it’s a bit shocking that its taken hollywood almost a full decade to successfully rip-off the highly effective ‘found footage’ structure from the blair witch project, but that seems to be the case. the long wait for more nausea-inducing shaky-cam footage is over though, as this year gives us both cloverfield (rowr!) and the upcoming quarantine. the latter is the american remake of the spanish film rec, a blair witch-esque take on zombies. quarantine is a bit strange in that it’s the only remake i know of that was already planned before the original film had even been released. i don’t know if quarantine will be any good, but i do think it’s kind of sad that most american horror fans won’t be exposed to rec simply because it has subtitles. i have heard that the trailers for quarantine blatantly give away the ending to rec, so i have avoided watching them thus far…

i imagine rec will eventually find its way to a region 1 dvd release, but in the meantime the best way to see it is to either a) live in a different country or b) peruse the back alleys and darker corners of the interwebs and find a bootleg. i won’t tell you which of these options i chose, however i have now successfully viewed rec in its entirety, and i have to say that i’m fairly impressed. i don’t know that it’s the scariest movie ever (as many bloggers have claimed) but it’s entertaining and inventive, particularly for such a low budget film. these shaky-cam, first-person horror films are most effective in a theater surrounded by a screaming audience… so this may explain why i wasn’t as completely blown away as some (similar to the way many found blair witch rather dull when watched on dvd, while i found it terrifying opening night in a sold-out screening). however, regardless of how you see it, it is an unsettling and effective picture with engaging characters and an interesting story that unfolds at a quick, steady pace. ultimately for me, though, it didn’t fully live up to the expectations set by the trailer (see below).

i’m interested to hear other’s thoughts that have seen it. i loved the final scene which utterly creeped me out, but i couldn’t stop thinking about one minor scene early on that bugged me because it broke the rules of the “found footage” framework. it’s a little hard to describe, but for those that have seen cloverfield… do you remember right after the statue of liberty scene where they decide to rewind the tape and rewatch what had been recorded? what happened from the audience viewpoint is the tape stops then restarts with the people discussing their reviewing of the footage. a similar scene occurs in rec… but what you see is the movie actually rewind and replay itself so that the characters in the film can rewatch it. from a “we’re actually watching the video tape recovered from the camera” point of view, that makes no sense. however, that’s a minor complaint and likely something i should have just ignored given i’d already suspended my disbelief enough to accept, without question, the existence of the living dead.

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