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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

REC (2007)

I keep saying that I’m not a fan of found footage but then turn around and review found footage movies that I end up liking. Now this one is a movie that I know I enjoyed when it first came out, but I hadn’t reviewed so I thought I’d give it a rewatch and talk about it here. Does the movie hold up? Do I still like it? Might as well find out.

The story has us following a reporter and her cameraman as they shadow a group of firefighters. The movie starts off with some interviews as they capture what an average night at the station is like. Then a call comes in and they rush off to an apartment building in the city. When they arrive they are greeted by police and the tenants. They were called because an elderly woman living on an upper floor was screaming and making an awful racket. They bust in and there is clearly something wrong with her. She attacks and critically injures one of the patrolmen. When they try to rush him out of the building for help they find all of the doors locked and guarded by armed me.

The rest of the movie are the ever shrinking group of survivors at first trying to find a way out around the quarantine and then trying to survive the infected. It seems that the old woman had some sort of virus that made her violent and anyone she bit also becomes violent. This passes from person to person until there are less uninfected folks than there are infected. That is what the authorities were trying to prevent. This is all explained and there is also a bit of a supernatural connection that I won’t spoil here. But this is basically an outbreak flick.

This is a decently paced movie that comes in at a rather tight seventy minutes. It wastes no time getting to the good stuff as our characters get the call after maybe seven or eight minutes of setup. Once they arrive at the building, we get some rather creepy stuff as they break into the apartment, get attacked, and then realize they can’t leave. It slows a bit while our reporter interviews folks which serves to introduce some of the other characters before picking up with another batch of violence that carries thru until the end. Even on a rewatch I found myself sucked in and never bored, which shows how well constructed and paced REC is. This is doubly impressive as this is a story that most genre fans, including myself, have seen repeatedly.

We get a few decent gags like a gnarly neck bite/wound, a shocking landing from height onto a tile floor, a snapped neck, and my personal favorite an up close injection into a face that while not gory did have me squirming in my seat. There are also plenty of spooky moments as well as a couple good jump scares. There is a sequence at the end in the attic which was super effective and creepy. And this movie has a memorable ending that was played in the trailer and became the poster child for horror during the first decade of this century with the woman being dragged away from the camera.

There is some of the shaky camera footage that I detest, but it is brief and relegated to the action sequences only. This means the audience gets to take a breath with the characters but also wait for the next horrible thing to occur. It works nicely and is an approach that I wish more movies like this would consider. I don’t need to spend an hour getting motion sickness and not being able to see what is happening. But I’m getting off topic. REC is a great example of a found footage movie done right and is worth a look. I need to go back and check out the sequels which I also remember liking. I also should mention that the US remake Quarantine was also a decent watch. Though I’d recommend this over that one.


© Copyright 2023 John Shatzer

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