The armed police have been assigned to escort a sinister, scar-faced "government representative from the Ministry of Health", Dr Owen (Jonathan Mellor), into the quarantined housing block.
As with its predecessor, this Spanish-language horror is filmed in the shaky-cam style of hand-held cameras - whether carried by the SWAT team or a trio of juvenile delinquents who come into the story about half-way through.
Very quickly we are reminded that this is not your Uncle George's zombie film, but something a whole lot more supernatural, as it fills in some of the questions left hanging by REC.
Imagine a tower block full of Regan MacNeils! This is the Aliens part of the story after the scene-setting Alien-ness of REC.
The religious backstory makes for interesting meat, but the truly clever tricks come towards the end when the nature of the hand-held camera medium is used to brilliant effect.
REC 2 works on its own merits, although it may come across as a bit of a 'do-over' of REC when looked at like that.
However it's when you take the two halves as a single film you realise that this is an amazing, original horror movie that, in a market saturated with cookie-cutter zombie movies, has found a unique spin.
Chanbara Beauty (2008): Late in the 20th Century, an evil corporation started raising the dead, bringing on the zompocalypse.
Now, as zombies roam the urban desolation of futuristic Japan, they are being hunted by the taciturn and emotionless, but rather cute and scantily-clad, Aya (Eri Otoguro), dressed in a fur-trimmed bikini and cowboy hat, and armed with a magical sword that makes the zombies explode (sometimes).
She is joined by the even cuter, shotgun-slinging, crackshot biker chick Reiko (Manami), as they hunt for the total whack-job Dr Sugita (Tarô Suwa), whose continuing experiments are bringing the flesh-eating dead to life, and Aya's wicked little sister Saki (Chise Nakamura) who killed their father and joined the bad guys (although not necessarily in that order).
These are not your typical Western zombies either; some are able to speak while others use weapons as well as they did when they were alive (look out for the zombie Gogo Yubari, complete with spiked ball and chain).
Full of the schlocky, low-budget weirdness we expect from this type of Japanese horror - as well as the deeply black, and sometimes disturbingly slapstick, humour - Chanbara Beauty is about as bonkers as this these films get before going total Grand Guignol (e.g. Tokyo Gore Police).
The minimal story features a bizarre sub-plot about Aya's blood being crucial to Sugita's experiments - although it's never explained why or why Suki's blood isn't as useful - and then both Aya and Suki inexplicably manifest previously unseen superpowers for their final showdown (which does go on a bit, no matter how much you like watching pretty Japanese girls duel with katanas).
The best excuse I can come up with for the off-the-wall nature of the movie is that it is based on a video game, OneChanbara (which at least explains Reiko's shotgun-of-infinite-ammunition!)
Aya's choice of fighting attire is also never explained (or even commented upon) and neither is the oddly peeling, fake rose tattoo on her left arm. The ending suggests that may be, like the video games, sequels were planned that might have tackled these pressing questions...
However, not only does their plan go pear-shaped, but they have chosen the night of the zompocalypse to make their attack.
When the dead start coming back to life, the cops and killers in this French film are forced into an uneasy alliance as they have to fight their way back out of the tower block... through never-ending hordes of flesh-eating ghouls.
While The Horde excels in gory violence, and the shifting group dynamics make for some interesting character moments, ultimately the movie adds nothing new to the zombie genre, beyond the mismatched composition of the core group of protagonists.
There are some wonderfully stylish fight sequences, which justify the price of admission, but the plot has the intellectual depth of an old school, shoot-'em-up video game - stringing one beautifully choreographed, blood-splattered, head-smashing scene to the next.
However, while the majority of zombie films are rather nihilistic, by their nature, The Horde is particularly bleak in this respect and certainly couldn't be called a 'feel good' flick.
Walking The Dead (2010) : Saving the worst for last - and not to be confused with The Walking Dead - Walking The Dead is a Canadian film shot in China that blends the supernaturnal stalker and zombie genres in a grim mish-mash.
Following a nervous breakdown, journalist Charles Palmer (Ted Biggs) relocates to Beijing where he is contacted - by letter - by a man called Ming claiming to have buried his niece alive in a remote village as part of local folklore.
The utterly bizarre thing, and not only that the Chinese postal service appears to get the letter to the journalist in the blink of an eye, is the totally blase attitude of everyone (from the journalist and his boss) to the little girl's mother to this confession.
Palmer arrives at Tai Ji, a sparsely-populated ghost town where the residents are either insane or in an odd trance-like state (kinda like 'zombies!). There he conveniently bumps into Anna (Angela Tong), the girl's not unattractive mother and Ming's brother, and they proceed to bumble around the village trying to dodge, The Walker (the sightless, axe-swinging maniac who is supposedly bringing the dead back to life) and his undead cronies.
There seems no urgency about finding the missing girl and digging her up. Anna and Palmer stop at every opportunity to trade expositional anecdotes - sometimes with flashbacks!
At one point, Charles is examining a corpse in the morgue for clues (a corpse Anna claims to have already searched) and Palmer finds a mass of rolled up paper 'hidden' under the body's jacket collar. Clearly the Chinese idea of "searching" and a Westerner's is something different then... because a blind man could have found that 'cleverly concealed' message!
It's all a bit of a shame really because at its heart there's some interesting folklore here about "the walkers" who can control the deceased and take them back to their home villages for a proper burial.
Unfortunately, a shoddy script by Dwain Worrell and pretty dreadful acting by all concerned undermine the good ideas and make Walking The Dead rather tedious.
The movie is also crippled by dire pacing, thanks to director Melanie Ansley who slips in a couple of nonsensical dream sequences that do nothing expect stall any brewing sense of tension (of which there is none anyway).
Admittedly, in the film's closing minutes, it manages to pull an unexpected, half-decent M Night Shyamalan/Carnival Of Souls-style twist, which goes some way to explaining some of the odder moments of the story (although I'm not entirely convinced it explains everything).
However, it's really too little, too late and even then the film makers manage to botch that by pointlessly going for a double bite of the cherry with a redundant bonus twist (that, thanks to poor make-up, I'd suspected from very early on).
Overall, despite a novel premise, Walking The Dead's so bad it's not even funny. Of all the zombie-themed movies I saw this week, this was the only one I'd never heard of before... and now I understand why.
FINAL VERDICT: Although some may say it's simply going over ground covered in the original movie, [REC]2 is by far and away the best zombie flick I've seen this week, having the right balance of shocks, tension, atmosphere and intelligence.