[Rec] 2 (18)
Time Out rating:
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Time Out says
Tue May 25 2010Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza’s adequate but disappointing sequel to their terrifying Spanish horror movie picks up the action just minutes after the final night vision shot of TV presenter Angela (Manuela Velasco) being dragged off into the darkness. A four-man SWAT team enters the quarantined building alongside public health official Dr Owen (Jonathan Mellor), blissfully unaware of the virus-induced mayhem and infected crazies that await them. The audience, however, knows exactly what to expect, so despite a few neat surprises, ‘[Rec] 2’ mainly expands on familiar images and ideas.
The sequel’s major innovation is the replacement of the original’s single TV camera with the team’s multiple-camera set-up. Bloody-faced ‘zombies’ lunge at the camera, POV shots often resemble those in first-person shooter video games, and screens-within-screens display feeds from other parts of the building. This technology is used cleverly but not very effectively, boosting the amount of information without ramping up the suspense. There’s also a lot of tying up loose ends, which is clever in a puzzle-solving way, but undermines the sense of an anarchic plunge into chaos.
More contentiously, the supernatural/ religious element introduced towards the end of the first film is expanded here, pushing the sequel into ‘Exorcist’-style territory. Most damagingly, about 40 minutes in, the focus abruptly shifts to three irritating teens who have slipped into the house through the drains. This flabby mid-section only serves to deflate the tension and pad out the modest running time. One could drive a fire engine through the many plot holes, as ‘[Rec] 2’ does little more than fan the dying embers of the original.
Author: Nigel Floyd