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3.6 out of 5 stars
[Rec]
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54 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
Skip the Amazon Instant Video version of this movie. It's dubbed. Kind of funny for the first 5 minutes if you're a fan of old-school kung fu movies, but not worth watching if you want to experience the impact of the original film.
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2009
Format: DVD
I am going to assume that, if you are reading this, you already know that this movie is the original predecessor to the recent American film Quarantine. As of this writing, I have not seen that film, so I cannot fully compare the two. However, I will note that it seems the only positive reviews of the American adaptation came from those who did not view this movie first.

That being said, if you have seen and enjoyed Quarantine, I will wager that you will like this this movie. In fact, I consider this to be one of a very few "Must See" horror movies from the past 10 years.

The story is simple, and has been relayed in countless other reviews here, so I will keep the synopsis short:

A TV show hostess visits a local firehouse for an evening to see what a fireman's life is like, and upon finding that it can be boring, wishes there were some sort of call to go on. Soon enough, she gets her wish, as the firemen are called to an apartment building to rescue an old woman, something the firemen view as a routine call. However, upon arriving at the building, the group finds that things are not as routine as they expected, and they are quickly sealed in until further notice due to a possible outbreak of disease, with all contact to the outside world severed. As tensions rise among the tenants, the hostess and camera man set about documenting what they feel "the public needs to know." What they find is more horrific than they could ever imagine...

And now for my opinion:

The scares in this movie are not your typical "jumpers," meaning that they do not come from cheap musical effects while someone comes around a corner. No, the real scares here come from the dark, claustrophobic, hallways of the building and the noises coming from off camera. In short, the atmosphere of the film creates an edge-of-your-seat type of tension that slowly builds until something shocking pushes it over the top; where it begins all over again. In fact, even the things that I knew were about to happen still managed to scare me; something that is very rare these days.

The movie also doesn't resort to cheap gore effects to frighten the viewer. Now don't get me wrong, I like the red stuff just as much as the next guy, but it seems too many movies these days are just laying it on to get a reaction. This doesn't mean that there is no blood in this film. In fact, there is quite a bit of blood, but none of it is spilled without any reason or effect. The same can be said for the "monsters" in the film. For most of the time, they are kept just off camera (though you can hear their odd noises in the background all along), but when they reveal themselves you certainly get the effect that the filmmakers intended. And while I'm on the subject, the "monsters" are not zombies, as people have taken to calling them; they are people who have been infected by something that is not clearly revealed (though it is hinted at during the final climax).

The less-is-more approach used in this movie was perfect because, luckily, the directors kept the running time on the short side at a lean 73 minutes or so. This means that the movie avoids the dragging feeling that most others of it's type wind up producing (Blair Witch anyone?). Granted, the first 20 minutes or so (when the hostess is at the firehouse) are a little slow, but during that time you are basically getting to know the characters who will become your main focus, and this helps make what happens to them later all the more unpleasant. That being said, you must also keep in mind that once they get to the apartment building, the pace picks up greatly and the scares remain constant up through the last 10 minutes or so, where the situation explodes into a veritable frenzy of scares and suspense. In fact, these 10 minutes are the perfect culmination to the build-ups before them. Think of it as a roller coaster where they save the giant hill for last...

