Rec 2 [Blu-Ray] Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza

Rec 2 [Blu-Ray] Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza
By defining the cause of the rage-virus-style infestation started in the original Rec, this mythology-expanding sequel is going to divide audiences. I'm reticent to spoil the reveal, early as it may come, but anyone who's seen the first film can venture an educated guess as to the direction Rec 2 takes. A SWAT team is called in to assist a medical officer who's been tasked with finding a blood sample of the virus originator in order to develop an antidote in case the outbreak can't be contained. Your tolerance for human stupidity will have a heavy bearing on how you take this second journey through an apartment building full of rabid, zombie-like fiends. One may expect members of a SWAT team to be cooler under pressure, have better aim and a greater sense of responsibility towards humanity. Likewise, one might expect kids, even entitled, consequence-ignorant little pseudo-thrill seekers, to not be complete idiots, or that a desperate father would still have the presence of mind to rethink drugstore medication as a means of curing an infection being treated as a biohazard. But then again, people will surprise you. Accepting this propensity for idiocy, Rec 2 is a fairly interesting and effective take on both the first-person horror and zombie genres, though the tension that comes with the unfamiliar has dissipated, despite tactics to inject new elements of horror, and hasn't been replaced with an enhanced focus on action, despite the filmmakers' claimed intentions, as suggested in the massive "making of." Utilizing multiple camera angles, via helmet mounts on the SWAT members, is a logical extension of the visual display options, but a mid-film switch to the perspective of the aforementioned dumb-ass kids deflates tension and does little to service the plot; it feels like filler in an already short feature. Two extended scenes just increase the pointless screen time of these pieces of zombie-fodder and the few deleted scenes included are equally unnecessary. A "behind the scenes" feature feels like an extension of the already exhaustive, albeit very technically informative, "making of," but focused on one specific elaborate action sequence. Lacking the jolting chills that made the first film so memorable, Rec 2 is nevertheless engaging enough, despite its faults, to make me want more of this science and religion amalgamating Spanish horror franchise. (eOne)