Saturday, October 24, 2009

[*REC]: Halloween Awesomeness, V

Another entry in my Halloween movie mini-marathon:

I knew that [*REC] was the template for QUARANTINE, which is a remake of this movie, and I’d been meaning to watch the former because it’s supposed to be superior to the latter. Then a review appeared on one of my favorite Web sites, so I stepped it up and popped it into the DVD machine.

[*REC] is a Spanish movie, so it’s got subtitles, which I didn’t really notice after the first few minutes. It’s also a BLAIR WITCH/PARANORMAL ACTIVITY “found footage” style film, with a cable show hostess filming for a twee program about what people do during late night-shift jobs. On this night, she’s at a firehouse, and the first twenty minutes or so show her and her cameraman going about their business, interviewing firemen about what they do, etc.

Then an alarm goes off, and she takes to the streets with two firemen to a call where someone is supposedly stuck inside an apartment building. No biggie, right? But when they get there, the police are present, too. Someone called them because they heard screaming. Oh, oh.

Now, it’s important to note that you realize this hostess has got some ambition, so she and her cameraman decide to keep the film running as they go upstairs to help this screaming old lady. The hostess thinks this footage will get higher ratings than usual, so she and camera guy forge right ahead, even though the police keep telling her to shut the darn camera off. When it turns out this old lady has some huge issues, biting one of the policemen in a majorly grotesque manner (eeeeek!), it’s all on tape.

Lucky us! And, as all hell breaks loose in that apartment complex, I totally bought into how they kept the camera rolling and didn’t just put the thing away in favor of running: suddenly the cops quarantine the people inside for seemingly no good reason. The tenants, of course, get feisty, saying, “Let us out!” and “You have no right to do this to us!” And viola—the TV hostess has an even bigger story, so she’s not about to have it go undocumented.

Then there’s a boring part, where the hostess interviews about a million people, some with information that’ll soon play out. Some who’re just kind of there and making you think, “Get to more gore already.” Then…

Ah, then [*REC] turns into a scary mo’fo. It’s one of those hand-over-face experiences for the last twenty minutes or so, as we’re led upstairs to an apartment that’s supposed to serve as shelter for our survivors. There’s no way I’m telling you what happens next, but it’s some damn good horror.

Worth a rental for the last twenty minutes alone, if not for a pretty good time in general….

Next up? I don’t know yet, but I’m eying THREE EXTREMES….

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