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Shaun vs. [REC] 2 (2009)

rec1Directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza

Starring Jonathan Mellor, Manuela Velasco and Óscar Zafra

A SWAT team escorts a medical officer into a quarantined apartment building to assess the virus situation only to discover that the virus is more supernatural in nature and they’re dealing with something much worse than they thought.



Fear revisited.

So first things first, if you haven’t seen the original [REC] — at the very least, it’s American remake Quarantine — as it really takes place during those last few harrowing moments from the original film and builds on top of what is already established.  There’s a rabies-like virus that turns people into mindless, blood thirsty savages and that’s a bad thing.  [REC]2 begins right where the original left off, with Angela getting dragged off into the dark, before shifting to outside the contaminated apartment building where a SWAT team is getting ready to go inside.  They meet an official from the Ministry of Health who they will escort inside and they have explicit instructions to follow his orders when they go in.

rec2

So we’ll pop in, see how everyone is and be off on our way, right?

The team’s mission, initially, is to assess the situation and help any potential survivors.  The health official’s role is to find a blood sample in order to make a cure for the disease.  Once inside, it’s not long before they come under attack from the contaminated victims but once the health official is outed as a priest, things take a turn for the worse.  Under duress, he tells them that the virus wasn’t born in the usual way, it came from the blood of a girl that the Vatican deemed possessed by a demon.  Now they need a sample of her blood in order to understand what they’re truly dealing with but getting that sample will not be easy.

rec5

I hope you haven’t had any pea soup recently.

I really liked the first film and I’m not surprised that I enjoyed the sequel, maybe even more so.  I enjoyed the story told a lot more due to the subtle change to the supernatural from the well-worn “zombie-like virus” story told in the past.  Not that demonic possession is all that new either but it’s such a change that it actually affects the first film as well and I didn’t expect it so I was certainly getting a story with some thought put into it.

REC 2 Image 2

Tomato soup?

[REC]2 is another film in the growing number of found footage (shaky cam) movies that were popularized by the likes of Blair Witch Project and continue on today with the likes of Paranormal Activity 19.  Many people criticize that no one would carry a camera filming all of this though in REC2 it makes more sense realistically that a SWAT unit would have cameras on their person compared to a camera guy holding his camera up to watch the thing that’s going to kill him.  So I didn’t mind that until later on when a group of teens find an entrance into the building and take their camcorder with them.  If that’s the worst thing I can say about the movie, I’d say the movie’s doing just fine.

rec6

It looks almost like Call of Duty!

TL;DR

Story: 8 – Following through on the events of the original and builds on that foundation with a great twist that changes the game a bit.

Blood: 9 – It may not be red all the time on screen, but the film is incredibly bloody.  Lots of gory bites and a crazy amount of people getting their heads blown off with shotguns.

Nudity: 1 – Eeeeh…there’s a naked demon that’s not terribly exciting to look at.

Overall: 8 – Overall, [REC]2 is an excellent follow up to the original that delivers some great gore and some good jump scares.  Those that hate found footage-style films or hate reading subtitles should avoid it, but it’s an easy recommendation from me.

Trivia

-The filmmakers gave the action scenes a first-person shooter vibe as you can see the end of the gun barrels on screen when firing.

-The actors playing the SWAT team went through intensive training on how to handle guns.

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