RECing Ball

Sequels are not particularly interesting to me because more often than not, the movies that have been good enough to merit a sequel are so good that it becomes impossible to outdo in a second movie. Too much of the greatness has been exhausted in the first movie that the subsequent ones tend to fall flat on their faces. So when I found out that we were watching Rec 2, I was not expecting much from it.

I really enjoyed the first one, though. I thought that was the only way mockumentaries should be done. There was so much action and chaos and I could really feel the stress from the characters in the film, and I could really feel my being part of the movie. It was as if revelations about the virus were being revealed to me at the same time that they were being revealed to the people in the movie. That for me was one hell of a movie.

The second one, to my surprise, disappointed me but it was a welcome disappointment. Why, because it disproved my theory about sequels. I used to think that no sequel could outdo its predecessor and REC 2 was proof that that was not always the case. To me, REC 2 was even better than the first. There was more action, the zombies were more ferocious and a whole lot more about the plot was revealed to audience and actor alike.

I thought the zombies in REC were particularly strange. First because they could run. Second because they were unusually hard to kill. And finally, they could talk. As the story went on, I began to think that REC is not just an ordinary zombie movie. It is not entirely sci-fi either. It combines scientific explanations with faith and religion to come up with a demon that is extraordinarily frightening and deadly.

I find it ironic that the movie has this kind of feel because faith and science are two aspects of humanity that are often at odds with each other. Like in the debate about the location of the earth in the universe, religious leaders claim geocentricity while scientists, with their fancy highfaluting equations claim heliocentrism. In the end, science emerges as the victor despite the efforts of the church to curtail the “blasphemies” of these scientists. They do this by executing Galileo Galilei, a mistake that they only admitted to recently.

I always believed that science and faith were never meant to be taken independently. They are a set of eyes that should come together and it is only in doing so that one could see the world more completely and with more depth. It is in finding that elusive middle ground that one could come up with a better understanding of the world that we live in.

I never, in my wildest dreams, thought that faith and science could also come together to form a monster. Truth be told, the Medieros girl in the movie is the daughter of such a coalition. There were scientific experiments done on her that paved the way to her becoming this insane monster that never dies and is just so potent a killer. At the same time, its as if this Frankenstein of a creature was blessed by the devil to become even more menacing. Not only does she spread the virus, she also makes use of them as puppets to further her malicious cause. Defeating such a monster requires an equally integrated understanding to combine a weapon that is both scientific and religious in nature.

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