Friday, May 9, 2008


Shouldn't we be getting fed up with these found footage movies yet? Diary of the Dead, Cloverfield, and now this little Spanish horror flick. Wouldn't it be better if we said "Yes, you're tapping in to the zeitgeist, we're all a bunch of voyeurs. Well done! But Cannibal Holocaust did it almost twenty years before Blair Witch introduced it to the general public, so you're really not as clever as you think you are.", gave the director a tripod and told them make a proper movie instead?

A small team are following some firemen through the night for a local TV show called "While You're Sleeping". Halfway through a very quiet night, they get called to open an apartment. An old woman has been screaming something fierce, and they fear she's had an accident. Once inside, terrible things start happening, and when they make their way down with the first casualties, the building's been surrounded by police and is in the process of being quarantined. They're not getting out.

[REC] hits familiar beats for anyone moderately familiar with the horror genre, but it's genuinely well executed and the actors do a good job with what they have to work with. Being confined to mostly one building and one situation, the script doesn't let them display a lot of range. The most developed character unsurprisingly ends up being the the sassy anchorwoman, and Manuela Velasco has no problem holding the camera's attention. Clocking in at a snappy 80-something minutes, the latter half is almost constantly escalating tension. Aside from some shaky exposition about the ultimate cause of the events, there's very little to complain about here.

So shouldn't we be getting fed up with these found footage movies yet? Well, no. Not when they're this good.

And like every non-English language horror film released lately, it's getting a Hollywood remake. Although unless that footage of military people going in is trailer-specific, they've obviously already cocked it up. Have a Spanish trailer instead:

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