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[REC] 2

Submitted by admin on July 22, 2010 – 11:28 pmNo Comment
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REC 2 picks up right where REC left off. But don’t worry, the first reel of REC 2 pretty much fills in the viewer on what happened in the first film. REC 2 will be playing as a midnight movie this weekend at the River Oaks Three and for horror fans this claustrophobic excursion into a cursed apartment building is a must.

REC 2 doesn’t have to cater to torture porn tastes like so many contemporary horror movies. This isn’t Saw or a derivative so much as a cleverly scripted variation on the zombie genre. The building we are trapped in has been quarantined by authorities. A virus causes people to go crazy to the point they’ll tear other people apart by any means available, teeth, fingernails; you get the picture. By the end of the first film, and reiterated at the start of REC 2, it’s reveled that the Vatican has an interest in one of the rooms and that the virus may cause a type of demonic possession.

The current team, a quartet of military operatives including a member from the Ministry of Health, goes through the darkened building, floor by floor, all with video cameras attached to their helmets. The point-of-view switches according to whose helmet is observing the action. Around the mid-point we lose contact with the team inside the building. The narrative switches to three youths outside the quarantined area who discover a manhole and tunnel connection that leads inside the cordoned building. The action now follows this trio’s lead, observing the events as they record them on a camcorder.

REC 2 makes typical Hollywood horror films seem flat by comparison. That’s because REC 2 (like REC) is from Spain, is rated R not PG-13, and comes from a long line of truly scary films that include such high profile entries as The Others and Pan’s Labyrinth. REC was even remade as the American film Quarantine (2008). REC is popular enough in Spain that another sequel as well as a prequel are in pre-production.

The horror genre, spurned by some but embraced as solid entertainment by many, when well done, offers excitement, suspense and screams. REC 2 doles out all of the above, even with the occasional gross-out laugh. The pacing keeps the characters moving so fast through so many corridors, dark rooms and tight spaces that the real consequences become only apparent after the explosive finale.

- Michael Bergeron

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