paulshorrorflixWelcome back, boils and ghouls, to a very special edition of PAUL’S HORROR FLIX!  What’s so special with this week’s edition?  Well, how about the sequels to two of the greatest horror films OF ALL TIME?  Yes folks, this week we’re talking about the much anticipated sequels:

  • Rec 2
  • The Descent: Part 2

How do you make sequels to some of the most intense horror films ever?  Do either of these films live up to the originals?  Or they ruin the memories of the films we’ve come to love?  Find out after the jump!

Rec 2

REC 2 – English Subtitled Trailer
Uploaded by dreadcentral. – Classic TV and last night’s shows, online.

I love the original Rec.  It took two things that I’ve been sick of for a little while now, zombies and “found footage” movies, and combined them to make what ended up being an intense, excellent film that hasn’t seen compare since its release.  So when word came out that the original creators (and some of the original cast) were reuniting to create a sequel, I met it with nervous anticipation.  I mean, surely it would be great, right?  But how do you top the excellent original?

One thing that always bugged me in trailers for the American remake of the original, Quarantine, is that they showed a scene not in the film itself – a SWAT-type team going into the apartment building and finding the video camera with the “found footage” that made up the movie.  It seems as if that inspired the filmmakers of Rec, and the sequel features a similar concept.  A SWAT team has been sent in to investigate what happened in the apartment building, taking a “scientist” consultant, who soon reveals the real cause of the “virus” and exactly what they’re dealing with.

At first, the revelation as to the true source of the zombie infection didn’t sit well with me – it was hinted at in the original, but hearing it out loud didn’t sit well with me.  However, as the film went on, I began to appreciate the idea, and the film did a great job with it.  Rec 2 is an excellent movie, without a doubt.  However, unlike the original Rec, it does have some major flaws that keep it from being as good.  There are two simultaneous storylines going on in this movie – the main storyline, featuring the aforementioned SWAT team, is fantastic.  It’s intense and exciting and everything that I wanted from this movie.  However, there is another storyline, featuring a group of teenagers who happen to get involved in the horror, that is actually pretty ridiculous.  It’s done well, but it features a base concept, about these teenagers venturing into a QUARANTINED APARTMENT BUILDING BECAUSE THEY THINK IT’LL BE FUN, that is just hard to swallow.  What adds insult to injury to this storyline is the fact that it really does end up going nowhere.

Still, other than that, Red 2 really is an impressive movie, and features some fantastic camerawork and ideas that even surpass the original.  The appearances by some of the original cast members are extremely well done, and the ending of the film sets up for a great idea that I can’t wait to see when the already-announced-as-in-development Rec 3 finally hits (which won’t be soon enough).

Rec 2 hits theaters in America this July, before hitting VOD in August from Magnet Releasing (think a release similar to Dead Snow).

Paul's Awesomeness Score - 8 out of 10
Paul's Awesomeness Score - 8 out of 10

The Descent: Part 2

Now The Descent: Part 2 really concerned me.  The original is a fantastic movie and the sequel was announced featuring surviving members of the original cast (which is great), but with a different director and, most scary of all, direct-to-DVD.

The Descent: Part 2 picks up right after the original, featuring the one surviving member of the cast (of course, depending on which version of the original you saw, no one survived), which, when I first heard it, I thought was kind of a cheap way to do a follow up.  However, this film is so well done that I didn’t really care.  I’ve heard that most people didn’t like this sequel, but I don’t see how they can’t.

The way The Descent: Part 2 picks up on the original’s story is by taking a Sheriff (the uncle of the original’s Juno character) and his team down to the caverns to find the missing girls, with the sole surviving member having amnesia so she can’t warn them until it’s too late.  The Descent: Part 2 does hit some of the same beats as the original, with similar reveals done in the same manner, but it works, despite the derivation.  It’s definitely more bloody than the original, with a more gore than I even expected.  However, the blood of the film is a little pinker than I’d like, and looks a little silly when it comes out in such excess. In addition, there’s a poop joke (yes, a poop joke) that felt a little out of place, given the events before and after.

I’d be curious to see how they follow up this film, if they do.  The ending and the deaths are actually quite surprising, but it doesn’t exactly lend itself entirely well to a sequel, and I’m sure it depends on how the film does on DVD.  Still, fans of the original should definitely check this movie out when it comes out April 27 on DVD.

Paul's Awesomeness Score - 8 out of 10
Paul's Awesomeness Score - 8 out of 10