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Interview With REC 2 Writer/Director Paco Plaza!

I’m not sure how my lucky number came up when the promoters of REC 2 were looking for bloggers to write about their film, but a couple weeks ago I was offered an advanced screener and an interview with writer/director Paco Plaza.  Surely, our humble blog here doesn’t rank amongst the horror blogosphere elite (check out our current HorrorBlips ranking haha), but I like to think that we do a good job with the limited time we have to devote.  So, that said, I was very pleased to receive the interview invite.  Chris and I watched the film and came up with some (I think) thoughtful questions that we figured would interest our readers.  As I’m sure you already know, REC 2 picks up right where the first film left off, placing us behind the lenses in the same apartment complex overrun with its killer residents.  Here is the interview:

I was interested to see that there are plans to make this series into a foursome with “Apocalypse” and “Genesis.” What aspects about REC inspired a saga and what concepts do you think will hold an audience through four films?

After the release and success of the first film, we began to think it was worth developing the cosmology we had created. When we thought about it, we decided to rescue some ideas that were already planted. For the example, the demonic possession left a lot to explore. And that’s what we’re now doing, with each film we want to give twists and turns and have the story go beyond imagination.

Recently, the first person hand held camera style has become popular. What do you think it is about this style that has captivated audiences?

I don’t know; maybe the POV offers a deeper implication, linked with other languages like TV or videogames that a young audience is familiar with. And it’s much cheaper, and that has no doubt captivated producers.

Will all four movies maintain the “first person” hand-held camera style?

No, that will change.

Anything you can tell about the direction the saga is going to take?

No, sorry. We think part of the success has been hiding our cards until the premiere, and we want to keep it like that. All I can say is that I’m writing the prequel with Luis Berdejo, we’re working really hard in making it the funniest and scariest of the three.

Should American audiences expect to see any of the three new films finding themselves into American remakes?

I don’t know.  It depends on American producers.

What makes REC 2 unique from its predecessor and the other films of the first person camera style?

I think its mix of genres; in fact, it is a film spliced in two. Our model on this was James Cameron’s Aliens and its turn into action.  We wanted to play with different POV’s and have flash-back, a bunch of new and playful elements. It’s not as strict as the first one.

Zombie horror has become a leading genre these days and I feel REC was pigeonholed into that genre. What about the REC saga transcends that genre?

Possibly that both REC films contain really strong views on Spanish society. They deal important matters such as racism and media manipulation.

What do you envision as being the “next big thing” (genre, style, etc) in horror?

I don’t know. What I’ve enjoyed is the end of those awful torture movies with pointless violence involved. We’re lucky that is over.

What did you use as blood in REC 2?  It’s very realistic.

At certain moments its real pig blood; many times (when in contact with the actors) is just a special composition, a secret formula David Ambit (FX) will never share.

During the writing process of the first film, was the religious/demon angle always the intended direction?

Yes, that is the background we created; at the end of the first REC we somehow gave a lot of clues, in the tape, in the newspapers on the wall…everything was already there.

Some might view REC and REC 2 as critical of the Catholic church.  Was it your intention to make a statement about the church?

Not at all. We both are big fans of The Exorcist, I agree it’s one of the best films ever made; we loved the idea of showing that our creatures were not zombies, and in the end of REC we had sawed the idea of a demonic possession happened in Portugal. I’m a practicing Catholic, but Jaume is not, and I think the approach to the subject of possession for us was more aesthetic than religious.

[End Interview]

First, a statement – I greatly appreciate being offered this interview and I think Mr. Plaza gave us good, honest answers to the questions.  However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that he omitted some of our more “difficult” questions, namely:

  • The Catholic Church is an organization founded on spirituality and uses it to explain our reality.  Given this, in REC 2, why are they trying to find a scientific explanation for something that is always considered a religious/spiritual matter?
  • There seems to be a bit of confusion regarding the role the viewer is supposed to play in REC 2 considering we are watching several different pieces of video captured from multiple devices.  Is this “found footage”?  And if so, why did the editor of the footage choose to keep elements like battery meters and other viewfinder text on the final print?

As you may guess, these two questions reflect my main criticisms of REC 2 and I would love to have had Plaza’s opinion on them, but I can understand that there are plot holes and certain leaps of faith (no pun intended) that we’re expected to take as viewers.  What did you think of REC 2 and were you able to get past these flaws?

[REC] 2 is now available on VOD, VUDU, Xbox Marketplace Playstation Network, Amazon and will be in theaters July 9th.  Check out the official website at Rec2themovie.com and if you haven’t already seen it, watch the trailer below.

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