[REC] 2007 Review
Written by: Poppascotch
All I've been hearing from everyone all over the web is "you have to see [REC]". Well I finally got my hands on a copy and I have to say without any reservations, that I believe that this will go down as one of the best horror films of the decade. In fact its going to be hard to knock this one off for number 1.
Set in Barcelona Spain, a young reporter named Angela (Manuela Velasco) and her cameraman Pablo (imdb not clear on this?) are at their local Fire Company working on a ongoing news series chronicling the lives of people who work while you sleep. What starts off as a fairly boring night at a firehouse turns into a distress call about a woman locked in her apartment. After the news Crew, a few firemen, and a couple cops discover that the woman is acting strange and almost rabid, all hell breaks loose and the building is quarantined. All the residents along with the emergency response teams are locked inside while an infection gets studied and assessed from the outside.
This film is not only terrifying, but extremely well done and entertaining. The first 20 or so minutes of the film, it truly feels like we are watching the B roll of a boring news story. A young reporter, getting put on a bad assignment is trying to make the best of it, getting interviews and doing what she can to get the public interested. And as the scene turns into chaos, we barely notice because of the way the tension of the film has built up so successfully. It believably takes us from a boring news story, to an engaging account of a tragic accident, to all out chaos. The Americans could learn a thing or two about character development and pacing from this film.
The film was convincingly shot from the single point of view trying to get a glimpse of the action. Unlike Cloverfield, I never thought that any of it was staged, just purposly giving us a glimpse of what to come, which would have only be done with weeks of planning. [REC] felt real and took us along for their crazy ride. In addition to the cinematography, the acting was solid all around (from what I could tell, I was reading the subtitles and I fully believed them all) from the infected people to the children actors and at no point did I really sit back and think that these people were phoning it in, or putting on a show. Even the wailing sound was a great precursor to the infected and just generally scary as hell.
This is a film that every horror aficionado needs to see. This is exactly how you do a found footage film, by seemingly showing the audience the tape that was taken from the camera of the situation and then brought to your attention. The direction was perfect and the cheap scares weren't overused at all. If this is any indication of the quality of films that will be imported to North America from other countries, I say we open up those borders with open arms.