Thursday, October 1, 2009

[Rec] (2007)

Fear 4/5
Gore 3/5
Entertainment 5/5
Creepiness 5/5

Okay, so I'm not going to write a synopsis of the film. It pretty much follows suit (or should I say precedes) the same way that its American remake counterpart does. If you want to know the backdrop, read the first couple paragraphs of Complaint Dept.'s review of Quarantine, here. What I will focus on are the differences, which makes it a much more terrifying movie watching experience.

Fast forwarding to filming a group of people holed up in an apartment complex, the shots, 'footage' and situations are much more grimy, gritty and 'real' than those presented in the American remake. Where Quarantine definitely had its intention of being raw and gritty, it was still mired by a feeling of being a Hollywood film. Sure, it had the herky jerky camera angles that made it the Blair Witch version of a zombie movie, but I couldn't help but think that I was still watching a made for the mainstream, horror movie for the masses. That's not to say that the film wasn't entirely effective in terms of providing some genuine scares. On the contrary, it had its icky moments (again, see Complaint Dept.'s review). But what truly set [Rec] aside from its remake, was its focus on the characters. I had a genuine interest vested in each one. It definitely had its moments (injection of a large needle into an open wound anyone?), but the character development along with their neverending sense of fear, dread, and hopelessness is what draws you in. You want to see everyone get out alive.

Whereas Quarantine had its moments of disposable characters (especially the arrogant guy who basically gave a middle finger to any sort of authority), these folks were working towards a common goal. Each one caring about each other and the well-being of all involved. There were still plenty of 'Why would you do that moments' (i.e. a little kid that's infected chomps on her mother's face and runs upstairs, a cop and firefigher follow) but it's just a bit more permissable than the remake for the sheer fact that everyone involved had this vested care in the person standing next to them. This was partially due to the fact that the woman who played the main reporter really never broke character and continued her role as interviewer and documentarian. This was in the remake but not to the degree of the original.

With not as much gore on display as Quarantine, [Rec] instead pays care and detail to the build-up and the execution, especially when a confrontation with a member of the infected occurs. The end was entirely much more effective as well, with the reason behind the infection being more apparent and the final climax being that much more terrifying and gut punching.

[Rec] is an entirely original film and does for the zombie genre what Blair Witch did for the good ol' fashion ghost story. I highly recommend the original over the remake every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

Cortez the Killer


Matt-suzaka said...

I wholeheartedly agree on every word of this review. I think the camerawork is so natural and realistic in REC as compared to Quarantine.

One scene that shows the superiority of REC is when they shoot through the small window at the top of the wall and see the fire fighters get attacked...such a perfectly executed scene in how it is shot and what it does, and doesn't show you. And it's all done while being completely realistic looking. REC, along with Let the Right One In were my top 2 favorite horror movies of last year. That should say it all I think! Great review, and not just because I agree with you!

Cortez The Killer said...

Thanks! And I completely agree, that shot was pure perfection. I'm wondering how the sequel will fair.