Sunday, October 31, 2010

[Rec]

Shaky cam is a very polarizing prospect. When it's done right, we can get a film that has authenticity and realism to a degree that a slick horror film can't quite reach, like The Blair Witch Project. When it's done wrong, we get Cloverfield. [Rec] is it done very right. In fact, it might be one of the best shaky cam films that I've ever seen.

We follow a reporter, Angela, and her cameraman, Pablo, as they follow a group of firefighters around for a night. At first they're stuck in the firehouse with nothing to do but when the alarm rings and they all go out for a routine mission to break a lady out of her apartment, things start to go terribly wrong. Like zombie wrong. Add in the fact that they can't escape the building as it is quarantined not long after they enter, and the problem grows even greater. Soon, Angela and Pablo are recording and reporting everything they see in what might be their last assignment ever--an assignment in terror!

It's a simple enough premise, but it works extremely well and the narrative is taut and without much in the way of filler. Indeed, once we get past the introductions in the firehouse and enter the apartment complex, the pace remains fast and furious as everyone is trying to figure out what the hell is going on and if they can even make it out alive. As it is a Spanish movie, I don't recognize any of the cast, but I think this helps it out. The movie was remade as Quarantine and features actors you know so it's just them playing a part. Here it is more effective as I only know Angela as Angela and the same for all the other characters, making it a more real experience.

All in all it's a tightly paced and made movie that handles the subject of a zombie outbreak quite realistically, or as realistically as we can do with such a thing. If you don't mind the subtitles, I heartily recommend checking it out, as it is a perfect movie for Halloween or any other night you want to be scared. Check it out. Also, there's a sequel and two more movies after that planned, so you'll be in on the ground floor of something grand.

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