There are films that come along every so often that restore your faith in a industry of half-ass remakes and recycled unoriginal ideas. Come on, man! When was the last time you were truly scared after watching a horror movie? Think about it...then go and rent REC. It will scare the hell out of you.
REC begins with the introduction of our bubbly news reporter named Angela. While visiting a local fire station filming an upbeat piece, the alarms sound and the fire fighters begin to deploy. Angela and Pablo (her camera man) are invited to tag along on a real live call. They arrive and enter a small residential apartment building and begin to ask around who called in the emergency. Before they can comprehend what's actually happening, faceless agents in haz-mat suits seal off the building, and trapping everyone inside. Next comes waves of paranoia, anger and gripping fear from the cops, fire fighters, residents and, of coarse, the news duo who are now quarantined. And then the real fun begins.
I can't remember a film that was built around such a tornado of tension. REC is a true stress test on the viewer. The POV filming from the television camera is masterful and the editing is the best I have ever seen. It blows away Blair Witch and every other "mocumentary" style film in recent memory. Directors Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza deliver a ton of good old fashion jumps and never rely on buckets of blood or hi-tech effects. Don't get me wrong, as the body count rises you will see some not-easy-to-forget murders by some truly disturbing residents of the apartment. What appears to be a government conspiracy tale soon spins into madness and pure chaos with survival being the only objective.
Yes, the marketplace for "reality horror" has been a bit overdone, I agree. But the creative way the single lens captures the chaos is so life-like, you forget you are watching a movie. This type of film is extremely difficult to pull off, and can easily become "gimmicky". It doesn't , and it works well.
Hopefully you haven't been tainted by the 2008 remake, Quarantine. It was decent, but like almost all remakes there is no comparison. REC captures all of the elements of a great horror film: a haunting atmosphere, surging panic and despair and the gut-wrenching feeling that no one will be saved.
Rating: 9 out of 10 Ghouls
P.S. -- If you are intrigued by this review but need more ,check out the trailer below for REC 2. Keep your lights on when you watch it, just a suggestion :) http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi2522089241/