“[Rec] 2” Movie Review

7/16/2010 Posted by Admin

“[Rec] 2”

Movie Review

Directed by Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza, written by Balaguero, Plaza and Julio Fernandez, 85 minutes, rated R.

By our guest blogger, Joel Crabtree

There are video games that are adapted into movies, and then there are those movies that should have been video games in the first place. “[Rec] 2” is a prime example of the latter, with the first 45 minutes of the film feeling more like a first-person shooter -- and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

“[Rec] 2,” the sequel to the commercially and critically successful Spanish horror film “[Rec],” picks up where the original left off. A SWAT team (led by Oscar Sanchez Zafra’s Jefe) and a government official (Jonathan Mellor) are sent in to the original movie’s ill-fated apartment complex, which has been quarantined after an outbreak of a rabies-like virus in its tenants.

The team is armed with heavy artillery and cameras -- keeping in line with the handheld video gimmick of the original. The mission is to simply assess and neutralize the situation, but complications arise when the origins of the virus are revealed to be supernatural.

About those origins: It turns out that the “rabies” is some form of demonic possession, and that “government official” is in fact a high-ranking priest sent to find a cure. With this new-found information, the mission shifts to getting the cure, containing the demon to the complex and surviving.

Even with all the shocking plot developments and new gadgetry, “[Rec] 2” feels too comfortable in the skin created in the original. “[Rec]” was a high-concept horror movie and “[Rec] 2” just piggybacks off that.

The film’s biggest flaw is its nonexistent setup, as “[Rec] 2” relies solely on the first movie for that purpose. Without an introduction to “[Rec] 2,” the SWAT members feel like faceless, nameless entities dressed in riot gear, which is a real let-down considering the original movie’s brilliant first act (featuring a marvelous performance by Manuela Velasco).

For a horror movie, “[Rec] 2” lacks any real scares, but it maintains the frenetic pace of its predecessor, which is something to say. It’s sure to elevate your heart rate. And with the wise addition of minicams attached to each SWAT members’ helmet, the filmmakers are able explore the complex further, and give the viewer more intense close-ups of the possessed.

For most of “[Rec] 2,” you find yourself waiting for creatures to jump out at you, and hoping that the characters are fast enough on the trigger to protect themselves. That’s the very definition of a first-person shooter, only without the interactive element. It’s hard not to make the comparison to the “House of the Dead” or “Resident Evil” video game series. And, surprisingly enough, it’s a lot of fun.

“[Rec] 2” is certainly not high art, and more often than not it feels like a lazy sequel. But if you let your guard down and accept it for the adrenaline rush that it is, “[Rec] 2” is worth the ride.

Grade: B-

Below is the trailer the trailer for [Rec] 2. What are your thoughts on it?

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