REC 2 is one of those rare sequels wherein it still manages to retain the established atmosphere (at least for me) and the scares of its predecessor all the while effectively providing an additional aspect that works. Like the first movie, it still retains the found footage cinematography, superb acting, claustrophobic set, Angela Vidal, oh and of course, zombies. Only this time, the audience is provided an explanation as to the origins of the infected. Furthermore, there is an increase to the number of characters holding a camera, this include the SWAT and from the bunch of teenagers. I particularly liked the increase in numbers in terms of perspective because it added dimension and depth to the events inside the isolated apartment building. The story picks off right after the events of the first movie. The SWAT team was to accompany a doctor to get blood examples from the infected people. Later on, it turns out that the doctor was a priest from the Vatican dealing with demonic possessions. He was appointed to get a blood sample from the first host of the virus, the Medeiros girl who was trapped and contained by another priest before on the penthouse of the apartment to find a cure for the demonic possession. Things escalate further when another group of teens sneak into the apartment via a manhole leading to the underground.
One of the reasons why I think REC 2 works is that it offers a new explanation to the zombie origin. It is not merely scientific, but rooted in Catholicism. Indeed the virus is spread through biting and scratching, yet it is also a demonic possession of some sorts. It was interesting how the film tried to reconcile these two things. Not only that, we could look at it in the reverse. It added something fresh for the priest exorcism demonic possession genre. Which is I think says a lot about Spain as a Catholic country, the country in which the film was made. One comment though is that I think the film would be more effective in terms of eliciting scares if the audience can identify more with Catholicism since a majority of the spine-tingling scenes would be more effective if one believes in the devil, etc. Other people I’ve talked to who are atheists did not like the fusion of the zombie genre and the exorcist. They felt that it was forced. Another highlight of the film was its final moments. I especially applauded the “the light blinds you” segment wherein the characters could only see a door, a well and Medeiros in the dark, heightening the chilling factor in the movie. And of course we have Angela Vidal to thank for contributing to the marvelous twist in the end plus her great lungs for maximum fear factor.
Overall, the film would still please many fans of the first film, albeit the added religion aspect can turn off for some. I would definitely like to see a real sequel to REC 2 though. ( REC 3 is meh for me)