[Rec] ² (2009)
[REC]2 takes place immediately after the first film, and adds to the mythology. It also adds some religious elements to the first, as if Manu’s punching ability wasn’t already enough of a gift from God. [REC] 2 takes place in the same apartment building as the first, and instead of following a news crew, it follows an official from the Ministry of Health.
I know that religion can be a dividing point for a lot of people, and I won’t use the [REC] retrospective to announce my views. But, in the case of the [REC] series, I’m totally for it. Mini religious ceremonies cause blood to explode. Mantras and rosary can be used to fight off zombies. On the 8th day, God created [REC]2, and it was sweet.
[REC]2 is completely on par with first film. Usually, when filmmakers try to add new things to an already working story, just for the sake of making a sequel that has a right to exist, it ruins the whole horror pie. Take The Ring 2 for instance. The Ring is a pretty good movie. If The Ring was a book, then The Ring 2 would be the same manuscript, but with a chapter added between each of the original ones. It’s so bafflingly dumb that archaeologists copy the script onto cave walls to confuse aliens. [REC]2 not only tells a different story, but continues the one started in the first film. Thus, both films become cohesive, even if the mythology has been expanded.
[REC]³ Génesis (2012)
[REC]3: Genesis isn’t a bad film, but it’s a different one, and not in the best way. It doesn’t add to the plot of the first two films, but rather tells something that coincides with the first two. It’s not so much an expansion of the mythology as it is an expansion of the universe.
[REC]3 takes place in and around a mansion, and despite the closed quarters that a lot of the film takes place in, the third film loses much of the claustrophobic feel that the first two had. Also, the tone is different. I hate to say that [REC]3: Genesis seems to have been built to be more of a standard movie than the first two, if that makes any sense, but it feels a lot less inspired and terrifying.
The religious aspects of the second film are continued here, but they don’t come off as impressively as they did earlier. [REC]3 is best seen, to me, as a companion piece to the first two films. I definitely think its more Expanded Universe than Star Wars prequel, but I don’t see it as required viewing. It’s just got some problems with atmosphere and plot, which I probably wouldn’t have a lot of concern about, if the first two films didn’t Aikido throw every other DVD at your Redbox’s dojo.
[REC]3: Genesis is now officially playing in select theaters. See the list of play dates here.
Overall, the [REC] franchise is the best zombie film series since the first three Of The Dead films. (Sorry, Land, Diary, and Survival, but you all sucked something terrible. I change the station to baby otter clubbings when you’re on, because I find you to be too depressing.) They tell a pretty good and scary story, and even though the last one so far is a bit uninspired, I still recommend them all if you’re looking for movies about viruses spreading in the coolest ways possible.
Oh yeah. RIP, Manu. Punch some infected angels for us.
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