REC 2 is pitch perfect as far as its predecessor is concerned. It embraces its sequel status by expounding on and exploring the mythos already established in REC while retaining all the great elements of the first movie.
That said, I found myself surprisingly bored with REC2. It was inherently fascinating to me, I love it when follow up stories aren’t afraid to explore their own pre-established worlds, but the fact that it was so similar to the first one in tone seemed to drown out the newness of, well, everything else. It became Angry Spanish People in a Confusing Situation Part Two (with teenagers!), which is a pity because the new bits are actually really exciting in retrospect, like Angela Vidal’s transformation from victim to monster.
REC 2, by picking up from where the first movie left off, introduces main characters that are “armed”, both with some prior knowledge of the situation and with literal guns. Thus, the encounter with the monsters becomes a bit more rudimentary, to the point that they go out of their way to encounter them themselves. However, the situation is still so deadly, and the main group’s original purpose so important, that the story isn’t at all undermined by this. And the strange new revelations, staggered artfully throughout the movie, at least managed to keep my interest long enough to get me through the duller parts of the movie.
I thought the concept was airtight and that REC 2 made for a satisfying sequel. Knowing that the creatures are more demon than zombie doesn’t take away from my original assessment, since a lot of the elements (infection, disease, hunger) easily play along to the zombie genre.
Even if there were shadows of a deeper message hidden within the layers of screaming and shaky camera footage, REC2, for good or for worse, sticks to its guns and keeps in line with the spirit of the original.