Newest Review: ... it, the directors do the exact same thing again, teasing us and taunting us with what we do and don't see. And this is why it works. Th... more
Time to jump again: get the camera rolling!
Member Name: pmcds
Advantages: Direction, frantic nature, effects and lighting
Disadvantages: Nothing really, although it doesn't have the intrigue and impact of the first film
The trick here is in uncovering some of the mysteries the first film left us with. Rec's directors, Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza, were very careful to show only what you would see from the camera, leaving snippets and shocks for the second film to explore. The beauty though, is that far from suffering the curse of the sequel and giving us what we think we want from it, the directors do the exact same thing again, teasing us and taunting us with what we do and don't see. And this is why it works.
The other difference is whereas beforehand we had just the one camera, this time we have perhaps a shorter buildup to the finale but shown from two perspectives: firstly the SWAT team, and then from the perspective of a group of teens who squirm their way in letting curiosity get the better of them. This does allow us as viewers a small amount of reprise from the single camera footage that the first film gave us. The other thing they do cleverly is allow a sort of camera relay, using first one and then another for the SWAT team as panic sets in.
The panic really is what sells the sequel. We as viewers know what they're going to encounter, or at least the sort of thing: zombified and possessed humans whose infections have spread through saliva, usually biting. There are some freaky voice exchanges, blacked out eyes and effective special effects at work here, and the whole crew must be commended on delivering an atmosphere that balances that of the first film.
The acting is once again frantic and frenetic, snippets of conversation giving way to absolute panic and desperation, all elements of pride left firmly at the door. Minimal lighting and the use of night vision on the camera once again have their required effects, and the whole thing made me jump almost as much as the first film. What it did in addition though is add a creepier nature and more of an explanation as to what is going on. The back story touched on in the first film is elaborated on here and to an almost satisfactory level. I say almost as they have left plenty for a third and apparently fourth film to explain, and I've got to say I'm really looking forward to seeing them.
The film is scary, make no bones about it. You'll probably jump, want to shy away, want to see things in your peripheral as opposed to seeing things directly, as if that would help. But you'll find it hard to look away. The film is in Spanish with English subtitles, and after getting used to this in the first film I didn't find it an issue at all here. This isn't why you have to look at the screen though. It's because it's a compelling sequel. Sure, it's inferior compared to the first film as it loses the initial intrigue and not knowing what's around the corner, so they try and spice it up with a bit of twist. It's up to you to work out what it is and whether or not you think it worked, but I liked the effort. This sequel works because they've expanded on what was successful with the first film but not completely given in and blurted out everything. Things are still left to the imagination, and that is what's powerful. Recommended.
Summary: Impressive Spanish horror sequel