Film discussion

[Rec] 2 – Throwback 10

[Rec] 2 was released in the UK on 28th May 2010. Spoilers ahead!

The 2007 Spanish horror movie Rec was a pretty good film. It followed a documentary crew who were making a film about a night in the life of a local Fire Rescue crew, and the call they received that caused them to get trapped inside an apartment building. The film featured a new twist on the zombie/infection genre, and was relatively well received.

When it was announced that there was going to be a sequel, and one that would pick up only hours later, fans knew that writer/directors Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza would have to do something new and interesting to make sure that the sequel wasn’t just more of the same. And they managed this with a twist that I don’t think anyone was really expecting.

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During the latter stages of the first film it’s revealed that the infection that’s spread through the residents of the apartment building began because a priest was treating a young girl for supposed demonic possession, and that the infection she carried spread out into the rest of the building. It was assumed by many fans that this was a disease that the priests had assumed was demonic in origin, as conditions such as epilepsy were in the past. What Rec 2 does, however, is twists this expectation and reveals that the entire infection is in fact mass demonic possession.

Yes, the ‘zombie/infected’ people are actually under the control of a demon that’s passing its control on to others through the blood, effectively building itself an army of crazed killers. This reveal completely changes the way you have to think about the sequel, and also makes you go back and reexamine the first film too. It’s also one of the few times that I’m aware of that a virus type film such as this is given a pure supernatural origin, and it certainly makes it stand out.

Despite this revelation, Rec 2 is very similar to the original. Whilst it gets into the action much quicker here, and there isn’t the slow building of tension as you’re waiting for something bad to happen, events run a very similar course. There’s something wrong inside the building, a team gets sent in, they battle the infected, and have to make their way to the top of the building. Things are made a little different with the introduction of multiple points of view as a number of the soldiers have cameras, and a group of teens manage to sneak inside, but it does feel in some ways a retreading of the original.

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I think if you were to watch the two films back to back it would probably flow a bit better, and would feel like two halves of one story. This way you wouldn’t really mind so much that it’s happening in the same location, and that many of the characters have returned as infected.

Despite not really being too different from the first film I do kind of have a soft spot for it for the level of surprise I felt the first time I saw it. Rec 2 might not stand out amongst the rest of the Rec series (that would probably be Rec 3), but it certainly sticks out in my mind as a neat twist on the zombie/infection genre.

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