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Review: Rec

In On Film on July 20, 2009 at 2:51 pm

poster_recThe inspiration for the American movie Quarantine has finally made its way to DVD! So how does it compare to it’s American version?

*Possible Spoilers Throughout*

Like I previously mentioned, Rec is what the movie Quarantine is based on. So yes, if you didn’t know, Quarantine is yet another American remake of a foreign film. Hey, at least it wasn’t another Japanese horror remake, right?

Rec centers around television reporter Angela Vidal and her cameraman Pablo as they cover a local fire station for a documentary series, While You Sleep. Out of nowhere in what seems like a boring night, the alarm rings. The firefighters receive a call that an elderly woman is trapped in her apartment building. Upon their arrival, they soon discover that they’re in for something much more they bargained for.

Going into this movie, I had almost convinced myself that I would hate it. If you didn’t know, the movie is filmed in a homemade/shaky cam style. Personally, I have never been a fan of that particular style of filming. I didn’t care for The Blair Witch Project or Cloverfield mainly due to the camera work. Most of the time I found myself struggling to find out what was going on and holding down my lunch due to motion sickness. I am happy to say that none of those problems arose with the viewing of Rec. This movie used the style to perfection.

It goes without saying that this movie destroys its American counterpart. I don’t think there is really any comparison. While Quarantine (in my opinion) was pretty ho-hum and dull, Rec locks you in as soon as the characters arrive at the apartment complex. The first half of the movie isn’t particularly bad, but it did have me checking the clock more than once. Again, all of that changes rather quickly.

There is such an amazing sense of claustrophobia and dread throughout the entire movie. Because the local police have the building under quarantine, the characters are trapped inside without a way out. This does nothing but create a greater sense of doom. Once the shit hits the fan, you really feel like there is no chance any one is surviving this. While that may seem like it makes the movie predictable, it doesn’t in any way. The movie does a superb job of making the viewer feel as if they’re locked inside the complex as well.

The cast does a pretty good job with what they’re given. The only character that has a prominent role is Manuela Velasco, who plays Angela Vidal. While Pablo is a fairly significant character in the film, you never see him or hear much from him. So I will just say that Pablo Rosso did a good job with what he had. Again, you’ll find yourself not really centering around any character outside of Angela Vidal, so it’s hard to judge the rest of the cast.

All in all, this movie is pretty damn good. It’s definitely the best film to utilize the “shaky cam” style of filming. While it has a slow start, it quickly makes up for it with an outstanding blood bath at the apartment complex. I will also say that the ending of this film is one of the more eerie/creepy things I’ve witnessed in a movie. Do yourself a favor and check this out as soon as you get the chance. Be sure to watch it in the dark for maximum effect.

Final Grade: A

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  1. “Rec” was released over here about this time last year, and being a horror fanatic – especially of the “indie” variety – I had to check it out.

    Abso-bloody-lutely brilliant. I only found myself looking at the clock when Angela makes it up to the attic – couldn’t believe that it was nearly over. A short, but inspired hour and half.

    I’ll never see “Quarantine”, nor will I see an American or Western remake of foreign films. Some things should be just left well alone. I think the US “The Ring” was the only exception, and that wasn’t too bad.

  2. I LOVED “Rec”. An inspired, hugely fun and scary movie that created a terrific atmosphere, and has one of the best endings I’ve seen in a horror movie. (Up there with “The Fog”. The original that is.)

    Not seen the US remake but I was HUGELY pissed off to see that the trailer for it SHOWS THE BLOODY ENDING!

    I refuse to watch US remakes of movies. If one pops up that sounds good, I ALWAYS hunt out the original instead (“The Ring”, “The Grudge”, “Quarantine” etc…)

  3. Yeah, I agree. It’s usually a safe bet to always avoid the American remake of any foreign horror film.

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