The scariest thing about horror films is the haunting that comes after- the paranoia that it could happen to you. Films such as The Strangers and The Blair Witch Project, because they are the hardest to forget.
That’s what I liked about [REC] initially. The fact that the director made it as true-to-life as possible, incorporating handheld cameras, realistic reactions, and a variety of characters was what sold it for me.
[REC] 2, however, was a let down. It seemed the producers had earned a lot of money from [REC] and chose to expand the budget for its sequel, which made it lose its raw edge.
The biggest difference was the camera. From a shakey hand-held, it had turned to a good camera disguised as a bad one. The camera was a huge factor in the thrill of the first film; it set the whole mood and made me feel that I was witnessing a leaked scandal. I found the camera switching between the SWAT officers a bit weird, but liked how it showed a wider perspective of what was going on in the apartment. I was very relieved when the shakey handheld returned with the teenagers, until they pissed me off with their whining.
What I did like, however, was that they divulged the reasons behind the infection. I’m a huge sucker for twisted mad-men and corrupted heroes, so I loved the fact that the culprit behind the virus was actually a priest who was attempting to save a possessed girl. I just wish they played it up more by making the experiments more scandalous. In my version, the priest would have held the teenager girl as one of his virginal captives (a typical theme in most horror films, as we’ve discussed) and performed sick experiments on her, rather than actually have her possessed. That would have made it more horrific because everyone loves a good church scandal. I lost interest in the experiments behind the girl once it started getting supernatural. I wasn’t a big fan of the devil-communication through the other zombies, nor the finding the girl through night vision (but I must admit, the doorway in the darkness was something I expected to see in the Silent Hill video games).
One of the best parts the film, however, was the return of the reporter, and the twist wherein she was actually possessed by the demon. Her acting was commendable and the whole situation was completely unexpected, but the whole worm-transfer via mouth was overkill. Also, the moment wherein the teenage girl shot the officer instead of the zombie. It was the only part of the film wherein I felt sympathy for their little group for leading themselves to their entrapment. Overall, aside from sealing up plot holes that were created by the first film, [REC] 2 did not match up to its prequel.