Spanish Language Edition
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From Executive Producers who brought you Quarantine, comes the movie that inspired the terror. A beautiful TV reporter (Manuela Velasco, Law of Desire) and her cameraman are doing a routine interview at a local fire station when an emergency call comes in. Accompanying the firefighters to a nearby apartment, the news team begins recording the bloodcurdling screams coming from inside an elderly woman's unit. After authorities seal off the building to contain the threat, the news crew, firefighters and residents are trapped to face a lethal terror inside. With the camera running, nothing may survive but the film itself.
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Paella, Pau Gasol, and [REC] - this is Spain hooking up the rest of the world. See, when done right, the found film footage provides chills that feel more visceral and immediate. [REC] begins in humdrum manner, with a television crew deployed to a local fire station in Barcelona to do a piece on firefighters or, as the Spanish are wont to call them, "los bomberos" (which sounds cooler). When the firefighters on shift respond to an emergency call, the television crew accompanies them to an apartment tenement in which an elderly woman is screaming non-stop. But a routine call soon spirals out of control when the health authorities arrive to seal off the building, stranding the news team, the firefighters, policemen, and the residents with an undefined menace. But I'll define it... and SPOILER it.... old Mrs. Izquierdo is a zombie.
Here's a neat thing: Director of Photography, Pablo Rosso, not only wields the point-of-view camera himself but he also played the role of the in-movie news team's cameraman "Pablo." I'll tell you what, it takes some sort of steely fiber for someone to keep hoisting that camera while spooky paranormal shizzy is going down.
The plot isn't deep. The narrative is populated by stock characters. That's okay. [REC] overcomes the shackles of its tropes by dint of its vitality and nervy execution and presentation. It's rated R for "bloody horror violence and language," but it also should've mentioned the film's knack for inducing nerve-jangling claustrophobia. The building which traps our characters probably looks welcoming and quaint by daylight, but at night and as seen thru the confines of a handheld camera, the environs transmogrify into these disquieting dark and cramped quarters. This frightener takes full advantage of its conceit, of this one camera providing the first person perspective. The most alarming concern becomes not about what's in front of us, but rather the thing that could be waiting to pounce on us just off-camera. That there's no soundtrack at all until the end credits roll bolsters that sense of jagged, stripped-down believability. The third act is relentless in its visceral scares. I had to turn the light on. Those bloodcurdling screams aren't coming from old Mrs. Izquierdo alone.
The DVD's bonus stuff:
- The REC "Making Of" featurette (00:18:29 minutes, with English sub-titles)
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UPDATE: get it through shudder trial/subscription, it is original form with...Read more