[Rec] is a lovely thrill that smartly uses modern techniques to its best advantage, creating a truly creepy and tense atmosphere where so many films have failed before.
The good stuff
I always assumed Rec 4 was going to be the last film in the series, but Balaguero didn't really wrap things up after all, leaving plenty of room for possible sequels to come.
If you didn't like the first film, I can't see how you'll like this one. Stylistically the films are very much alike, though the directors made better use of the style this time around.
A story with literary roots that mixes fantasy, mystery and horror elements. It's a pretty conceptual genre film, so much in fact that Balagueró gets a little lost in the plot. It's an interesting story with enough potential to be great, but in the end the film lacks a little punch. Not one of Balagueró's best films, but still a worthy addition to his oeuvre.
A bit of a suprise, this film. Balagueró is a lauded horror director who has stuck with the genre since the very start of his career. But Way Down, despite the potential of its name, has nothing to do with horror. Instead, we get a modern heist flick, not unlike the first Mission:Impossible film.
The bounty is a set of golden coins that Walter hauled from a sunken chip. After retrieving the coins, they are taken from him by the Spanish government and put in one of the best secured vaults in the world. Walter isn't just going to let this slide though and he assembles a team that'll help him get the coins back.
Way Down is pretty entertaining, but it's clear that Balagueró isn't too familiar with the genre yet. He sticks to what is known to work, but because of that it feels like a pretty basic, predictable film with just a few minor upgrades left and right. The cast is on point, the heist is fun, but there's not enough here that stands out. Decent entertainment.