REEL 2 - REEL 2(VOD) [Self release - 2020]2015ís REEL was somewhat of an underground horror hit- the Canadian production was a meta found footage venture that followed the exploits of faceless serial killer Slashervictim666, who stalked his victims on-line. The film blended believable & well-acted victims, moody-to-arty imagery with moments of gruelling & intense violence/ proto snuff footage. I checked the film out in 2019 with the self-released DVDR release, finding it one of the most promising horror debuts in the last 10/15 years. A month or so back I received an email from those behind the original REEL, informing me that the sequel was done & ready to view- so with some in trepidation, I ready myself to check the film out via VOD.
As anyone knows horror sequels are very, very hit & miss affairs- they can either do the same thing again better, go off on a different tangent- which may or may not work, or fall flat on its face been a bland by numbers replay of the original. With REEL 2- the Bride of Slashervictim666( to give it's full end credit title), we get mainly the first option, with a slight dusting of option two. So Iím happy to say largely itís lived up to the standard of the first REEL- sure there are a few issues here & there, like some of the gore not quite been on par, and some of the stories twist not quite standing-up, but as sequels go itís pretty damn good.
The film opens in moody-yet-grim fashion, as we get someone treading through the snow to half uncovered dead human face- the camera operator reaches out to touch the face, and the familiar slowed down voice-over of Slashervictim666 kicks in. First he quickly recounts the story from the first film, and discussing trying to get funding for the sequel in Hollywood- he has had no luck, so decides to start making his own sequel. This begins with him meeting budding actress's in the open, but quick amps up to him holding auditions in a remote location- we get montage footage of him torturing, cutting & baring the breast of numerous women- but he just canít seem to find his inspiration. Then along comes young & naÔve Polish film student Mila Sobczak(Stephanie Jaskot)- whose studying film in Toronto, and keen to get into working in the industry, so our killer signs her up as his helper & christens her 'assistant Jane'. She is completely oblivious to the reality that Slashervictim666 is killing folk for real, and this of course causes some dark chuckles. The pair start to bond, with Slaservictim666 wearing a balaclava & go-pro on his head as the pair stalk-out locations and new victims. The killer becomes so infatuated with Jane- that he decides to catch a victim as a present for her- understandable this doesnít go down well. So he has to try & get her back on board- this includes working on a play of his life story with a rather pompous & gullible group of actors, & trying to sort out issues with her sister. And much like the first films things ramp-up towards the end which takes in a chaotic Ďní deranged red, blue & white lit house of insanity, and a rather inventively sickening use for a clapper board & a razor blade.
Once again the acting from the cast is great & highly believable, the torture/ proto snuff scenes are largely effective & suitable gruelling, and as youíd expect with a sequel these have been amped-up somewhat, and thereís some grisly invention along the way too. For the most part the gore effects are good-to-great, with one of the most unsettling been a face peel- then masking. Towards the end of things the effects maybe donít look as good, but there are only a few moments when you think this. The voice-over element of the Killer is done better this time, so itís clear, creepy & at times very jet blackly amusing. So in conclusion Iíd say REEL 2 is a great follow-up, and seemingly plans are already in place for REEL 3.
At present REEL 2 is only available as VOD- but itís well worth checking out if you enjoy well made, largely well conceiving, and at moments gruelling found footage- but I do hope they do a DVDR release for it again. Anyway, head here to watch the film & find out more about the world of Slashervictim666.Roger Batty