Saturday, January 23, 2010



Thank you Spanish horror, you have given us a really awesome entry into the genre. I had head a lot about this film, and I actually didn't even see the trailer. Then the American shot for shot remake came out and I didn't bother to see a trailer for that either. So what took me so long to see this? I have no idea, availability I guess would be the main factor. I had heard so many good things but this one just going under my radar. I am sure glad I waited and watched the original, I can't imagine Quarantine holding a candle to this despite starring Dexter's own Jennifer Carpenter.

[REC] is a simple story, we have a television show host and her camera man shooting a piece for the show on a Firehouse and the firemen and what a typical night is like for them. Things go as they normally would, our host Angela (played wonderfully by Manuela Velasco) interviews different people as they go about their duties. A call comes along and Angela and her cameraman get to tag along. It isn't clear as to what the emergency is, but they head into an apartment complex and we hear some lady is unwell. They head to her apartment along with other officers on the scene. The horror and terror then really begins as there is clearly something wrong with this woman and the occupants in the building find themselves trapped inside by the authorities.

This is the type of film that throws you into a situation and you have to fend for yourself and work out what is going on. It is all shot hand held camera, from the point of view of the cameraman as you would expect. You can look at it as if the tape from that night was found and you are reviewing the footage. This was a low budget film, but you can't really tell, the effects were actually really well done and there were some top notch performances. You especially really relate to Angela, and you kind of need that connection with her. Manuela Velasco put in a great performance, she's a spunky woman and it really worked. The situation they are in, is a terrible one and you really would hate to be stuck in it. Part of the horror is the situation and what would you do if you were in there. Would you make the same decisions as these people? It is a very bleak situation, they are stuck there and they really can't get out and something is on the loose.

You don't fully get an explanation, you only know what is shown and what Angela finds out. But you don't need any more details, you can figure things out and make up your own mind. I like films that do this, sometimes it is okay not to be spoon fed everything. I know there are people out there who are not big fans of films shot like this, but it worked perfectly for the story being told. It was an affective device, and it felt more real (thanks to the effects and acting) and it hurts when things take a turn. It was an engaging film, the pacing was really well done, and it worked in such a way it suited each turn the film made.

The only let down I felt was the way it wrapped itself up, yes you can decided on certain things but it wasn't entirely clear. I actually wouldn't have minded if this was a little bit longer, so expand upon things, but even without that it did work pretty damn well. It isn't often you get a film like this, it is genuinely creepy and scary (scary would be the situation, I wasn't actually scared watching it but it had good jump scares that were affective). I can't imagine how I would react in the situation they were in, and I sure as heck never want to find out. It is nice to see a film like this in the genre, something that works really well and doesn't let up. It goes to show you don't need a massive budget to make a good film.

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