Directors: Jaume Balaguero, Paco Plaza (2009)
Starring: Jonathan Mellor, Oscar Zafra, Ariel Casas
Not quite as good as the original, but still a very good movie. [Rec] 2 picks up almost exactly where the first left off, with a heavily armed riot team and a mysterious health inspector breaching the infected Spanish apartment block. Despite being far more prepared than the predecessor's firemen and TV reporters, the men are quickly overrun and face the fight of their lives. There's a kick-ass priest too. Zombie movies are always improved by kick-ass priests.
It's all a bit Aliens, with quite the emphasis on more action and a lot more zombies than before. The firsthand footage gimmick is still present, as our protagonists all wear little webcams on their heads. It also takes in multiple perspectives, using footage from other survivors and cameras scattered throughout the building. Occasionally this can feel a bit distracting, but mostly it works. Characters and families from the first movie are revisited, and we get to see quite a bit more of that creepy penthouse apartment too.
Whereas the cause and nature of the infection went mostly unexplained in [Rec], it is here explained away almost completely. And the explanation the filmmakers choose to go with here might seem like a startling one to some. [Rec] 2 , without being spoilery, is a more supernatural movie than its predecessor. Actually, that was quite spoilery, wasn't it? It'd be interesting to see whether a Quarantine 2 would go that route too. I enjoyed it though, even if it does dent some of the movie's realism. A final twist opens the series up further. I hope to see more of the franchise in future, as there's plenty could be done with [Rec]'s new ideas, especially in a more open environment.
[Rec] 2 then, whilst not managing to be quite as good as the first movie, is its own beast. There are plenty of scares and thrills to please the most ardent gorehound. There's a genuine feel of unpredictability to the proceedings, which is fun and very intriguing. The movie's final shot, by the way, is its coup-de-grace. Playful and terrifying at the same time, it makes the whole sequel thing worthwhile and actually adds to its predecessor's power. Highly reccommended.