Friday, 4 December 2009


Many critics have noted a movement to point-of-view horror as a new means of transferring fear to the audience by making the experience as interactive as possible. The Blair Witch Project kicked off the trend, and subsequent films such as Cloverfield and Paranormal Activity have capitalised on it. But it was Spanish horror [REC] which really breathed life into the concept by bringing a camera crew into an apartment block plagued by a dangerous virus. On the success of the first installment, directors Paco Plaza and Jaume Balagueró threw themselves into this action-packed sequel, determined to turn the scares up a notch. The film starts where the last one left off, only this time we witness events through the lens of the SWAT team, who head straight for the notorious penthouse where the body of a possessed girl had been found before. The team, accompanied by a cautious doctor, systematically ransack each apartment, but no amount of testosterone can prepare them for the surprises that lie in wait.

The film generates a different atmosphere to its predecessor, which contrasted the animalistic behaviour of the infected with the genuine terror of those still in good health. This time round the only ‘humans’ are the SWAT team, turning the affair into something approaching a video game. The emotions are less sincere and the scares more ridiculous, but the experience is still unnerving thanks to some opportune video interference and top-notch sound editing. If [REC] is Alien, then [REC] ² is definitely Aliens.

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