First-Person horror makes a return with [Rec] 2!
Moments before [Rec] ends, [Rec] 2 starts. A small SWAT team are sent to escort a member of the Health department into the Apartment building from the original movie. They go in to investigate, not understanding how in over their heads they are, and of course as we’re a sadistic bunch we rub our hands in anticipation.
I can’t help but love anything where the chronology is as tight as it is here. There’s a different kind of excitement to be had from a film or show that takes place literally seconds after its predecessor. It adds an immediacy to the film, and gives the film a sense of propulsion. Less time is spent on set-up because we already know what to expect. For example in the original film there’s about twenty minutes of introductions before we get to the Apartment building. In this film there’s probably less than five.
To go any further is to get into spoiler territory (Which I rarely do but I’m making an exception here). So if you don’t want to keep reading just know what [Rec] 2 is about equal with the original film, and while it almost promises to be better it doesn’t quite make it. Again for reasons I’ll outline below. Switch the lights on and kick back with a friend, you’ll thank me for it.
Still here? OK then so as we know, the Virus in [Rec] is something that has a foot in the Religious. In [Rec] 2 it’s established that what we’re actually dealing with is full on demonic possession. It’s a nice twist to the genre, and it’s totally unexpected. At first [Rec] 2 benefits greatly from this, it’s not just a virus any more. It completely changes the stakes.
For the most part this works. There’s a scene where an infected child suddenly scrambles across the ceiling. It’s such a brief moment but utterly fantastic. Right then the film gets you on board with where it’s heading…until the end.
Now this isn’t a case of the end ruining the rest of the film that came before it. It does however make too many leaps into the unbelievable. Yes I’m aware of how that sounds in a film about demonic possession, but stay with me here. The film is grounded in reality, and if you’re ready to accept the virus then to make the leap to a demonic possession shouldn’t be too much of a jump. The problem comes when the film makers treat that as a way to throw in random things which just don’t work. There’s a scene early in the film where the SWAT team enter a small hallway which leads nowhere (Where they meet the ceiling crawling kid). We return to it later on, armed with the knowledge of one of the infected. It seems that if the lights are off (And you switch night vision on) then you see a door where there wasn’t one before. It’s here that the film lost me. It’s one thing to accept demonic possession (Again it’s not a giant leap from a virus that turns everyone into rabid flesh eaters) but that is straight up magic. To add further complications the scene that takes place within that room is excellent, and offers a curious question for a viewer. If the film took a turn the other way and I hated the rest of it then of course I would single that moment out, but just because it leads to something I enjoyed should I give it a free pass?
Gripes like that aside (There are others I won’t go into here, I don’t want to spoil everything) I still enjoyed the ride, and look forward to the two sequels (One prequel actually, which I’m curious to see, though not entirely convinced it could work). Plus where else would you see a Priest shotgun a kid in the head?
Up Next: Films which have the word ‘House’ in the title.