Picking up minutes after [REC]‘s finale, [REC] 2 gets going right away as a SWAT team and doctor storm the apartment building where Angela Vidal and her crew were quarantined. Discovering that the virus is not airborne but blood-transmitted, the team barely has a chance to begin exploring before the infected begin their assault.
While the initial setup might make Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza’s sequel may seem pretty formulaic – if not fast-paced – at first glance, it’s anything but. By establishing the film on familiar grounds, [REC] 2 lulls you into a sense of ease and then pulls the rug out from under you. Shortly after the first attack, the doctor reveals that he is really a priest and that while everything in Part One still rings true, the infection isn’t exactly an infection and the zombies aren’t exactly zombies: what’s really going on is people are being possessed, maybe by the devil himself. The situation, while outlandish (as if the first one was grounded in reality…), comes across as genuine since the script gives all the characters a level of disbelief and skepticism which slowly and naturally turns around as things get more out of control.
Most first person camera flicks tend to stick with only one operator or device, but [REC] 2 rotates between most of the team members via cameras strapped to their helmets. It’s pretty ingenious, creating tension and suspense in certain scenes and cutting out pointless sequences where people run down hallways trying to find the action. Balaguero and Plaza even take it a step further and cut away to some kids spotted earlier in the film once all the SWAT cameras malfunction.
[Rec] 2 has had a limited theatrical and VOD release here in the states, with most other countries getting a DVD and Blu-ray by now. So, how does Sony’s DVD release measure up? The special features are fine (more on them below ), but Sony slaps you in the face with one of these the second you pop the disc in.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? [REC] 2 has gotten an HD release in most other territories and while most of us here are whining for one here, Sony doesn’t see a market for it and instead decides to remind us of other crap they’re putting out on the format.
Looks like it’s time to import.
Deleted and Extended Scenes (06:47) – A few scenes that show the kids having some fun with fire and trying to make heads or tails of the situation. And, of course, there’s an extra gut-munching scene thrown in for good measure.
Behind the Scenes Featurette (53:28) – A really interesting documentary that explores everything from the small details to breaking down several scenes with input from the cast and crew as to what went into their creation and execution. There’s a lot of raw footage to sift through here, with plenty of on-set antics and the like. Easily the best featurette on the disc.
A Walkthrough of the Set (8:51) – Art director Gemma Fauria gives a tour of the set, discussing the layout of the apartment building and the overlooked details within each room. He also talks a lot about establishing the claustrophobic feel of the location through various means.
[REC] 2 on Tour (8:40) -This featurette captures the madness of traveling from one film festival to the next with the film, as the crew documents screenings, parties and everything in between.
Stiges Film Festival Press Conference (10:59) – The fim’s panel from its 2009 world premiere with cast and crew is fairly entertaining and there’s some good information given out, but most of it overlaps with the behind-the-scenes featurette.