The Friday Afternoon Movie: [REC]

It’s Friday again, and there you sit in your stale, air-conditioned office linking all your paper clips together. It’s fun, right? The end result is just really, satisfyingly uniform. I wonder is anyone has made jewelry that looks like linked paper clips. Maybe you should make some. You could sell them on Etsy. People would buy that, right? It would at least make you a couple of extra bucks to help with rent. Oooo, maybe you could make wallet chains too. The kids will eat that shit up! Maybe not. Probably not, right? I mean, even if they got popular they’d probably just get ripped off by Urban Outfitters and sold for twice the price. Man, we’re never gonna get out of this place. Oh well, at least there are still movies on the internet.

Today the FAM presents the 2007 Spanish found footage horror movie [REC], directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza, which was remade in the US (because, as everyone knows, Hollywood will always do a better job) as Quarantine in 2008. [REC] follows TV reporter Ángela Vidal and her cameraman, Pablo, who are following a group of firefighters for a show called While You’re Asleep. At first all is normal until a call is received concerning an elderly woman trapped in her apartment. When the crew arrives they find the police have been called as well and soon break down the door. There they find the woman who looks decidedly unwell. This point is driven home when she attacks one of the officers, biting him. Not long after the building is locked down, and so begins a mad scramble to stay uninfected and find out the cause of this strange outbreak.

There have been enough found footage/shaky-cam horror movies at this point to elicit a groan from many, but of all of them, [REC] may be one of the best. Between its claustrophobic setting and constant state of confusion, [REC] does an admirable job of keeping the viewer off balance. I liked the use of a reporter as the main character, allowing for the kind of mystery solving usually ignored in this type of film in favor of jump scares. And while [REC] keeps much of its plot concerned with the immediate problems of survival, I enjoyed the slow unraveling of the greater mystery. That does lead to my one big criticism, that being the ending. The reveal of the virus’s origin and subsequent outbreak inside the apartment building seems to come way out of left field and, while functional, isn’t particularly satisfying. Overall, however, it remains a gripping experience, one which deservedly stands out in a field of increasingly drab entries.

4 Responses to “The Friday Afternoon Movie: [REC]”

  1. Christian A. Dumais Says:

    One of the things I loved about this movie was how it introduced about five awesome details in the last ten minutes that were rich enough to be their own movies. But here, there’re just throwaway details.

    Also, it’s worth noting that REC2 is just as good, if not better.

  2. Ross Rosenberg Says:

    Chistian – I have yet to see it, but you are not the first I’ve heard to praise the second movie. I should really get around to seeing it.

  3. Melponeme_k Says:

    I’ve heard about this film but never saw it.

    It had a semi tie-in deal in the game Second Life. The office space was recreated and user avatars were able to walk inside it. A special add on turned the SL viewer into a video cam picture. It was a real spooky and fun haunted house experience.

  4. Jon Randle Says:

    I’ve heard a lot about this and Rec 2. Thank you for posting this. I’ve just watch the first horror movie in a long time which I got scared at. Fucking Awesome.