REC 2 is a sequel that I’m glad to have watched, and it feels impossible to try and talk about it without mentioning REC knowing that they’re so close to each other, like, literally just hours apart.
Talking about gender issues, the victimization and objectification of females is present in both films. This is a lot clearer to see in REC 2 though. One reference to this is the two guys and the girl. The two guys were playing with a sex doll whilst pressuring the girl to come along with them. Aside from the sex doll already being a subtle reference, the way the two guys treated the girl throughout the movie also showed objectification. The guys never cared about the girl and what she feels, they just used her and her stuff (camera) to make things a bit more fun for themselves. Another reference is the Medeiros girl and the very subject of possession on her. The fact that she was treated as a vessel to be possessed by a demon to spread demonizing infection shows objectification. Also, instead of being immediately exorcised as a possessed person that needs help, she was treated as an experiment in order to find antidotes for future possessions. There seems to be an attempt at ambiguity in that last part though, questioning whether or not how the girl was treated was justifiable. After all, the priest disguised as a Ministry of Health person later said in defense that the Medeiros girl’s possession spreads like a virus and they (the Vatican guys) felt that they needed an antidote in order to stop other people from getting infected. This reminds me about the last part in the Cabin in the Woods where the girl protagonist was made to choose between “The World” and his guy friend. Nevertheless, it was clear that the Medeiros girl was treated as a means instead of an end and this was enough to tell me that she was treated badly.
This was the first sequel that we watched in class, and I think that it’s a good standard to base other sequels on. Unlike REC 2, lots of other horror movie sequels these days feel as if they were made only for the sake of continuation or closure. It’s as if one is thrown into the exact same thing all over again where the scares are recycled and the victims are of the same kind. There is no escalation, only a repetition which doesn’t contribute much to the series as a whole. Now from what I saw, REC 2 tried to do differently by showing new ways to evoke the tense, claustrophobic feeling from the first installment. Also, it filled in a lot of questions raised in REC 1. These traits coupled with a higher sense of energy made me see REC 2 more as a “main course” and REC 1 an “appetizer”. With that in mind, REC 2 is a movie that can stand on its own. I still remember that first time I watched it with my friends which was from a few years ago. I honestly thought that what we were watching was the first REC movie and I only noticed the mistake after knowing that the title on the file was wrong and also not noticing the small number 2 on the opening title of the film! (I torrent, please don’t hate O.O)