In anticipation of the third movie of the (REC) series coming out this month, (REC) 3: Genesis, I thought I could spend some time revisiting the first two kick ass installments of this Spanish franchise and then keep my fingers crossed that some theater shows it where I live (which I doubt). To try and just speak to this one: this is really bloody and violent and, after the first so-so thirty minutes (with the exception of the gruesome surprise around minute 18) very fast paced and, well, unrelenting all the way to the end. Speaking of that minute 18 excitement, the even better (REC) 2 embellishes on that and I can’t wait to see it again. The story is this: a young, hot newscaster and her cameraman tag along with fire crew to a call at an apartment where some old lady upstairs has gone apeshit. Soon enough the entire building is quarantined so everyone is trapped inside and, if they try and escape, they get shot for good measure. After some exposition as to what “might” be going on (the theory changes towards the end) it’s not just the old lady that’s gone crazy – the virus is spreading via blood or saliva pathogens and everyone’s running around bleeding, screaming and trying to eat the uninfected for dinner, yum! Seriously – this is an intense movie and liked it just as much today as I did four years ago. Of course, our movie production machine here in the states had to get a piece of that pie so we have the remake(s) – Quarantine. Oh yeah – the version of (REC) I watched before was subtitled which was fine with me – although it distracted from the consistent action… the one I watched today was dubbed, which I could have done without.
So, reporter Angela (Manuela Velasco) and her cameraman Pablo (Pablo Rosso) are doing an assignment with the local fire department and head out on a call with a handful of
victims firemen, most notably a beefy guy named Manu (Ferran Terraza). There they encounter the crazy, old, covered-in-blood lady who greets them at her door by attacking them and bites one of the attending cops. Next up, something awesome happens at minute 18 and no one knows what the fuck’s going on and more people are getting bitten or having blood spit on them and the chase is on to try and get out of this mess alive, without being shot by the cops. They can’t get out through the front door or windows so they decide to take a chance on the sewers, but first they have to find the keys to the room where the sewer entrance is. Eventually they do (as the number of uninfected quickly diminish) but the building is overrun so they head up to the last seemingly safe place, the abandoned suite at the top of the building. Abandoned by an unknown, mysterious recluse who seems to have left a lot of paperwork lying around regarding the demonic possession of a young girl. What? Yep. He also seems to have left behind his reel to reel taped voice recording of his sessions extracting enzymes from her possessed body. Nothing good can come of this, to be sure and, well – there’s something awful up in his attic.
I really liked this movie and remember liking the sequel even more. This is intense and filled with – shit! I didn’t expect that – moments. Aside from the shaky-cam-first-person POV gimmick (well, and the dubbing) there’s not a lot wrong with this, to me. Whenever people ask me if I liked “Quarantine” I tell them, sure but I liked the original better and it was called “(REC)”. “Wreck?” “No, “(REC)” like the first three letters of ‘record.” “Oh, OK, sounds weird, how about Quarantine?” Well – now I have this written testimony to the First Book of (REC) and I can point them here for proper indoctrination.
“Blair Witch Project” may have paved the way, but before “Paranormal Activity” and around the same time as “Cloverfield” was entering the scene, there was another flick that came out utilizing the handheld, documentary style. Few heard of it until the American remake, however. Guesses, anyone? Hailing from Spain, [Rec] is a delightfully creepy little flick has just the right amount of chills and gore. Another zombie film with hidden layers, this movie tackles racism, stereotypes and the breaking down of society when under martial law and it all occurs in a single building.
One night, a young t.v. show host and her crew are filming at a local fire station for her show “While You Sleep”. Suddenly, in the middle of the night a call comes in and off they go. They arrive at an apartment building to find reports of screams with everyone concerned an old lady has fallen. Well, that’s close anyway……When the old lady is found, she’s covered from head to toe in blood, screaming like a banshee and completely unstable. She’s apparently very hungry too, as she bites a fireman. From there chaos ensues as the tenants of the building and the crew realize they’ve been effectively sealed into the building by the police, with orders to stay where they are and “not panic”. Um, yeah….banshee lady biting people but don’t panic? Check…..
The tension steadily and slowly mounts as the occupants of the building realize there’s likely no way out. People start turning on one another and just plain turning while the whole time, the t.v. host tells Pablo, her cameraman, to keep filming despite orders to cease.
If you’re a fan of the horror genre, this is a wonderfully fun and thrilling ride, so go check it out! Oh and drop me a line sometime with your favorite horror movies!