Fabulous Foreign Films
Fabulous Foreign Films, is an ongoing series in which we bring to your attention movies from around the world that you should totally look into, even if you need subtitles to know what’s going on.
I am going to go ahead and remove the “Fabulous” tag from [Rec]2. It is now apparent to me that even outside of mainstream Hollywood, uninspired sequels are made. The most accurate comparison I can make is to liken [Rec]2 to Saw II . Both sequels follow the same format of their successful predecessors, but in both films the story and some lead performances fall short.
[Rec]2 continues immediately after the end of the first film. It opens with a SWAT team on their way to the quarantined apartment building which houses the breakout of an infectious disease. As the team readies themselves, they adjust their helmet cameras establishing the film as another handycam documentation. The SWAT team meets up with a “doctor” who they are supposed to guide to the penthouse. The mission is to find the blood sample from the infection’s source, a demonically possessed girl who was brought to the apartment on orders from the Vatican for research. The blood sample is to be used to develop an antidote for the infection.
Where the story begins to fall apart is when the doctor is revealed to be a priest and the writing is no longer clear as to what he is interested in. The viewer can easily become confused with his desire to document their events by camera and his devotion to find the blood sample. While disguised as a doctor he seems more interested in the documentation and once his true identity is revealed his primary mission is the blood sample. This storyline does not convey logical character associations. Another downfall of this sequel is that it unfortunately relies heavily on the exorcist-type arc less than the infectious zombie relation of the original. It is especially true when the role of the priest is not well acted and shoddily written. It would have been more exciting to follow a group of survivors escaping their flesh eating neighbors than some SWAT members and a priest doing the Pope’s bidding.
On the other hand, if the original film left you desiring more great camera work and thrilling scares, this is acceptably emulated in [Rec]2 . The similar “in your face action” is present in the sequel. I supposed willingness to sacrifice story could result enjoyment. Another bright spot is the use of the SWAT helmet cameras, which they combine with picture-in-picture to provide a unique addition. The use of handycam tropes, like the dropped camera on its side and major technical difficulties, could have been smaller in number. However, overall the film was shot with a pleasant familiarity.
Unfortunately, this film is just another uninspired sequel seeking monetary gain on an unexpectedly popular precursor. The film falls well short of the original on the basis of story and acting performance. This movies is justifiably forgettable and I would rank [Rec]2 on the same “must see” level as Saw XVIII.