[REC]2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. 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; 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. Again, the style of photography affected this area; edge enhancement might’ve been present, but it was tough to identify due to the camerawork. No print flaws appeared through the film.
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; 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 Dolby Digital 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.
When we head to the disc’s extras, the main attraction comes from a collection of three behind the scenes featurettes. All together, these fill a total of 53 minutes, 25 seconds and include 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.
The pieces look 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.
Four Deleted and Extended Scenes run a total of six minutes, 48 seconds. We get “Blow-Up Doll – Extended” (2:30), “Outside the Building – Extended” (0:57), “SWAT Finds a Dead Officer” (2:25), and “SWAT Finds a Body” (0:56). 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.
Three more featurettes fill out the package. A Walkthrough of the Set goes for eight minutes, 51 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 10 minutes, 58 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.
Finally, [REC]2 On Tour goes for eight minutes, 40 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.
A few ads launch the disc. We get promos for Quarantine 2: Terminal, Insidious, Breaking Bad, Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown and [REC]. These also appear under Previews. No trailer for [REC]2 shows up here.
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 DVD provides pretty good picture, audio and supplements. This is a fun flick that genre fans should like.