Well I've finally seen [Rec]. Unfortunately I am one of the unlucky ones who saw Quarantine first, although I attribute that to the fact that [Rec] was not available on Netflix Instant Watch! If only Netflix would put good movies on instant watch, the world would be a happier place. Anyways, being that Quarantine was almost the exact same movie I was truly worried that [Rec] wouldn't effect me in the same way that it did everyone else. Luckily I was quick on my feet to notice that [Rec] did some things that not only made me appreciate it much more than Quarantine, but also made me realize how much scarier [Rec] is and how it was mostly due to those same changes.
I will refrain from writing about the plot but if you still have no idea you can read the plot from Quarantine, since it's the same!
To start with- [Rec] does away with the annoying flirtatious nature between the head fireman guy and the reporter. Sure we still get that all the fireman are gaga over Angela- since they don't seem to get a lot of girls around the place- but there isn't this annoying sneak peek into the guy from Hostel trying to give Emily Rose his phone number or to ask her on a date or whatever. I love this about [Rec] because not only does it prove that we Americans have to fit a love story into EVERYTHING- but it puts the real reason we are here- the fear- front and center. Who cares if there is an attraction there- there are fucking rabid crazy zombie people running amok. No one cares that people are capable of building up a relationship within 20 minutes of meeting each other- only to have that same relationship torn apart by zombies.
[Rec] also does a better job at getting the ball rolling. In Quarantine, it seemed like there was much too much of Jennifer Carpenter acting a fool in the fire station, and asking stupid questions and what not. With [Rec] we do a little camera spiel, take a few quick stops around the station and bang the alarm sounds. Time to get serious. Perfection timing if you ask me.
Now unfortunately with the next part of the film- I felt the same sense of quasi-boredom that I did in Quarantine. I blame this on the fact that I've seen the main characters trapped somewhere with zombie killer type people trying to get them one too many times. Things just felt uncomfortably slow moving- and while I do love that one shot of the crazy old lady with the blood over her- I really was just praying we'd get to the attic scene. Sure seeing the people who got bit change into the zombie creatures was interesting, it just wasn't what I would call exciting or terror inducing. Having the camera looking in on something happening in my opinion is not as effective as the camera actually being front and center of the action- which of course is what happens in the attic and which is probably the only time in my life that I almost peed my pants. I will say that I think [Rec] showed much more gore than Quarantine did. At least I think so... The part when the old lady first bites the police officer and we see that bit of flesh getting pulled off? Yikes. And the incredibly eerie shot of the fireman falling from above, was really well done and so much creepier than I remembered it being in Quarantine.
Now...the attic scene is one of the greatest examples of building up fear and doom in a small, enclosed place. We find our characters in the penthouse attic suite surrounded by medical testing supplies and newspaper clippings. We guess that this is where the scientist who has not been seen in 2 years lived- but we also guess that there must be something alive somewhere in this apartment- the question of course being, what? The first time we see that creature, zombie, girl, thing- is so terrifying. The way she moves and how skinny and horrible looking she is is gah. I also liked how they built up the girls existence in [Rec]. I can't remember in Quarantine if there was a back story to the disease that involved someone else- because I remember thinking that the really skinny person was the scientist? Perhaps I just wasn't paying good enough attention. Anywho- [Rec] outlines the story of the disease and even connects it to the bigger picture of demonic possessions, even going so far as to say that possessions are actually caused by this unknown disease- or even that the disease is what makes people believe that loved ones are possessed. Showing the pictures of the girl and then hearing the audio tapes of the scientist and putting together the fact that the last time anyone saw the scientist was 2 years ago.....!!! So basically that zombie girl has been living in that apartment complex for 2 years without food and still surviving??! Ahhhhhh
That scene alone was enough to make me prefer [Rec] for life. Even though Angela in [Rec] was a little more annoying than Jennifer Carpenter in Quarantine- there were just way too many pluses that [Rec] had. Even though they are essentially the same movie- [Rec] has these subtle changes that just make it better. I've heard some terrific things about [Rec 2] and now I can honestly say that I am extremely excited to see it. Maybe we will finally figure out who that little boy in the attic was?? Ooh boy I can hardly contain my excitement!
While I still don't love this film as much as Martyrs, or even The Orphanage- it's still a fine example of how foreign countries are capable of making some of the greatest films that we have ever seen. How do they do it? Well, by cutting out the annoying love stories- and focusing on the FEAR of course!