Friday, 16 September 2011
[●REC]; horror, Spain, 2007; D: Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza, S: Manuela Velasco, Ferrán Terraza, Jorge-Yaman Serrano
A routine TV report about local firemen turns into a horrifying fight for survival for two reporters,
Ángela and Pablo, when people start mutating into flesh eating zombies in an apartment complex. The building is sealed off since the cause for their mutation is suspected to be an infection. The health inspector tells them that the infection originated from a mad dog, which belonged to a girl. The little girl eventually becomes a zombie herself and attacks the residents. Little by little, Ángela, Pablo and a fireman are the only remaining normal people in the complex. When the fireman gets finished off, the two reporters hide at the top of the penthouse where they discover articles about a possessed girl which was left there by a Vatican inspector. The zombie girl kills them.
After "The Blair Witch Project" introduced the concept of a horror event being filmed entirely with shaky camera, i.e. entirely from someone's POV, to the mainstream cinema, numerous film makers decided to continue with the idea, paving the way for a new generation of 'mockumentary horrors', like "Cloverfield", "Paranormal Activity", "The Troll Hunter" and others. One of those editions is also the hyped Spanish zombie horror "REC", which also uses that stimulative and direct concept in an imaginative way, though its 'rough' solutions and some heavy handed moments bloated the overall impression. Directors Balaguero and Plaza use the TV camera movements of the two protagonists, reporters, as means for creating some truly creepy thrills - for instance, the cameraman lifts the camera to an opening from where he "secretly" takes a glimpse to the other room where a zombie lying on the bench suddenly attacks the quarantine official; in another tight moment, he again lifts the camera to take a peak at the attic above them: he rotates the camera for 360° and finds nothing there, up until the last turn when he suddenly stumbles upon a zombie kid who attacks him - but the story carries too many contrived ideas, such as the unrealistic scene where a policeman approaches the zombie little girl (a questionable idea of using children in a splatter horror), but then "carelessly" turns his head away from her upon which she attacks and bites him, which in the end make "REC" a suspenseful, though too hysterical-chaotic film.