REC 2: Dear Barcelona SWAT Team: I Quit
The day that someone asks me to climb up through that raggedy hole in the ceiling and chase carnivorous babies through the ductwork of a zombie-infested apartment building will be a day of happy celebration indeed. Because it will be the day that I RETIRE FROM THE BARCELONA SWAT TEAM. I hated that job, anyway. Shit benefits. Gimme my 401(k), hermanos!
Seriously, there are some major strategic failures in REC 2. Could you guys wait until daylight to explore the zombie den? Could you maybe acquire a light source more powerful than that Dora the Explorer baby flashlight (linterna eléctrica)? Or, better yet, do you not have FIRE in Spain? Just burn that motherfucker down!!! (I don't know who currently chairs the Parliamentary Subcommittee on Viral Zombies Not Eating Citizen Faces—tell me it's not still Rodriguez, that brownnoser—but he or she will be receiving a LETTER.) The Spanish zombie horror movie picks up exactly where its predecessor left off (the first shot of REC 2 is the final shot of REC—that semi-iconic moment when a gasping green woman is dragged away from the camera into blackness) and proceeds from there to be pretty much the exact same movie. Only with less mystery and, therefore, more dumbness.
In case you have not seen REC the first: A mysterious contagion ("The symptoms are similar to rabies") has turned a Barcelona apartment building into a summer palace for bloodthirsty zombies. Authorities seal up the building from the outside, but some non-zombie humans are trapped inside! The non-zombie humans run around and try to not get munched by the zombies. And the gimmick is that they're recording it all on a camcorder, Blair Witch–style (halfway through, I literally ran to the bathroom and vomited—which certainly had more to do with my crippling hangover than the shaky camerawork, BUT IT DID NOT HELP).
In REC 2, one of those intrepid investigator-priests (an occupation that, as far as I know, exists only to give movies something to be about), with a SWAT team and a cameraman in tow, goes running into the building—knowing it to be stuffed with carnage!!!—to try and discover the source of the virus. The Vatican has an interest, you see, because—here's where shit gets dumb—it's not really a virus. It's... the devil. Siiiiigh. The priest is convinced that they have to find the patient-zero zombie chick and get some of her evil blood so that he can whip up an antidote and, presumably, everyone in the world can then be inoculated against demonic possession. (Psych! Not you, Africa!)
REC 2 is adequately claustrophobic and frightening and freaky, but the formula wears thin after a while—especially once they defang the first movie's mystery by explaining it (and bringing God into the mix). But if you're a sucker for utter panic in tight spaces (AND WHO ISN'T?), it'll do.