Main cast: Jonathan Mellor (Dr Owen), Óscar Sánchez Zafra (Jefe), Ariel Casas (Larra), Alejandro Casaseca (Martos), Pablo Rosso (Rosso), Pep Molina (Jennifer’s father), Andrea Ros (Mire), Àlex Batllori (Ori), Pau Poch (Tito), and Manuela Velasco (Ángela Vidal)
Directors: Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza
Warning, people: REC 2 takes place almost immediately after the events of REC, so there are many spoilers for REC in this movie as well as in this review. So don’t read on if you haven’t watched that one yet but plan to some time in the future. Just hit the back button, go on. You’re still here? Well, I’ve warned you.
So, after the mayhem that was unleashed in the previous movie, we learn that the zombie things are actually infected by demonic essence. Unsurprisingly, the Vatican is interested in learning about this infection, so they have a priest, Dr Owen, sent to retrieve samples of blood from the original zombie-thing, the Medeiros girl.
He has a GEO team to accompany him, although these GEO officers believe that he’s an official from the Ministry of Health and the people inside the apartment block are infected by diseases of a more earthly nature. Before they know it, they are in the same zombie party that the folks in the previous movie found themselves in. Will any of them ever make it out of there alive?
After the critical and commercial success of REC, it’s inevitable that a sequel will be filmed, and so here it is, REC 2. It takes everything great about the previous movie and ramps up the annoyance factor until the whole thing feels like a cacophonous mess. There are teenagers here, and they are as annoying as one could imagine. The GEO officers behave more like histrionic drama queens, and it isn’t long before their shouting, posturing, yelling, and screaming grate painfully on my nerves. I actually start to feel sorry for Dr Owen for being saddled with these loud but ineffective buffoons.
Seriously, these GEO people are an embarrassment. Even taking into account that they are scared out of their wits – and honestly, shouldn’t they be briefed on what to expect inside the apartment block? – they are still horrible to behold. They will shoot wildly without aiming… everywhere… but they can’t even hit the monster standing right in front of them. Give any of them an important “We need this or we’ll die!” item to hold and they will drop or damage that thing before I can even blink. They would rather keep three stupid teenagers down to keep word about the infection from spreading, but they seem to have no problems letting infected zombie-things break out of the apartment quarantine barriers. Are these people really GEO officers or are they drop-outs from a clown school? Zombies 1, GEO 0, and that’s just the IQ scores of these wretched things I’m talking about.
To be fair, there are some genuinely scary moments that almost replicate the intensity of those in the first movie, but the overacting and constant tomfoolery make it hard for me to appreciate those scenes. And don’t get me started about the “twist” in the ending. I had a pretty good idea what was coming, having seen the previous movie, but when the twist does hit me in the face, it’s a bit too silly and over the top even for a movie with demonic possessions.
Oh well. I never expected much from a sequel anyway, so I wasn’t that disappointed at the end of the day, I’d take the original over this sequel any day, though.