Archive for June 6th, 2010

[•rec] & [•rec]2

The Spanish horror movie [rec] was one of my favourite movies of 2008. A young female reporter (Manuela Velasco) and her cameraman are shooting a seemingly boring late night show where she shadows a fire crew. When an emergency call comes in the chance of a little excitement suddenly turns into a fight for survival. Some of the residents of the apartment block they are called out to have turned into zombie like infected creatures who attack anyone they come into contact with. To make matters worse they are soon trapped as the building is quarantined. All shown from the point of view of the single camera the movie offered little new or original to the genre but was so well done with the right balance of suspense, gore, horror and cheep shocks it turned out to be a great movie. Shot in a real apartment building and not in studio sets the location had a great claustrophobic feel to it, this was increased as the lights went off and all we saw was through the night vision of the camera. The simplicity of the one camera and one location is part of what made the movie work and made it far superior to George A. Romero’s Diary of the Dead that came out around the same time.

So how does the sequel, the imaginatively titled [rec]2 compare and how does it fit in? picking up as the first movie ends a SWAT type team are sent in to the quarantined building along with a government doctor. The team is complete with a cameraman to document what they see and each member of the team has a (Aliens style) helmet mounted camera. It isn’t long before they encounter the infected former tenants of the building and unsurprisingly they aren’t friendly. We jump directly into the action and it hardly lets up for the 85 minute running Time.

The main focus of the movie is the demonic possession story that made a brief appearance towards the end of the first movie. This gives the movie a new plot direction that makes the sequel possible. The multiple camera idea must have seemed like a good idea but its execution makes the movie a little disjointed in places. The real let down of the sequel is its lack of characterisation, in the first movie as people were getting killed or infected one by one we had the reporter Ángela Vidal (Manuela Velasco) to care about. As a charismatic (and hot) lead you wanted her to survive like Ripley in the Alien movies. None of the new characters have that presence reducing the viewers involvement with the movie.

To put it simply it’s a worthy if inferior sequel, without giving too much away about the ending expect [rec]3 in a year or two, with the expanding premise I just hope they don’t overcook it.

Four Stars out of Five


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