Horrortoberfest 2014: Day 27 – [REC] (2007)

rec poster

I figured I’d start the “whatever the hell I want it’s the end of the month and I’ve stopped caring” theme week with [REC] since it actually flows from the infection theme from last week. I have been wanting to see this movie for years but only just now found a copy. It was, unfortunately, a dubbed copy instead of one with subtitles but I’ll take what I can get. This one had been fairly well hyped up and I was worried that it wouldn’t be able to live up to the expectations. Thankfully, most of the praise seems to have been well deserved.

This is a found footage style movie but it follows one of the few instances where you can imagine it actually existing because it’s an actual professional cameraman following a reporter around instead of some idiots with a camcorder. Angela, our main character, is going on a ride along with some firemen for a fluff piece when they get far more than they originally bargained for. The apartment where they go to ends up being quarantined off after the arrive, trapping everyone inside with those that have been infected. The infected are, of course, zombies that want to bite the unliving shit out of you. Things do not go great for our main characters.

The thing that I loved most about this is the continued escalation of events. The pacing is done so well in this movie such that the stakes are continually raised right up until the very end. It starts out super slow with Angela going around the station and then keeps adding more and worse problems once they arrive and are subsequently forced to stay in the apartment complex. Also, the found footage style thing is done in such a way that you rarely go “Why don’t they just drop the camera and run?”. It’s used initially because of the whole journalist angle but, by the end of the film, the camera is mostly being used because it has a spotlight on it so you can actually see what’s going on. I appreciate it when found footage stuff makes some sense.

I also enjoyed the way they did the zombies in this one. I usually like my flesh eating zombies to be unexplained in a movie but they do a really good job of making the idea of it being an infection work. It feels more like a virus that is trying to spread itself through saliva by making its victims want to bite people since the infected never really seem interested in eating flesh so much as violently attacking others. Without giving much away, the very end we get one of the creepiest zombies I’ve seen in a movie both because of the way it looks but also the way it acts. It isn’t merely a flesh hungry, shambling corpse but a violent, emaciated ghoul that is still blindly trying to lash out.

I give [REC] a 4.5 out of 5. I still want to find a subtitled version because the thing really holding it back from a full 5 was the acting but that might just be because the people doing the dubbing were bad.

Favorite thing in the movie: We never see Pablo the cameraman’s face. I appreciate that.

Least favorite thing: The infection rate speeds way up as the movie progresses. Which helps with the pace but it’s weird when one guy doesn’t turn for like an hour and someone else turns in about 4 minutes.

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