Monday, February 4, 2013

REC 2:

Can’t describe the delight I felt tracking a subtitled copy of this down. And then I watched it.
While I don’t feel devastated by what I watched last night, I don’t feel great about it either. Sure, it’s congruent to the first one, and demonstrates an admirable reuse of the same space, low budget filmmakers take note. However, somewhere along the way it pushed me out, pretty much in step with the exposition and reveals of the how and why things had gone to hell in this sequestered suburban walkup.
Felt sort of like a second date with a scrumptious parcel where you discover the secret of how they keep their slim figure and that they really can only discuss one piece of classic literature and refuse to let the conversation drift away to regard any others.
Remember the rant the film savvy Jamie Kennedy went on about in Scream 2, almost breaking the fourth wall like a Deadpool rant to inform the audience about what to expect from a sequel to a successful horror film? This one reminded me of that rant, perhaps the creators took heed that advice or expectations, I’m not sure.
[SPOILERS] What I do know is that the exorcism / possession angle for explaining fluid-transmitted zombie action pulled me out of the experience a bit. True, the end of the first film pointed towards a patient zero that was also a Linda Blair type, however having a soldier priest as one of the key protagonists in this installment really changed the tone, and I’m not sure I ever fully got back on board with the narrative after that reveal.
Doesn’t have the empathetic characters the first one did, though does have some great cameos of zombified versions of characters from the first one, most notably the bald fireman with the sledgehammer.
I liked that 2 has multiple camera vantage points, and wish this aspect had been explored more. Of course the designer in me began to see co-operative gameplay mechanics and IP potential with the SWAT guys, reporters, and thrill-seeker kids with their rocket propelled blow-up love dolls.  Speaking of, what happens to the two kids the SWAT thugs locked into a bedroom and abandoned? Will they thwart the Big Evil in the inevitable REC3? Will REC3 elect to go outside and play or remain indoors shying away from sunlight’s harmful rays?
And will the North American version made for the subtitle adverse get a sequel? If so, I have to wonder if, like Ring 2, the makers will take Quarantine 2 into a completely different direction that doesn’t implicate the Vatican of harvesting biological weapons out of the flammable blood of possessed little girls.
Summation, an adequate yet somewhat dissatisfying sequel that could still lead to a dynamic and exciting final chapter down the line. Some great moments, fun editing and storytelling techniques, and an excellent zombie kill with a bottle rocket, worth seeing really just for that bit.

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