, many thanks for plugging "[REC] 2" ... .. thanks also, on behalf of the distributors and producers, for not posting any pirate copies or non-trailer clips of “[REC] 2” and if you / your readers want good quality, non-pirated, previews, then the official trailer for “[REC] 2” is available for fans and bloggers to post/ host / share etc via the official site and IGN at and ... .. for further details of on-line promotions for this movie and Magnolia releases generally, check-out and their official YouTube channel at .

    Thanks again for your plug.



  9. wow....

    Jaded's been touch by THE MAN (sounds like a free drink too)

    Plenty of people plugging both films. I've heard some negative reviews of it including in my beloved, The Judge Dredd Megazine. I've been spitting constantly about how good they are. What we wanna know is... When is it getting official release date on dvd/blu-ray etc!!!???!!!

    and not a botched subtitle job like LET THE RIGHT ONE IN!