Night #10: [Rec]

In which the Spanish show us how first person horror should be done…

In a local Firestation a TV reporter and her cameraman interview the Firemen, and hang around long enough to hopefully get to see some action. Soon enough they’re on response to a call at a local apartment building. Once they get in the doors are sealed off and the building is placed under Quarantine. It seems someone in the building is infected with a rabies like virus, and it’s spreading…

It’s a pretty great set-up for a film is it not? The other great thing about it is the whole thing is told from the point of view of the Cameraman’s camera. You would think that it would be an excuse to cut around images, to imply rather than to show, but remarkably [Rec] never pulls back its punches. Almost every gory detail and attack is shown (When they can get away with it – it’s not always advisable for the Cameraman to just stand around filming).

The other benefit to a film like this is the actors are to us, as a western audience, complete unknowns. We can’t indentify someone and say whether they’ll live or not, and it’s great fun in slowly having the cast be whittled down, often unexpectedly. It manages to add tension on top of already tense scenes, and Directors/Writers Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza often wring it for all that it’s worth.

So often films where we deal with the infected (Or Zombies) tend to hold back what caused the outbreak in the first place. When they do, the answer is usually something to do with Scientists messing around with something they shouldn’t, and of course what they shouldn’t mess with gets out. Without spoiling too much, [Rec] manages to offer a variation on that theme while also having one foot in the religious. It’s something the sequel explores a lot more blatantly (Sadly sometimes to it’s detriment), but we’ll have more on that very soon.

For those that are interested, you might spot this film with a cover that states it “Inspired the Movie Quarantine“. What they actually mean is that “The film Quarantine was almost a shot-for-shot remake of [Rec]…except they change the cause of the Virus”. I will say in the interest of full disclosure that I actually liked Quarantine well enough. It’s extremely well made, and the cast is likeable. However the Directors of that film are all to willing to show off with some unneeded camera trickery, which is only really a detriment to the fine film they were making. All in all though that film comes across as redundant if you’ve already seen the original. It doesn’t add or take away anything (Again, apart from the cause of the Virus). All the characters are the same, most of the dialogue seems the same too. So while they deviate in some small aspects, all the scares are identical to [Rec], even down to being shot the same way; which I admit is an achievement in itself.

In light of [Rec] 2 I might even say their cause for the virus was better…


Up Next: More mad Spaniards with [Rec] 2!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s