In short, I think that all horror fans should really take a chance and watch this movie. Additionally, I would strongly advise against viewing the remake beforehand as I have the feeling that it may ruin the suspense since you will know everything that is in store and I've heard that it is much less atmospheric.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-ray
First off, not to be a snob, but please ignore the other review for your own sake. Skip Quarantine completely and go straight for the original as there is simply no comparison. Jaume Balageuero's film is a masterpiece of contemporary horror. I don't want to get into the plot too much but suffice to say people are trapped in an apartment building, they don't know why they've been sealed in and amongst them, deranged zombie-like killers are going haywire; this puts all involved in a bit of a sticky wicket. You need to see the rest. REC packs an amazing ride into 70 minutes on a small budget and is proof what can be done with creativity and the power of suggestion. It is not what we see that usually scares us but what we don't and the directors knew that. Finally, the handheld nature of REC isn't annoying, it's crucial to the experience of the film. It places the viewer in the role of the mostly anonymous cameraman and provides a feeling of claustrophobia and that unsettled squirming-in-your-skin sensation that makes good horror films truly a joy to view. Don't see Quarantine. See REC, turn off the lights and enjoy the ride.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
Amazon is only offering this film dubbed in English. By not offering the original sub-titled version Amazon has screwed us (and me today) out of the opportunity to watch this film as it was intended with all the actors emotions, and the sounds made in the film. This English dubbed version sounds exactly like it was filmed in a looping booth. There are no sounds from the original film and without the natural sounds that the people make in the background, or the "what was that?" creepy sounds that are in horror films I couldn't get into it. The worst part is I had to pay $12 bucks to stream it in HD because the video is not available to rent. I am asking for my money back. And going to subject myself to Quarentine. Shame on you Amazon!
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84 of 117 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Well, well, well; so after taking the remake rights, remaking the film for illiterate American consumption, retitling it Quarantine, milking the built in horror box office numbers, and releasing the DVD they are finally releasing the real film now that all of the money to be made off of this one has been snapped up by the major studios. Refusing to release a film in the USA until they can remake it and scrape up every last penny to be made just to deny the original creators their fair share of the profits for their work is vile, people. I hope you were smart enough to leave Quarantine alone and wait for the real thing. This is why hardcore film fans own region-free players. Don't settle for a copy of a copy of a copy or that is what we will continue to get. Support the original works so they can get the theatrical runs and treatment they deserve some day. Subtitles will not scorch your precious little eyeballs, foreign languages will not harm your ears, and watching a non-American cast should not upset you that much. A great film is a great film and it shouldn't have to be re-shot, dumbed-down and rendered creatively bankrupt for you to enjoy it.

Oh, right; I was going to review the movie. Sorry about that.
"REC" is a Spanish horror film that follows the trend of films like Cloverfield and The Blair Witch Project by having the entire story told through the lens of a constantly-filming camera and throws in some of 28 Days Later's mad intensity to create a film that is annoyingly familiar in execution, but still a must-see. The execution here is fantastic and the end result is as frightening as any of the films mentioned above.

In "REC", a young, beautiful reporter hosting a late night show is doing a story about firefighters working the graveyard shift entitled "While You're Asleep". After a meet-and-greet and a few fluff segments our heroine Angela and her cameraman, Pablo, follow the firefighters on a routine call. They end up inside of an apartment building where a call was placed about a disturbance. They head upstairs to check it out and see an old woman standing motionless in the dark, her clothes bloodied. This sort of thing seldom ends well. After some doings transpire, the residents, firefighters, policemen, and reporter duo find that the building has been sealed off and is surrounded by police threatening deadly force. BNC (Biological, Nuclear, and Chemical) protocol is in effect on the entire building and nobody is getting out. Nobody seems to know what's going on. Then the killing starts.

"REC" is unoriginal on several levels; essentially a hodgepodge of concepts and techniques that have come before, but it is damned effective because it only steals the best. If you didn't like the style of "Cloverfield" or Diary of the Dead then you are unlikely to enjoy this either. In fact, the camera might be even shakier on this one. You'd think with a supposed pro handling the camera, the picture would be more stable. While there is nothing approaching the deep, dark, cutting social statements of Romero's work, there is a little bit to chew on. While interviewing residents, Angela finds one man matter-of-factly rambling about his "Chinese" neighbors (they're Japanese) and their disgusting eating habits while essentially implying that they must be the root cause of the rumored infection. This is so very true to life it almost hurts. Blaming the foreigners never gets old no matter what country you live in. A very nice touch. As the story unfolds and the characters start to unravel, the pace of the film picks up substantially. The result is several minutes of pure chaos. The mystery infection can take minutes, hours, or days to manifest symptoms, making everybody in the building a liability. Talk about tension.

