REC 2

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Hours ago, Spanish authorities lost contact with a desperate group of survivors trapped inside a quarantined apartment building. Now, a second group is being sent in to ascertain the fate of the first, and unfortunately for them, they’re about to succeed.

Can anyone tell me if The Blair Witch Project inspired copycats, or not even copycats, but just a wave of movies taking advantage of the new genre of “found footage”? I ask because I don’t remember if it did, but I can seem to recall anything similar coming out back then. Paranormal Activity however seems to have done just that, inspire filmmakers to take up the found footage cause. I can’t remember there ever being such a slew of them constantly coming out before the boring story of chandelier shaking and girlfriends getting dragged down the hall by invisible forces (happens to me like four times a week, grow up). There have been a few successes (such as this film’s predecessor REC) but most just aren’t very good. Still, as with any new movie that makes loads of money, people just keep trying to get on board, thankfully for me, movies like REC 2 will eventually make people stop giving attention to the ones that aren’t worth a damn. Fingers crossed anyways.

Our sequel to the Spanish original of Quarantine begins right where the first ended (fans of the American remake will easily remember SINCE IT WAS SHOWN IN THE PREVIEW OVER AND OVER AGAIN COMPLETELY RUINGING THE FUCKING ENDING), only now, Spain’s version of the S.W.A.T is being sent in with a Ministry of Health official to ascertain what happened to the first official they sent inside, an official they’ve now lost contact with. We of course already know they’re dead (or at the very least infected, the line between being a zombie and just being sick/possessed is a lot more blurred with this one) but The Ministry of Health isn’t so sure. Not only do they want to discover the fate of those previously trapped inside the aging tenement, but unknown to the S.W.A.T. team accompanying our health official (or is he?), the Ministry is also well aware of the disease spreading throughout the building and someone backing them needs to find its origins before the virus escapes into the population. After being let inside, the building is quickly resealed behind them and the group is left to wander darkened hallways full of ravenous zombies, and one extremely messed up looking little girl. Their only real advantage, each one has a helmet camera that allows the other members to look in on their partners should the group become separated. Things seem to go smoothly at first, that is until a dark secret is revealed to the S.W.A.T. team that changes everything concerning the real nature of the disease. To make matters worse, a second group is discovered to have entered the building via a series of abandoned tunnels that lead up to the tenement’s basement. While chasing the runaways down, the S.W.A.T. unit finally comes in contact with the infected former occupants, now ghouls with a taste for human flesh. With all semblance of order collapsing around them and their specialized training proving useless, the officers charged with protecting the health official fall apart, their once highly prized links to each other becoming little more than a televised way to watch their comrades be eaten.

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{REC 2: Helmet Cams vs. Zombies}

This movie is a great example of taking something that was great (REC) and turning it into shit (REC2). It’s almost like reverse wizardry, “Abbracadabra…now this sucks”. The first movie was great, even the American remake rocked, it’s really a shame they had to completely destroy it. What kills me is that the film’s major draw of having four different camera angles this time around quickly becomes the film’s biggest drawback. At first it was interesting to see the different cameras picking up different pieces of what’s going on, unfortunately the film quickly devolves into little more than scattered scenes of people running around or fighting off the undead. During these scenes the camera movement is chaotic, impossible to follow, and nauseating, you can’t tell what’s going on, and after a certain point, you won’t care, you’ll be more worried about the camera settling for a bit, if just to give your stomach time to settle down (something you won’t get very often). I understand the attempt at realism, that they wanted this to seem like it was actually happening, great, here’s the problem…IT’S NOT REAL. Go for realism if you want, some films have been able to pull it off with the first person camera bit (The Last Exorcism and Death of a Ghost Hunter come to mind) but at least make sure it’s still entertaining and not impossible to watch. I’d rather sit in front of Grandma’s vacation pictures for two hours than have to watch this poorly made piece of garbage again.

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{Imagine trying to watch this scene while the camera swings back and forth, for effect, pick up your screen and shake it around in front of you and you’ll have most of this flick}

Hold on though, it gets worse. Let’s talk about the actors, my guess, they must have all trained at Zipp’s School of Overacting (it’s close to the Tennessee border) because they pour it on thick, especially S.W.A.T. member Larra. They are all annoying, but he’s bad enough that his death is almost welcomed if just because it shuts him up. The one actor who managed to impress me (yes, just one) was the Ministry official played by Jonathan Mellor, the rest, well, let’s just say they all have a bright future as Sesame Street actors and sports mascots.

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{Our Ministry of Health official (Jonathon Mellor) tries to deal with angry S.W.A.T. members}

Lastly on this film’s quick decent toward the bottom is the film’s lame attempt to spice things up by introducing a second set of characters halfway through the film, even taking us back to the moment the S.W.A.T. entered the building to show the audience how this group managed to sneak in. I’m sure the film’s producers thought it was a genius idea, it wasn’t. It breaks apart an already broken movie and brings it down even further. I already didn’t care about the S.W.A.T. team, and now I had a whole new set of characters I didn’t care about. Maybe it’s just me but starting a movie over halfway through doesn’t sound like a true entertainment experience.

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{Expect a lot of religion in this film}

The movie is predictable, hard to follow, headache inducing, and you’ll figure out how it’s going to end within the first fifteen minutes, just an all-around bad flick. If you’re a fan of the original like myself, I’d stay away from this sad excuse of a sequel.

 

The Undead Review

 

Directed By: Jaume Balaguero (REC, Darkness) and Paco Plaza (REC, Second Name)

Starring: Jonathan Mellor (Brain Drain), Oscar Zafra (My Prison Yard, El mundo alrededor), Ariel Casas (My Way, Nowhere), and returning actress Manuela Velasco (REC, Law of Desire)

Released By: Castelao Producciones and Filmax

Release Year: 2009

Release Type: Limited Theatrical Release in the US

MPAA Rating: Rated R

About The Undead Review

When I was alive I was an asshole and after I died remained pretty much the same, if not a little worse. You’d think becoming a member of the walking dead would mellow a person out, no more worrying about awkward small talk with people, no more having to be politically correct, and the entire world is your upright, bipedal buffet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun as hell to be a zombie, just somewhat irritating at times, especially those times you have to watch a lame movie or read a lame book. Thankfully, when I am forced to watch these films or read those books, I’ve got places like The Undead Review to bitch and moan to my heart’s content. {When he’s not devouring the living or sinking his teeth into a good film The Undead Review (Andy Taylor) spends his time writing his own stories or hunting down the paranormal. Oh, and did we mention his blind dog once saved the world?)
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