Let’s be honest – the only reason Rec 1 was made was so that they could make Rec 2.
Rec 2 is leaps and bounds more psychologically taxing and all-together horrifying than Rec 1. Here you weren’t distracted by a multitude of different characters you were still trying to keep up with by the time they were bitten/killed, the story wasn’t as draggy and the source of the evil wasn’t just some transmittable disease. Rec 2 had a bit more depth, had a bit more plot twists to keep you interested all throughout. It seamlessly transforms a mediocre zombie movie into a real thriller where every character has significance. Also, I think the utilization of multiple cameras this time around, created a more dynamic experience as a whole. It afforded the movie more opportunities to really round out the story and provide different angles which really made a world of difference in this installment.
To relate this to Sir’s discussion before the movie, I think this move greatly threatened what the characters in the movie thought was natural – but at different levels. For the kids who snuck into the building, their world drastically changes by their knowledge of why they had to put the building on lockdown. If they had made it out, their lives would never be the same again. Even the SWAT officers had their idea of what (had become) familiar to them – that there is an infection contained in the building that needs to be investigated. But even thir newly-familiarized notion of the world is threatened when they enter the building. It is no longer a force of science or biology they’re after, its a religious one, a spiritual one. There is a demon in the building – not only their mission has changed but their familiarity with the situation, and ultimately, living in the world.
To relate this movie further to the article of Noel Carroll, “Why Horror?”, this installment of REC quite clearly shows one of Carroll’s descriptions of Horror stories which is that it is a protracted series of discoveries – both of the characters within the story and for the audience as well. The characters have to discover that, in their world, there are those that possess people and inflict horror on those surrounding them. That what they had first thought to be an infection, was indeed a demon the Vatican had set out to combat. For the audience, on the other hand, we also go through the same discoveries but as the movie ended, we had the upper hand. We were the only ones to discover that demon had tricked them all whilst in the body of the recovered newscaster. This final discovery MADE the movie. When a movie leaves you relieved that it’s over so you don’t have to see the kind of pain that will soon be inflicted on the rest of the people in the story, you know you’ve just seen a good horror film. REC 2 is up there with Triangle as my favorite horror movies so far. The openendedness of both films allowed the story to live on in our mind – free to only imagine what other horrors lied in store for the characters. These are the kinds of horror movies I think that transcend aesthetic horror and really get under your skin.