Monday, October 28, 2013

Found Footage - Day 27

Remember when everyone was all about The Blair Witch Project?

Title: [Rec]
Year: 2007
Synopsis: A television reporter and cameraman follow emergency workers into a dark apartment building and are quickly locked inside with something terrifying.

Tagline: Experience Fear

Before 1999, there were only a handful of found footage horror movies, Cannibal Holocaust being the first I can remember and that was from 1980. Then Blair Witch was made and the world went crazy for these 'this could be happening to you' movies. You know, I don't actually remember seeing at all. I mean, I know I saw it, but it didn't leave any sort of impression and if someone sat me down and asked what it was about I'd shrug my shoulders and say, "Not sure. Some kids with a camera and snot coming out of a nose or two." Seriously.

Like it or not, Blair Witch popularized the mockumentary style genre. After came Cloverfield, Paranormal Activity, The Zombie Diaries, The Last Exorcism, and this foreign film [Rec]. That's right, it's a Spanish film with English subtitles, which means you're going to have to read. I know, I know. We all hate reading. Or, maybe we don't, but apparently that's what Hollywood thinks. They always remake amazing foreign movies and I can't think of any reason other than the fact they don't think people like to read. Remember that movie Let Me In? It was a remake of the Swedish horror movie Let The Right One In, which was amazing. So often these remakes don't do the originals any justice. Since I haven't seen the remake of [Rec], called Quarantine and stars Dexter's sister, I can't comment on it, but I'm going to hazard a guess that it pales in comparison.

I myself don't LOVE the found footage style of film making. It kind of makes me sick, all that running around and shaking camera nonsense. That said, this way of shooting really did add to the overall tone of the movie, instead of feeling gimmicky and humorous, it had an incredibly authentic air to it.

A journalist and camera operator are following these fireman around. They go on a call to investigate a scream, only to find an infected woman. Then the biting starts. Like most zombie movies, the plague travels fast, easily taking out the people who were healthy only a moment before. The plot line isn't actually anything original, we've seen it before, but the sense of urgency in the first person perspective certainly lends an engaging element to the overall film.

People raved about [Rec] when it first came out, calling it ground breaking, but in truth it is a simply mash-up of a few other movies. Nothing about this breaks boundaries or is in any way 'new' to the viewer. That doesn't mean I am trashing the movie for taking bits and pieces from other horror movies, such as Blair Witch and 28 Days Later. The truth is, I love Quentin Tarantino and he loves borrowing from the classics that came before. It's what he's known for. Sure, he's smarmy and has major attitude, but who didn't love Django?

To sum it up, [Rec] is good. Tense. Scary. And totally worth it for the last ten minutes. For a movie that had a very limited budget, was shot on a digital camera, and contained in one building, it was really well done. A quick view that any zombie lover will surely enjoy.

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