[REC] review by The Grim Ringler


There are times, times that are too rare if you ask me and anyone else with a passion for movies, where you see a movie that, to use the parlance of another person blows your wig back. There are times, rare times, where a movie pulls off the near impossible and lives up to the bar it sets itself. REC, friends, is just such a film. REC is the Spanish film the recent American horror film QUARANTINE was based on, and which, hopefully, will be released on DVD here when that hit the home market. While I hate that they remade this movie instead of just releasing it, wow, you can tell why they wanted to get it here in some version. Welcome to one of the scariest movies I have seen in ages.

REC begins with a young newswoman and her crew as they start an assignment to film a fire department crew over the course of the night for a news magazine. The night turns out to be a very tedious and boring one which suits the firemen but not the reporter, who is getting antsy for something to happen. Just when it seems that nothing will happen to spice up her footage a call comes in of an elderly woman trapped in her apartment. This relatively benign and run of the mill call turns into far more than the crew is ready for though when they find the woman covered in blood and out of her mind with madness. Things only escalate from the old woman though as, with a wounded member of the crew, and a wounded police man, the apartment building is sealed off from the outside by the authorities, who are claiming that this is just a routine and temporary situation. It becomes everything but routine though as the terror among the crew and the people who live in the complex rises with fear of what is happening outside, and the greater fear of what is happening inside when whatever took hold of the old woman and made her so murderous and mad, begins to spread.

I am hoping that I have not done the film a great injustice with my plot summary as, sincerely, this is a film that is better left for you to discover. Its a slim film, coming in at around seventy-five minutes, but the length keeps the film very trim and very tight. It may begin slow but, trust me, when things start, theres no time to catch your breath until the end. The film is shot with a handheld camera and will unfortunately bring comparisons to more than a couple modern films but, trust me, this film has a feel and look all its own, and the first person shooting serves the movie well. The interiors are very claustrophobic, no matter what the size of the room, and, occurring in all but real time, gives an immediacy to the proceedings. We are seeing things we are not meant to see, that, it turns out, NO ONE, was meant to see, and because of that, there is a price to pay. The acting is fantastic, as is the direction, which never over plays its hand, or gives anything away. There is only one way the tension can go in this film and that is up, up, up. I really cannot say enough about how effective this film is. It is so tense, and so scary, and the beauty of it is that it is genuine terror being created here. The dark beauty of the film is that they filmmakers take concepts that have been explored, ideas that have been exposed before, but everything is done in a way that really pulls all these things together and pays them off in full. Oh boy do they pay them in full.

Some may cry foul on another horror film shot first person but hang with the movie, trust me here, you want to hang with the movie. Things happen in this film that will haunt you and the ending is one that will have you talking when you are able to speak again that is long after you have seen it. This is a tremendous horror film and one that needs to be seen. I assure you, you wont see many films that will haunt you the way this one will. And believe me, this is a very good thing.


9 out of 10 Jackasses
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