Monday, 25 May 2009


I watched about half an hour before I realized I'd once seen a brief preview for this movie a couple of years ago. Funny how that is: I had wanted to see this film after watching the preview and reading about the movie and then just kind of forgot it existed. When Quarantine appeared on the scene, I wanted to see that but never did, and then found out it was a remake of something called "Rec". But since I'd forgotten what Rec was, when I was presented with an opportunity to actually see the movie, I hummed and hawed and took two days to make the decision to watch it.

Angela is the host of a TV show called "While You're Asleep" and on this particular night she and her cameraman Pablo are hanging out at a fire station in Barcelona. Firemen Alex and Manu are called to an apartment building where an old woman needs help and it seems like a routine call until the old woman freaks out and the building is sealed. No one can get out and no one's telling why the building's been quarantined. Angela insists Pablo record everything the entire movie is told through Pablo's camera.

It's hardly an original idea but Rec does a good job making the audience feel just as tired, claustrophobic, and scared as the characters in the film. Also, the film realizes the potential of the "found footage" format, giving you the sense that a lot of story is unfolding just offscreen. Long takes, careful blocking, and good direction and sound work to shock, frighten, and even frustrate the viewer.

I liked this movie. It surprised me, it scared me, and it freaked me out. Okay, so part of it does seem a bit like something out of House of the Dead (the video game) but I'm willing to let that slide because the rest of the movie is so good.

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