It’s been nearly a year since we caught up with REC 2 (review) co-directors Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza at the Toronto International Film Festival (rewind here). With the film arriving in limited theaters July 9 from Magnet Releasing, we caught up for a follow-up with Plaza who chatted briefly about the birth of the franchise and where it might go. The sequel picks up 15 minutes from where the first left off, taking audiences back into the quarantined apartment building where a terrifying virus has run rampant, turning the occupants into mindlessly violent, raging beasts.
It’s crazy to think that we’re already looking forward to two more REC sequels. Plaza remembers when they decided to push the initial film into a franchise.
“It was after the release and success of the first one that we began to think that it was worth developing the cosmology we had created. When we thought about it, we came back to the original to rescue some ideas already planted there, like the demonic possession, that left a lot to explore.” But the duo of Paco and Jaume Balaguero didn’t think about a sequel until after they arrived at the theater. “To be honest, when we went together to a theatre in Barcelona, it was crowded, sold out, people yelling, laughing and an ovation during the credit block,” said Plaza. “Jaume and I looked to each other and knew we couldn’t just leave it there.”
Even though a sequel wasn’t in the original plan, Plaza explains that the idea of demonic possession was in fact teased in the first REC.
“That is the background we had created; at the end of the first REC we somehow gave a lot of clues, in the tape, in the newspapers on the wall…everything was already there. We loved the idea of mixing living dead with and exorcist.”
An interest turn in REC 2 is the all new first-person perspective from various “actors”. Plaza recounts the interesting experience.
“It was fun because the actors operate themselves, and sometimes they were so concerned about the shot that almost forgot to act. It took a little longer but it was worth having the actors doing it, I think it gives an special flavor.”
Looking forward to both REC 3 and 4, Plaza couldn’t reveal anything just yet, but explained that they’re “ working really hard in making the funniest and scariest of the three,” adding that even though directing duties are split up, they’ll still work on each other’s films. “Jaume will be involved as a producer and I will do the same in his.”
But those hoping for the REC films to in the same direction as Saw (with several more sequel), don’t keep your hopes up. “The fourth will be the last one, at least on our side…” Plaza teases adding more more juicy tease: Angela could return…again! “I think she might. You never know with her.”
REC 2 in now available On Demand, PS3, Amazon and Xbox 360, with a limited theatrical run beginning on July 9.