[rec] just rules…

For those of you who are interested in horror films, particularly zombie films, I recommend the relatively new spanish horror film [rec]. For those of you who are interested in POV horror, or POV filmmaking in general, I recommend [rec]. For those of you who wanna be grabbed by the collar and taken for one hell of a ride, I definitely recommend [rec]. It’s everything Cloverfield could have been.

In case you don’t know, I’ll give you a really quick plot overview. A perky journalist lady and her cameraman are doing a late night feature on firemen. They follow a team of firemen out to an apartment building on a mysterious call… and it all goes to hell from there. This movie is indeed being remade as “Quarantine” in the US, but more on that later.

There will be some debate as to whether it’s actually a zombie film or not. Yeaaaah they’re not technically dead, but it has all your typical zombie movie traditions of claustrophobia, a disease that spreads through bites/scratches, and that pervasive feeling of dread throughout. If you really wanna argue about it, go for it… but it’s at the very least a sub-genre connected to the zombie film.

So yes, it’s a shaky cam POV film like Cloverfield, the Blair Witch Project, and Diary of the Dead. Out of those four, I’d say [Rec] and Diary of the Dead are the two worth watching (zombie bias? I think not!). Diary of the Dead uses the POV camera idea to make a statement about “the youtube generation” and how the internet is affecting the media, as well as society in general. [Rec] uses the POV camera idea to make you jump off the cushion and yell “get OUT of there!” as much as it possibly can. It’s not high art, it’s not well acted cinema, it’s a movie that drags you into hell, leaving you there with the lights out. It’s for people who enjoy the horror genre for the thrills more than anything else.

If you can stand subtitles in the least, do yourself a favor and find a copy of [Rec]. The dialog is pretty light throughout even if you aren’t a subtitle fan… and hey, if you’re REALLY not a subtitle fan, go see the american made Quarantine this week in theaters! 

Okay that was a cheap shot. Believe it or not, I’m not going to hammer on a movie I haven’t seen yet. Sure, it kinda stinks that they’re remaking a 2007 film in English in 2008. Yeah, from the preview it looks like an exact shot for shot redo of the first one. It’s one of those “What’s the point?” type reactions for me. I’m not going to complain unless I’ve seen it though. One thing I will complain about is when remakes tip very important scenes in the trailers. They really shouldn’t show key shots and moments from the last 20 to 30 minutes of the film in horror film trailers. I think The Eye with Jessica Alba did the same thing. Now that I’ve said it you probably know what I’m talking about, but those who pay attention to the trailer may be less surprised by a quite surprising moment in the film. 

Maybe I’ll throw some venom at the remake if I ever get around to seeing it. Fans of the original will give it a good smashing, but keep in mind that it will only bring a bigger audience to foreign horror in the long run. If the Gore Verbinski remake of The Ring didn’t happen, the japanese horror craze probably wouldn’t have taken off nearly as well as it did.

People like to say that Hollywood is low on ideas, but as long as they keep stealing ideas from other countries, they’re pointing to where the good ideas are coming from, letting the real horror fans run out and get scared by some original, innovative filmmaking.


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October 2008
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