44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Just keep recording......,
This review is from: Rec [DVD] (DVD)
This one's a bit of a curate's egg for me to be honest.
I've been searching for a really scary horror film that creeps me out the same way classic Asian horror films and "Blair Witch" did. I've been true-fright-free now for a couple of years and the current celluloid trend for questionable torture-porn/gore-no is something I deliberately choose to avoid.
Anyway, after several recommendations I arrived at "Rec"
Yes, admittedly the PoV thing is generally overdone. Personally I can never see any reason for a character continuing to film in situations of fear and terror and as we see more films using this technique the more tenuous it becomes as a device. Surely it would be the last thing on your mind but finally here we have a film where the continuation of filming is 90% believable. "Rec" starts as a documentary until things start to go downhill. The inclusion of real TV presenter Manuela Velasco as the main character (Angela) is clever but obviously means little to those of us who don't watch Spanish television.
As events take a turn for the worse, Angela's insistent demands (for the unseen Pablo) to "keep filming" are reason enough to keep the PoV going. Later on several static, accidental and incidental shots reinforce this illusion effectively and later still the camera becomes a tool rather than just our surrogate eye.
So having effectively conquered the "keep filming" issue Rec is free to indulge itself and to crank up the tension. Sadly (for me) after an intial peak I found the survival horror element slightly less than original and in danger of becoming "same old, same old". I actually caught myself thinking "oh no..not xxxxxxx again".
It's probably all my fault for being too old and having seen far too many films of this genre already.
At one point the film became a hybrid of that genre and the brilliant "Right At Your Door" and I was immersed again until the inevitable "ten little indians" structure restablished itself and proceeded to whittle down the remaining cast members.
Now..... having said all this I must add...it's carried off with style, great ensemble (re)acting from an almost unknown cast and more importantly all done at a cracking pace. This pace is the film's trump card as far as I'm concerned. Yes I did experience deja-vu but the speed of events catapaults you past all this, without pause for breath, into the brilliant last 15-20 minutes where......
......finally the film began to properly scare me.
Growing trepidation, piecing together of plot elements and discovered clues you realize the horrid truth of the situation and then all of a sudden you catch a glimpse of....................well that would be telling.
The final section saved the film for me and is the major reason for four stars. Yet again proof that thinking for yourself and not-seeing is much better than the reliance upon blood and gore of the film's middle section.
So as I said earlier, a curate's egg.... good in parts...........and actually very, very good in some of them.