Ah, REC 2, quite possibly the best horror film sequel ever, in my opinion. However, as a standalone film, i can’t really say it’s a particularly exceptional one. I can say though that it has made its way into my list of top ten favorite horror films of all time. But i’ll get to explaining why I loved this film so much later.
What I want to talk about first is why it didn’t quite work as well as REC. I think one of the most integral parts of the REC films is the person in front and behind the camera. With REC, even though Pablo was behind the camera, it was Angela who was leading us through the events of the entire film. In that way, we could connect to Angela, but at the same time feel like we’re Pablo, walking the halls of the zombie-infested apartment. But what works with this dynamic is that Pablo barely ever speaks. Not only that, we NEVER see what Pablo looks like. In that way, it is easier for us to associate ourselves with Pablo, but still feel the raw emotions that Angela feel, and therefore the sense of vulnerability is doubled. With a woman leading us through the film, we feel a little more vulnerable, because it is somewhat ingrained into our heads that women are weaker, more vulnerable, more susceptible to getting attacked and losing. However, when it came to REC 2, the people holding the cameras were also a lot more prominent in that they were also being heard. Therefore, watching REC 2 felt less like experiencing the events of the film yourself, and more like you were watching someone film and narrate something. Aside from that, the people leading us throughout this whole mess were mostly men. And men are a little more difficult to connect with or to feel frightened with when it comes to horror films because we know men to be a little stronger and a little more powerful than women. If a man were to lead a horror film it feels less scary and more action-y, and i guess that’s what took away some of the scariness REC had.
What I did like about REC 2 was that, first of all, it was a direct continuation of REC. As in, there was almost no time in between the last scene where Angela gets dragged into the darkness and where the SWAT team goes into the apartment. This way, it’s a lot more thrilling because we can still feel the thrill of the mystery surrounding what happened with Angela. And then, the demonic possession is put into light further, which really adds o the creepy vibe of the whole thing.
Lastly, my favorite scene from REC 2 is the part where they explain that there is a different world when there is light and when there isn’t any. I found this very chilling. Horror films don’t usually stick to me anymore and leave me restless late at night. They used to when I was younger, and when I was still very gullible and wasn’t such a skeptic. However, when I saw this scene, all of these feelings came back. After watching the film I was almost too scared to turn the lights off, feeling like maybe there WAS another world when they were off. i don’t know what it is about that scene, but maybe it’s the feeling of the unknown lurking in the darkness. Of the monster being much scarier when you can’t see it.