While the pacing is a bit slow at times, there are some amazing scenes. Before I saw "REC", there had been only a few children in cinema history that truly frightened me. Add another to that list. Jaw-dropping performance. The final act is a masterpiece of suspense and intensity. With the power cut and the police outside practically waiting for everyone inside to die, Pablo and Angela -with their camera as the only available light in the building (genius)- attempt to escape upstairs, hoping to find an attic leading outside. What they find is a supposedly abandoned room that contains the answers to the story's mysteries and one of the most terrifying apparitions ever seen in a horror film. There are some amazing shots, genuine scares, violence with a little gore, and plenty of screams along the way. My God, are there screams. I have to say that in spite of the fact that much of this had been done in previous films, I wanted more of "REC" and am looking forward to the sequel. Not the inevitable remake sequel. The film is a short hour and fifteen minutes and the ending was annoyingly abrupt and ended with lame music, but hey nobody's perfect.

Either you enjoy these kinds of films or you do not. For fans of the emerging shaky-cam horror genre, this is for you. If you're not a fan, either skip it or take some dramamine beforehand; this one's not for the faint-hearted. A lesson in low-budget intensity is this movie. It is unexceptional considering what has come before, but it is executed well enough to make it well worth a watch. Consider "REC" a rec.

Additional message from the soapbox, incoming...

Let's face it, people: foreign horror is kicking our tails. It has been for a decade at least. If we want America's sleeping horror giant to wake up again, we've got to stop supporting the sub-par recycled garbage that is piling on top of it. That means saving your cash for the films that deserve it -independent, controversial, hardcore, R-rated, uncompromising HORROR- and forsaking all others. No Tara Reids or Paris Hiltons, no PG-13s, no Paul Andersons or Michael Bays, and no more God-cursed remakes. Take the money for that ticket and again I implore you to go buy a DVD of the original works instead. It'll make you a real American hero.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
Don't get me wrong, REC was one of the best horror movies I've ever seen. But I thought I was buying the original Spanish language version. In my mind, I assumed dubbed meant subtitled. Bad mistake and I never intend on making this mistake ever again. The dubbing is bad and disappointing, only someone who was never exposed to the original language format might enjoy it. But at points the dubbing just feels out of the place, the English just not catching the same emotion and the delivery feels out of place in some parts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2010
Format: DVD
After viewing and enjoying Quarantine, I learned that it was a remake of a Spanish language film called Rec (as in "record"). First things first. If you see Quarantine first, you'll realize how it's a near copycat of the original. There are a few differences: some characters are added while some are deleted entirely, the causes behind the "infection" share nothing in common, and of course the differences in language and location. Everything else is almost identical, right down to the set and more than a few of the shots. Rec improves on parts of it's American counterpart, most of all a scene that shocked the actors because they had no idea it was coming. Their genuine horror makes Quarantine's characters response border on the unfazed. Another amazing fact is that only a few of the actors in the film are "legit". Most of the performers had never acted before, but you'd never guess it since they're so believable. Another improvement over Quarantine is the reveal of the final character. A creature really. It's not CGI although it looks like it. Perfect! I can't say which film is the best because both have what the other lacks imo. I suggest giving both a try to come to your own conclusion. You're guaranteed entertainment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
I'm glad to see REC is finally out on DVD now. I saw this one 2 years ago and just loved it. Very Creepy and very dark Zombie flick. Some will say it's not zombies, it's rabid infected people more like 28 Days Later (Widescreen Edition). I don't agree. Regardless, it's a film any Zombie fan should see.
Quarantine was an American Hollywood remake of this film. It looks identical almost frame by frame but for one major issue I had with it. The Zombie, Monster, whatever at the end is not as impressive as the one in REC. I'm not kidding. The Creature at the end of this one is 100% Creepier than what Hollywood could come up with. If you haven't seen either, watch this one.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
"REC" is a Spanish horror film that follows the trend of films like Cloverfield and The Blair Witch Project by having the entire story told through the lens of a constantly-filming camera and throws in some of 28 Days Later's mad intensity to create a film that is annoyingly familiar in execution, but still a must-see. In less than a year, Hollywood has managed to bang out a remake titled Quarantine. What a disgrace. A copy of a copy of a copy. As usual, the reasons the film had to be remade for American audiences are twofold: most Americans are believed to be functionally illiterate and will therefore flee from the sight or even thought of subtitles, or they are bigots who will not pay to see a movie that isn't packed with pasty skin, blonde hair, and familiar overpaid faces. Do me a favor, America: PROVE THEM WRONG! Do not pay your hard-earned cash to see these useless, unimaginative, and inferior remakes; buy the real deal even if it means getting a region-free DVD player. Support true original horror regardless of nationality and quarantine crummy remakes.

