REC (2007) Movie Review
Written By: TJ
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza
Producers: Julio Fernàndez
Writers: Paco Plaza, Luis Berdejo, Jaume Balagueró
Date Released: November 23, 2007
Manuela Velasco as Àngela Vidal
Pablo Rosso as Pablo
Ferran Terraza as Manu
Claudia Silva as Jennifer
Maria Lanau as Jennifer’s mother
Carlos Lasarte as César
Javier Botet as Tristana
Jorge-Yamam Serano as Policia Joven
Rating: 2.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Featuring the life of firefighters on duty, late-night TV show host Angela (Manuela Velasco) wishes to have the alarms ringing so she and her cameraman Pablo (Javier Coromina) could get some juicy clips for the story. Subsequently, the fire department receives a call from an apartment building asking for their help about a scream heard throughout the place. The firefighters, along with Angela and Pablo, head to the area. Once there, the residents explain what they have seen regarding the screaming woman upstairs. As a result, two firefighters, two policemen, Angela, and Pablo check the place out. All of them then see how this woman looks and how she bites the neck of one of the officers. Stricken with panic, the group soon falls victim to the woman and discover that they are now locked in a room with no way out.
Rec (2007) certainly has something in store for gorehounds out there. The film shows competent gory details that will leave you thinking about it after hours of watching the film. The film incorporates a typical zombie scenario but it is on par, if not outstand, other zombie films. The prosthetics and makeup are impressive and will sometimes provide cringe-worthy scenes. However, one notable scene was when the medical assistant tries to stabilize the condition of the two injured men by injecting antibiotics. In this scene, you could clearly see the explicit execution of a bitten face and throat in combination with peeling skin, as well as bloody flesh carved by sharp teeth. Aside from this, REC also introduces us to what appears to be an a inhuman figure by the end of the film that almost resembles a corpse and alien in one body which was creative. Although the film produced well-executed gore scenes, there were still some shortcomings as we will discuss below.
The Grave Review
Spanish directors Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza joined forces for this experimental frightener titled REC released in 2007. There wouldn’t be much more to say if the Spanish cinema didn’t prove to have a continued ability to reinvent a horror genre. The directors created a buzzing urgency in a familiar premise that also take a new bite at the zombie flicks, combined with a different way of telling a story.
Although not the first film to use a first-person point-of-view, as there are Cloverfield and Diary of the Dead, REC may seem like the underdog but it’s punching way above its weight. This film emphasizes on realism with its shaky camera that implies the events as true happenings. It is the kind of movie that is all about the experience, the feeling, and the atmosphere. It starts with a quiet, even boring documentary style of execution, then it goes full on tension and adrenaline rush.
REC, per contra, was ruined by the hysterics made by the characters. We already had enough dizziness from messy camera angles and the last thing we need is the incoherent and unnecessary yelling and arguments from our actors. As per articles I’ve read about the production, the actors are given the freedom to say whatever they want to say if they’re put in that kind of situation and to film their reactions to surprises for scenes to come out natural. The cameraman holds an important role as he leads the action and the only one who knows what to do and where to go. In all fairness, and considering the restraints of the budget of the film, excellent acting is not to be expected, but even actors and actresses should maintain some standards.
Lastly, the film doesn’t have a strong story nor dialogue that we can root for. We never know why Angela seems so encouraged to get juicy clips for her story, or why the origin of the plague/virus was never explained properly. The inclusion of evil possession in the latter part of the story just made it worse and confusing. Overall, the film helps us to live this “nightmare” as if we were experiencing it ourselves and provides a suspenseful situation, but unfortunately, REC’s plot provides merely a nightmare without any explanation.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives REC (2007) two and a half graves out of five graves.
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