Wednesday, March 20, 2013

#947. [REC] (2007)

Directed By: Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza

Starring: Manuela Velasco, Ferran Terraza, Jorge-Yamam Serrano

Tag line: "Just One Witness.... A Video Camera"

Trivia: Made and shot in real locations. No sets were built to make this movie

Reporter Angela Vidal (Manuela Velasco) and her cameraman Pablo (Pablo Rossa, who is never seen) are on assignment at a Barcelona fire station, where they hope to capture footage of the brave firefighters in action. 

The two ride along on an emergency call from a tenement complex, where an elderly woman is supposedly trapped in her apartment. But what they find once they get there is a situation far more dangerous. It seems the woman, Mrs. Izquierdo (Martha Carbonell), has become violent, and in the confusion she mauls a police officer. To make matters worse, when the firemen attempt to transport the injured cop to the hospital, they find they’ve been locked inside the building, with a military unit stationed outside to ensure nobody leaves the premises! 

As everyone, including the tenants, tries to figure out what’s going on, the wounded policeman suddenly attacks, acting every bit as crazy as the old lady. As it turns out, a deadly virus, which transforms normal people into ravenous killers, is loose in the comnplex, and by locking down the building, the authorities hope to prevent it from spreading. One by one, the unfortunate few trapped inside succumb to the illness, and if Angela, Pablo and the others don’t find a way out, odds are they won’t survive the night.

A 2007 Spanish horror film, [REC] was shot like a documentary, with the entire story unfolding in front of Pablo’s camera. This brings a tone of realism to the movie, heightening the anxiety as more and more people become raving lunatics. In one scene, a young girl named Jennifer (Claudia Font), who, when interviewed by Angela, said she isn’t feeling well, unexpectedly lashes out, attacking her mother (Maria Lanau) before running upstairs and disappearing into the darkness. Like others who’ve been infected, Jennifer is now hiding somewhere in the building, which only intensifies the suspense as the remaining few, who are not yet sick, search for an exit, realizing danger might be waiting for them around every corner.

[REC] isn’t overly bloody, but the violence it does feature is effective, mostly because it happens abruptly and catches us off-guard (some of the infected “turn” more quickly than others). A fast-paced film with an unbearably tense final sequence, [REC] is a terrific horror movie.


Liam Underwood said...

I absolutely love this film - those final twenty minutes or so are just horror movie-making perfection! Shame the American remake didn't quite manage to capture the magic.

Boss Butcher said...

While a little slow on the scares early, it sure makes up for it later! Absolutely bone-chilling! Great movie!

DVD Infatuation said...

Thanks for the comments, guys! They're appreciated.

@Liam: The final 20 minutes are incredible! I liked the majority of the movie, but its ending is incredibly strong.

@Boss: Agreed! It definitely ends on a high-note.

Unknown said...

One of my favorite movies, including the sequels. Although the third is not really scary, but bloody.