Oh, right; I had a movie review going on here. Sorry about that. In "REC", a young, beautiful reporter hosting a late night show is doing a story about firefighters working the graveyard shift entitled "While You're Asleep". After a meet-and-greet and a few fluff segments our heroine Angela and her cameraman, Pablo, follow the firefighters on a routine call. They end up inside of an apartment building where a call was placed about a disturbance. They head upstairs to check it out and see an old woman standing motionless in the dark, her clothes bloodied. This sort of thing seldom ends well. After some doings transpire, the residents, firefighters, policemen, and reporter duo find that the building has been sealed off and is surrounded by police threatening deadly force. BNC (Biological, Nuclear, and Chemical) protocol is in effect on the entire building and nobody is getting out. Nobody seems to know what's going on. Then the killing starts.

"REC" is unoriginal on several levels; essentially a hodgepodge of concepts and techniques that have come before, but it is damned effective because it only steals the best. If you didn't like the style of "Cloverfield" or Diary of the Dead then you are unlikely to enjoy this either. In fact, the camera might be even shakier on this one. You'd think with a pro handling the camera, the picture would be more stable. While there is nothing approaching the deep, dark, cutting social statements of Romero's work, there is a little bit to chew on. While interviewing residents, Angela finds one man matter-of-factly rambling about his "Chinese" neighbors (they're Japanese) and their disgusting eating habits while essentially implying that they must be the root cause of the rumored infection. This is so very true to life it almost hurts. Blaming the foreigners never gets old no matter what country you live in. A very nice touch. As the story unfolds and the characters start to unravel, the pace of the film picks up substantially. The result is several minutes of pure chaos. The mystery infection can take minutes, hours, or days to manifest symptoms, making everybody in the building a liability. Talk about tension.

While the pacing is a bit slow at times, there are some amazing scenes. Before I saw "REC", there had been only three children in cinema history that truly frightened me; The Exorcist,Pet Sematary and Night of the Living Dead. Add another to that list. Jaw-dropping performance. The final act is a masterpiece of suspense and intensity. With the power cut and the police outside practically waiting for everyone inside to die, Pablo and Angela -with their camera as the only available light in the building (genius)- attempt to escape upstairs, hoping to find an attic leading outside. What they find is a supposedly abandoned room that contains the answers to the story's mysteries and one of the most terrifying apparitions ever seen in a horror film. There are some amazing shots, genuine scares, violence with a little gore, and plenty of screams along the way. My God, are there screams. I have to say that in spite of the fact that much of this had been done in previous films, I wanted more of "REC". The film is a short hour and fifteen minutes and the ending was annoyingly abrupt and ended with lame music.

Either you enjoy these kinds of films or you do not. For fans of the emerging shaky-cam horror genre, this is for you. If you're not a fan, either skip it or take some dramamine beforehand; this one's not for the faint-hearted. A lesson in low-budget intensity in this movie. It is unexceptional considering what has come before, but it is executed well enough to make it well worth a watch. Consider "REC" a rec.

Message from the soapbox, incoming...

Let's face it, people: foreign horror is kicking our tails. It has been for a decade at least. If we want America's sleeping horror giant to wake up again, we've got to stop supporting the sub-par recycled garbage that is piling on top of it. That means saving your cash for the films that deserve it -independent, controversial, hardcore, R-rated, uncompromising HORROR- and forsaking all others. No Tara Reids or Paris Hiltons, no PG-13s, no Paul Andersons or Michael Bays, and no more God-cursed remakes. Take the money for that ticket and go buy a DVD of the original works instead. It'll make you a real American hero.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2008
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
If you don't own a region-free DVD, do what I did and get one here at Amazon thru it's various marketers. I got a JVC that is both region free and converts PAL to NTSC - and it was cheap. That said, this is the type of film that made my purchase of a region-free player, worthwhile. With the pending release of the american "version" of this film (and those who prefer the asian version of Grudge, The Eye...etc know what I mean)I was not overly hopeful this would come to us in our local version. So I bought the import and have been VERY happy with the film. just think 28 DAYS.........after drinking a whole case of RedBull.
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