Thursday, October 28, 2010

Week of Reel Whorror!: Dead is Better Day 4

Release: 07.14.09
Rated R
1 hour, 18 minutes

See It, Take a Friend, Buy the DVD!

Host Ángela Vidal (Manuela Velasco) and her cameraman Pablo (Pablo Rosso) are filming a segment for their documentary series While You're Asleep at a local Barcelona fire station. Although her escorts, Manu (Ferran Terraza)and Álex (David Vert), tell her most emergency calls are for minor things like pet rescue, Ángela hopes they'll get something more exciting. Later in the evening, they are called to help a woman trapped in her apartment; not a blazing fire, but some action is better than none. However, the firemen, police, Ángela and Pablo make a frightening discovery at the apartment and before they can evacuate the building, they are all quarantined within by authorities.

[REC] is told completely from Ángela's perspective with Pablo's lens as her eyes and ears. The directors Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza start with a slow, almost bored pace; perfectly emulating the tedium one might encounter when filming the minutiae of a fireman's job. That makes it so awesome when the foursome get completely flipped on their asses by the events at the apartment!

It isn't an immediate plunge into insanity, but the rising tension among the safety workers and the building's tenants is palpable and nerve-racking. Passing comments and observances become crucial information that Ángela and company employ to survive as all hell breaks loose.

Dirty Undies
The mood is frantic, furious and creepy as fuck. Once folks start getting covered in blood, you forget all about how cute Ángela looks in her pigtails.Thinking back, I'm not even sure you see anything all that graphic; the insinuation of an enraged, blood-covered zombie-esque person ripping into someone's throat is more than enough to put audiences on edge.

The Money Shot
[REC] spawned a near scene-for-scene remake in the US titled Quarantine. Although I saw the remake first, the original is a must-not miss. I have my favorite characters and moments committed to memory (Manu's quick thinking with a sledgehammer comes to mind), but I won't give anything away. I suggest you let [REC] burn itself into your mind.


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  1. Loved this movie. I saw Quarantine first and didn't understand how the premise could actually be a really great film.

    Have you seen REC 2 yet? It's definitely not as good of course, but it still delivers some scares.

  2. I watched [REC] for the first time not too long ago - most excellent. It's the first movie in a LONG time that got my heart pounding ... those last ten minutes!

  3. @blake: I haven't seen REC2 yet. I am curious about it.

    @Friend Mouse: That penthouse scene is intense! Even tho I had seen Quarantine first, this one still had me on edge. Proves just how great it is.