The [REC] Collection: [REC] 2 Blu-ray Review
Written by Robert Gold
Blu-ray released by Scream Factory
Directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza
Written by Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza and Manu Díez
2009, 85 minutes, Rated R
Jonathan Mellor as Dr. Owen
Manuela Velasco as Ángela Vidal
Ariel Casas as Larra
Alejandro Casseca as Martos
Pablo Rosso as Rosso
Oscar Sánchez Zafra as Chief Fernandez
Andrea Ros as Mire
Pau Poch as Tito
Alex Batllori as Ori
Picking up minutes after the original film’s shocking conclusion, this time the action focuses on a team of special-operations officers coming in to sweep the apartment building in search of survivors. Dr. Owen, the team leader, has his own agenda and after facing off against infected hostiles, quickly reveals his intended purpose in joining this mission. He is seeking a blood sample from a particular resident who may be the origin for the outbreak. Interfering with the plan is a trespassing trio of young teens trying to get in on the mystery of the quarantined building. Soon, the infected are swarming around the apartments and the soldiers have their hands full. In a nice twist, everyone has a camera this time around and the plot unfolds in a bit of a time loop. Owen’s revelations firmly plant this sequel within the supernatural territory set up at the end of the previous movie. By approaching this angle head-on from the beginning, the material is easier to accept.
Directed once again by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza, [REC] 2 gets a lot right. Working from a script the duo co-wrote with Manu Díez, the decision to pick things up right where they previously left off is both brilliant and intriguing. It is a logical extension of the night’s events but also serves as a sort of a cat-and-mouse question as to when they will reveal all of their secrets. The guys ratchet up the tension in this respectable sequel and keep things moving at a rapid pace while holding their cards close to the vest. The picture takes a few far-out turns, but in the capable hands of these storytellers I was more than game to go along for the ride.
The cast does a fine job with everyone appearing natural throughout. The special-forces angle works really well here as they operate in a coordinated effort until everything goes to hell and they are forced to regroup. Jonathan Mellor is convincing as Dr. Owen, the leader with a secret. He keeps things grounded no matter how out of control everything gets. Manuela Velasco returns as Ángela Vidal and is a welcome addition despite her delayed introduction into the mix. The events of the final act are accomplished skillfully as we play with the concept of perception and again factor the camera into the heart of the matter. The directors step up their game with an even more intense finale that leaves the door open for another installment in the franchise. Sequels are a difficult thing to pull off, but the duo really succeed here with a near-perfect complement to their previous effort.