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Review [Rec]² (2009): Tonal shift makes it less terrifying than the original but it still is quite good!

genre: thriller, horror

The original was incredibly tense and terrifying especially since you had very little clue of what was going on. But also it was more reliant on atmosphere and suspense than on action and spectacle. With the sequel the surprise factor is gone and directors Jaume Balaguer√≥, Paco Plaza must have thought to change up other elements as well. Was this a wise decision?

To be honest this sequel still could have continued with the path taken in the original. I really don't see why the tension building was diminished. It could have existed next to or on top of the action and spectacle. Then there is the world building. Very ambitious and admirable. Yet also that one element that demystifies events. Within fifteen minutes of this sequel you pretty much will know all you need to know and the result is that whatever was left unknown won't scare you as much. Mind you there still are some neat surprises so you don't have to worry that much still that sense of dread from the first one is absent and it does detract from the viewing experience a little.

That and the fact that the majority of the characters are incredibly annoying and stupid. Especially the ones you meet in the second part. In the first part you get introduced to a SWAT team who are ordered to escort a Dr. Owen into the building of the original film. This is right after the end of the original so a direct continuation. The way the members of this team prepare themselves make it seem like they are experienced and cold blooded. Real professionals. Unfortunately they aren't. At the first sign of trouble they panic and go ballistic. Now everybody in the same situation would be rattled. However these people are supposed to have trained to be better prepared for difficult and unexpected situations. And that no matter what they should remain their cool. Here they all act like total buffoons. At one point Dr. Owen tells them multiple times to shoot in the head. Yet they all keep shooting everywhere on the body except the head. Plus they waste precious bullets. How is that tactical? Again these are SWAT agents who are trained professionals. But if you thought these guys were bad then you better brace yourself. In the second part you are forced to follow a bunch of teens who apparently are very bored. I mean why else would you go into a building that is quarantined and shielded by police? Did they think they did that for the fun of it? If you think that this is the only stupid mistake they make then guess again. They continue to make them while being so irrational that you will be rooting for the demons to get them.

However in this second part there also are some real nice surprises that will make you forget about these characters and pretty much redeem this sequel entirely. So while you might be catching yourself screaming at these characters more than you would like to you will get rewarded for your patience and endurance.

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