Monday, October 3, 2011

31 Days of Horror: Rec 2

2009, Jaume Balagueró (the frst Rec, of course) -- BluRay

Rec 2 picks up exactly where Rec (referring to the 'record' abbreviation on the video camera) left off -- we have an infection breakout in an apartment building in Barcelona and a camera crew following the firemen team first-responders has just been lost.  They were all attacked and in turn infected by the people suffering some sort of fast-zombie virus perpetrated by the stranger in the penthouse apartment.  The first movie ended with the reporter being dragged off into the darkness by... something.

This movie picks up with a tactical squad, maybe police maybe para-military, preparing to go in and investigate further.  They have few details but clear orders -- escort a doctor and record everything; the doctor is in charge.  This time the camera is carried by one of the squad but backed up by headcams. Again we will see everything through the eyes of the camera.  Yes, another shaky-cam movie so carry some dramamine if you need it.

The original was a movie of suspense and mystery and downright panic. We didn't know what was happening nor what could. Everything was dark corners and long shadowy hallways and the panic of dealing with something you didn't understand but could kill you. They didn't explain the virus except in the furthest stretch of something going on in the penthouse, something ... unseemly.  This wasn't people exploring what is going on in the basement but going up and down and up and down, panicking as the occupants of the building are quickly infected and become the enemy.

This one shares the same sense of shadow and suspense and panic but with more explanation.  We know now that the virus is demonic in origin.  Its origins, originally just seen as amoral, are now just downright insane. They experimented on a possessed girl to create a vaccine as proof against demonic possession?!?  It now causes anyone who mingles fluids to become part of the collective consciousness of that original demon? Fuck, that's a little bit beyond the common cold. Now you not only fear for the fact that you can die from this virus but that your mortal soul is in jeopardy.

Again the movie brings us to a conclusion in the dark. There is a door and a room unseen by eyes in the light, hidden by the power of the Devil or God but seen clearly in the camera's nightvision setting. We see what the others cannot see, the horrible creature created by the original possession.  There is nothing more nerve wracking than knowing that those poor souls are swinging their arms around in the dark not knowing what is there to kill them. And the final reveal of the great deception on the part of the demonic entity involved just leaves us suffering more than the other characters do.

I cannot wait to see what they will do with Rec 3.