REC 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Overall, the transfer looked pretty positive.
I didn’t think much of the original film’s visuals, but the sequel’s presentation seemed more satisfying. For the most part, sharpness was fine.
Some softness interfered at times, but the image usually gave us reasonable clarity. The nature of the photography helped, as it went with a lot of close-ups and quick shots, so any softness became less prominent.
I didn’t notice jagged edges or shimmering, and edge haloes seemed to be absent. No source flaws became an issue either.
Colors were plain, but that was by design. Most of the movie took place in dank interiors, so I expected flat, drab hues. They looked appropriate.
Blacks were pretty dark and dense, while shadows were surprisingly good. I thought those elements were weak in the original film, but they seemed stronger here, so I didn’t have any real issues with blacks or dark scenes. This was a satisfying presentation.
While the first movie came with both English and Spanish soundtracks, the sequel only delivered the film in its native Spanish. That was fine with me – I would’ve opted for that mix anyway – and I liked the flick’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio.
I thought this one opened up the soundfield better than its predecessor. It used the five channels surprisingly well and created a fairly immersive environment.
This included a mix of elements. Occasionally we heard helicopters go around the spectrum, and voices popped up in a mix of places.
Whenever we heard the cameraman speak, his lines came from the center rear, which made sense. Other effects cropped up in logical apots and blended together in a smooth manner to create a nice soundscape.
Audio quality was good. Speech was natural and distinctive. Some lines could be murky, but those choices were intentional.
Music was a non-factor, as the film opted for some atmospheric semi-score but nothing more. Those bits sounded fine, and effects appeared solid; the latter came across as accurate and rich. This was a positive auditory presentation.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? The lossless audio showed more range, and visuals looked tighter and smoother. While the DVD worked fine for its format, the Blu-ray became an upgrade.
The Blu-ray mixes old and new extras, and we begin with an audio commentary from writers/directors Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters and the continuation of the first film, cast and performances, sets and locations, effects, stunts, editing, photography, influences and related domains.
Balaguero and Plaza provided a strong commentary for the first film, and they continue that trend here. They offer a nice array of details about the production and make this an informative, engaging discussion of the film.
Behind the Scenes offers a DVD retread. It goes for 55 minutes, 37 seconds and includes comments from directors Paco Plaza and Jaume Balagueró, special mechanical effects Salvador Santana, digital effects Alex Villagrasa, sound designer Oriol Tarrago, stunt coordinator Toni Higuereuelo, director of photography Pablo Rosso, special makeup effects artist David Ambit, art director Gemma Fauria, and actors Oscar Sanchez, Andrea Ros, Hugo Fernandez, Jonathan Mellor, Juli Fabregas, and Alejandro Casaseca.
“Behind” looks at the specifics involved in filming three scenes; we learn about set design, effects, acting and other topics. Though we hear from the participants listed above, the focus stays on footage from the shoot.
I like programs that do so, and this works well, as we get a lot of nice material taken on the set. The combination of show and tell succeeds and gives us a good look at the production.
Seven Deleted and Extended Scenes run a total of seven minutes, 42 seconds. We get “Blow-Up Doll – Extended” (2:36), “Outside the Building – Extended” (0:59), “SWAT Finds a Dead Officer” (2:30), and “SWAT Finds a Body” (0:53).
The two extensions don’t add much of interest, while the pair of SWAT scenes are okay, though I don’t think they’d have made the movie more effective. “Body” actually would’ve been a distraction due to some bad effects.
The seventh scene comes with no formal title, as I took the titles from the DVD and it didn’t appear there. It goes for 44 seconds and shows a CNN reporter at the scene of the chaos. It’s poorly acted and pretty awful.
A Walkthrough of the Set goes for nine minutes, nine seconds and provides comments from Plaza, Balaguero and Fauria. The latter dominates this piece, as she leads us through the movie’s sets. She gives us useful notes about the locations and helps make this another quality featurette.
Sitges Film Festival Press Conference lasts 11 minutes, 24 seconds and provides a panel with Plaza, Balaguero, Mellow, producer Julio Fernandez and actor Manuela Velasco.
They talk about the film’s development and aspects of its genre, some effects and casting info, characters and story, and general notes. The chat can be scattershot, but we get some good tales and it moves along briskly.
For the final component also found on the DVD, REC 2 On Tour goes for eight minutes, 58 seconds and takes us to various festivals at which the film ran. We see the directors and a few others along the way, but they don’t tell us much. “Tour” is heavy on promotional appearances and not especially interesting.
All the remaining materials didn’t appear on the DVD, and the major piece comes from In a World of Infected People, a one-hour, 58-minute, 14-second documentary. It includes comments from Plaza, Balagueró, Fauria, Rosso, Tarrago, Fernandez, Fabregas, Sanchez, Higueroelo, Villagrasa, Mellor, Santana, Ambit, Velasco, production designer Oriol Maymo, assistant director Daniela Forn, costume designer Gloria Viguer, sound director Xavi Mas, armourer Hugo Fernandez, and actors Ariel Casas, Pau Poch, Ana Isabel Velasquez, Andrea Ros, Javier Botet and Àlex Batllori.
“World” looks at the development of the sequel, story/character areas, influences, location shoots, costumes, various design choices, cast and performances, stunts and action, photography, various effects, and related domains.
With “World”, we examine the film essentially in production order, as much of it comes from behind the scenes footage that follows the story’s progression. This works fine but can leave a certain looseness on display that a more traditional take on production order would lose.
Still, there’s a lot of good information on display. Through the prior content, we already know some of this, but “World” nonetheless manages to provide a pretty rich view of the film’s creation.
In addition to four trailers and five TV spots, the set finishes with an Image Gallery. This 44-still collection mixes images from the film, publicity shots and advertisements. It becomes a decent set.
A rare sequel that might improve on the original REC 2 delivers a good horror experience. Though it occasionally threatens to stagnate, it always finds new twists to throw at the audience and keep the viewers engaged. The Blu-ray provides pretty good picture and audio as well as a slew of useful supplements. I like the movie and the Blu-ray presents it well.
As of October 2018, REC 2 can be purchased only as part of a four-film “REC Collection”. In addition to REC 2, it includes REC, REC 3: Genesis and REC 4: Apocalypse.
To rate this film visit the DVD review of REC 2