[REC] 2: Better Than the Original

[Rec] 2 (2009)
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In 2007, Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza took the horror world by storm with their film [REC] – which proved you could still jolt some life into the zombie genre, and you didn’t need a big budget. The writer-director team took the simple idea of a group of people trapped in an apartment building after a highly contagious virus breaks out, and they ran with it. Hell – they sprinted! [REC] was so successful, in fact, that a remake, QUARANTINE (2008), was competed even before the original reached the U.S. With all this success, it’s no wonder that two years later [REC] 2 has been released (first on MOD/VOD and now in limited theatrical engagements). But the question stands: is it a worthy follow up to the original? I won’t leave you in suspense; [REC] 2 is scarier, darker, and overall better than the first one. That’s right people, as amazing as the first one is, [REC] 2 is better in every way. Ok, I got that off my chest.

[REC] 2 resumes immediately the ending of the first film. We even see reporter Ángela Vidal (Manuela Velasco) being dragged off into the dark room. We then  join a four-member SWAT team as they are on their way to the quarantined apartment building. As the leader says, “Record everything,” and that they do! The SWAT team is joined by Dr. Owen (Jonathan Mellor), and their job is to contain the outbreak and report on how bad the threat actually is. Well, that’s what they think their mission is.

[REC] 2 (2009)Writer-directors Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza (as well as writer Manu Deiz) don’t waste any time here. The new group is inside the apartment complex within the first five minutes; the action, horror, and blood start immediately, never letting up. Balagueró and Plaza take all the elements that made [REC] so amazing and injected some hardcore steroids into them. What we get here is not so much a sequel but a continuation of the first film. (I actually watched both REC films back-to-back and they flow beautifully together.)

We also get an explanation as to the cause of the virus (don’t worry, I’ll let you find out on your own) within the first fifteen minutes. The directors take a small aspect of [REC] and make it a major plot point here (the major plot point actually). The virus has a religious cause, and the key to finding a cure lies with the little girl Niña Medeiros (Javier Botet), from the first film. Just wait till you hear the cause of the virus! At first I wasn’t too pleased with the explanation, but as the film moves along (at a very fast pace) the explanation made more and more sense; it was in fact pretty damn original and unique. If you are well versed in your 1980s Italian horror films, [REC] 2 will remind you of Lamberto Bava’s DEMONS and DEMONS 2 (which is a huge compliment).

[REC] 2 (2009)No character is safe here, and the infected tear through the new group so quickly that the writers needed to include more victims, so about half way through we are introduced to three 20-somethings who manage to get caught up in the action and suddenly find themselves in the quarantined apartment building. When we’re introduced to the new characters, it does slightly interrupt the flow of the movie, but the directors don’t waste any time getting back to all the fun. This time out we get to see the infected up close and personal, with a good view of the effects. The infected are pretty horrifying, and there is enough gore here to fill two sequels.

If you’re a fan of the first [REC] and hate the f*cking terrible remake QUARANTINE, then get out and see [REC] 2!! Most of the time the best we could hope for would be a sequel that doesn’t completely suck; here we get a faster, gorier, scarier, better movie than the first. This is an extremely easy review to write – a no-brainer, in fact. Go out and see [REC] 2; I loved every second of it.

[REC] 2 (2009). Directed by Jaume Balaguero & Paco Plaza. Written by Jaume Balguero, Manu Diez, Paco Plaza. Cast: Jonathan Mello, Manuela Velasco, Oscar Zafra, Ariel Casas, Alejandro Casaseca, Pablo Rosso, Pep Molina, Andrea Ros, Alex Batllori, Pau Poch, Juli Fabregas, Ferran Terraza, Claudia Silva.


[Rec] 2 in Berkeley, S.F., Denver, Cambridge

[Rec] 2 (2009)Magnet Releasing gives limited platform distribution to this 2009 Spanish horror film, which is already available as Video on Demand through Amazon, X-Box Live, Playstation, and Vudu.  Directed by Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza, this sequel to the well-regarded [REC] picks up fifteen minutes after its predecessor, with a SWAT team and a medical officer attempting to quarantine the apartment building where residents have succumbed to a virus, turning into zombie-like creatures. Cast includes Jonathan Mellor, Manuela Velasco, and Oscar Zafra. (The original [REC] was remade in America as QUARANTINE.)


July 9 opens in:

  • Chicago, IL: Music Box
  • West Hollywood, CA: Sunset 5
  • Minneapolis, MN: Uptown Theatre
  • New York, NY: Village East Cinemas
  • Seattle, WA: Varsity Theatre

July 16 opens in:

  • Berkeley, CA: Shattuck Cinemas 10
  • San Francisco, CA: Lumiere Theatre 3
  • Denver, CO: Esquire Theatre
  • Cambridge, MA: Brattle Theater

July 23 opens in:

  • Royal Oak, MI: Main Art Theatre
  • Houston, TX: River Oaks Theatre

July 30 opens in:

  • Dallas, TX: Inwood Theatre

August 1 opens in:

  • Syracuse, NY: Palace

August 5 opens in:

  • Juneau, AK: Gold Town Nickelodeon

August 6 opens in:

  • Albuquerque, NM: Guild

August 26 opens in:

  • Tempe, AZ: MADCAP Theaters 3
  • Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Cinematheque

A still from [REC] 2 [REC] 2 (2009) [REC] 2 (2009) [REC] 2 (2009) [REC] 2 (2009) [REC] 2 (2009) [REC] 2 (2009) [REC] 2 (2009) [REC] 2 (2009) [REC] 2 (2009)

New Trailer for [Rec] 2

A still from [REC] 2
A still from REC 2
Following the news that the Spanish zombie sequel will be getting a US release later this year, IGN have unleashed a new trailer for the film. The trailer shows us a gruesome collection of moments from [REC] 2, which follows a SWAT team entering into the infected apartment building of the original.
Apparently the story picks up just after the end of the first film and seems to be using the same hand-held approach that made it so immediate. From the trailer, it also looks to be akin to an ALIEN – ALIENS sequel transition with more action, blood and thrills being the focus. The original [REC] was everything that DIARY OF THE DEAD should have been, with its hand-held camera style being used to full effect it created some truly unsettling moments. Based on this trailer, and the fact that it’s being made by the same Spanish team, [REC] 2 should be a worthy follow-up.
[REC] 2 is set for a US release sometime later this year.