Friday, June 11, 2010

[REC] 2 (2009)

Fear 5/5
Gore 5/5
Entertainment 5/5
Creepiness 5/5

Picking up pretty much where REC left off, a group of four heavily armed and uniformed police officers storm our 'infected' apartment building with a believed representative from the Center for Disease Control (or the European equivalent) in tow. Starting off with a bang and in frantic fashion, our group comes upon a member of the infected while searching an apartment and bites one of the officers. Making work of the rabid man, our bitten member of the law quickly turns but before he can attack the group, our supposed CDC member subdues him. And so begins a plot shift which is quietly eluded to in the first film but is brought to greater light at this moment.

And really kids, I can't tell you much more for to do so, would spoil the surprise, shock, and turn you on your head, 180 plot shift. What I can say is that take any notions you have of the first film and throw them out. The way the 'infection' is handled from this point on is both unique and absolutely brilliant. Truly convention challenging and the way that its executed all the way up to and including the shocking, equally handled with adeptness and originality, ending.

I will instead focus on more of the aesthetics of the film. What also works well for it is the employment of shifts in perspective. Our officers are equipped with mounted cameras on their helmets and multiple times perspectives change within the group. One particularly harrowing moment occurs when one of them gets trapped in an apartment and we see, through the lense of the other officers in safe hiding as they change camera feeds, the tragic fate which befalls him.

The other shift occurs with a group of mischievous teens which storm the building with their own handheld camera which they've been messing around with. It may seem like the filmmakers were just trying to write-in scenarios in order to keep the first person sense of realism going and to throw the viewer off balance, but it feels natural here as the kids are shown prior to doing stupid kid stuff like goofing off and pulling pranks. And the peer pressure mounts as one of the boys convinces the others to enter the building after coming upon the wall of emergency vehicles lined in the street.

No matter what group the camera decides to focus on, the film continues to do well with what made the original so successful: taking people and throwing them into chaos, with real, natural and believable emotions being expressed. From fear, to dread, to breaking down and losing all rationale, the film brilliantly displays a world in which chaos reigns. This pulls us in as the viewer, emotionally investing us from the word 'go'.

And if all that wasn't enough, our female reporter from the original film makes an unexpected return towards the end which then leads us into another plot twist that you don't see coming.

Expertly executed, genre convention challenging, original and ultimately brilliant, REC 2 gets my vote for best horror film of 2010 (so far). OK, OK, so it was released in 2009 but the rest of the world is only getting a look- see just now, so in my book, it counts as a 2010 release. Be on the lookout for an announcement regarding the inferior American remake sometime soon.

Cortez the Killer

HorrorBlips: vote it up!


Joe Monster said...

Wow, a perfect 5 rating?! That's the first time I've seen that on here since I started reading I believe. I feel like such a noob for not having seen this OR the original. Lol I'm so out of the modern horror loop sometimes. Well now I am DEFINITELY going to have to watch both of these. They sound insanely awesome and wicked.

thhjasmine said...

wow! cant wait,1 was damn good,is this out on dvd yet?

Planet of Terror said...

@Joe, yes sir. And worth the quadruple maxed out rating. Its THAT good. However, I will say other sites don't like the plot shift. As a matter of fact, it looks like 'popular' opinion is split 50/50.

@thhjasmine, its actually on VOD right now if your cable company offers it.

The Film Connoisseur said...

Ill be seeing and reviewing this one soon as well, cant wait to see it after such a positive review! Im glad were getting some good horror films!

Atroxion said...

Eh, I guess I'm the only one who hated this movie. I think it's because of the whole religion twist they decided to add. As much as I dislike it, even I can't deny it's extreme sense of panic and terror that it arouses.

Glad to see you enjoyed it. I'm still gonna watch part 3, in case they decide to do another sequel.

Planet of Terror said...

@TFC, can't wait to read your thoughts.

@Atroxion, I was waiting for an opposing viewpoint and I'm glad I got yours :)

And no, you're not the only one who hated it. I've read plenty of posted reviews and it seems like people either love it or hate it. There's no in between.

I understand WHY people would hate it. The first film spends so much time in set-up and execution into making us believe in one thing. And the 2nd film makes an abrupt turn and heads in a completely different direction. And its not like it happens midway through either, its within the first 20 min. So if you didn't like the plot shift, I could see where someone would say 'Oh boy, I've still got an hour and forty min. left of running time to sit through.'

Overall, I thought it was brilliant. Just when you think you have the film figured out, there comes a swift punch to the face which completely floors you. And I'm still trying to figure out which was more gut punching: the reveal at the beginning or the crazy, come out of left field ending. Goddamn this movie was amazing.

Geof said...

I knew you were going to like this Cortez! Our reviews align in terms of the enjoyable aspects of the film...except for my pledge of love to Manuela Velasco. but I couldn't help myself.

Like you, I can't really say anything without spoiling it for the many who have not had the opportunity to embrace its' awesomeness. I know there will be those who trash the twist, but I think the original hinted towards the road this sequel would lead down.

Best horror flick I have seen this year. Nice non-spoiler review, dude.

Cortez The Killer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cortez The Killer said...

@Geof, she's one foxy lady that's fo sho!

I think it lent towards a sequel at the end. Really interested to see where they take the next one (if there is and I super duperly hope so).

the jaded viewer said...

Wow CTK...5/5. I only gave it 3 spinkicks. I can see why it deserved it so.

Now what else has gotten a 5/5?