MOVIE: [REC] (2007)

Okay, I gave myself a couple of days to try to figure out how to talk about this movie without peeing my pants, and I’m still not sure how far I’ll actually get. I packed a change of undies for today just in case.

But before I tell you anything about the actual plot of this Spanish horror movie,  let me give you the bad news: You can’t actually get this movie in the U.S. It hasn’t been released here, for some ungodly reason.

I know! What the. . .?!

But wait!  It gets worse!  It now appears that the plan is to skip releasing [REC] here altogether and instead go straight into American-remake-mode instead (the American version will be called Quarantine).

And we all know how good America remakes of foreign horror movies usually turn out, right?

In unison now:  CRAP!  (Though Quarantine will star Jennifer Carpenter, who I love, so maybe we’ll get lucky?)

There is, obviously, a way we Americans can see this movie.  I’ve seen it, after all.  So have Final Girl and the coolies over at Evil On Two Legs.  Give it some thought.  Mayhap you will figure it out.  Don’t tell me how you do it, though, because la la la, I can’t hear you breaking the law, la la la!

Anyway, enough of that nonsense, let me see if I can tell you what happens in this flick without giving into the overwhelming urge to cower under my desk (hard to type from under there, see?).

[REC]opens with an extremely cute young woman standing in front of a fire truck doing a couple of takes with her cameraman. We quickly realize she’s some kind of news reporter, and she’s there to do an installment in a series called “While You Were Asleep,” in which she goes out in the wee hours and hangs out with night-shifters. This installment takes her into a fire station and the plan is to let us normal day-shifters see what it is los bomberos do all night long. (Isn’t “bomberos” a great word? That’s Spanish for firemen, if you hadn’t figgered that out yet.)

At first, it looks like the short answer might be: not a whole hell of a lot. But just when it seems like the newswoman (Angela) is about to go bonkers from the mind-numbing lack of anything newsworthy, the bomberos finally get a call.

Someone is reporting that an old woman is trapped in her apartment and is screaming bloody murder. The gang loads into the truck, including Angela and her cameraman, and they take off for the building. Inside, a group of tenants has gathered in the lobby and they quickly tell los bomberos that the woman has been yelling and they can’t get inside her apartment because the door is locked. Los bomberos run up the stairs and break down her door. They walk into the now-silent apartment and see a woman with long stringy gray hair wearing a bloody slip standing down at the end of the hallway and kind of pacing around. She’s moaning and making weird sounds and then she leaves the hallway and goes into an adjacent room.

The firemen follow her, and are trying to figure out if she’s bleeding or otherwise hurt when all of a sudden, she takes a big CHOMP out of the neck of a nearby policeman.

The next thing we know, everybody’s running down the stairs, carrying the cop’s flailing body, and they’re struggling to put pressure on his wound when WHOMP! the body of one of the fireman comes thundering down from the landing above and crashes onto the lobby floor, face chewed all the way to the bone, skull shattered by the impact.

Immediately, the reporter and the firemen dash to the building’s front door to try to get out and find some help, only to find they’ve been locked inside and are now surrounded by cops and people from the health department, who announce they can’t leave the building until tests have been run because there’s been a report of some kind of disease outbreak.

And holy crap, you guys, things get incredibly crazy, incredibly fast after that. And then later on, the lights go out. And then after that, the little girl! OH MY GOD!! THAT LITTLE GIRL! And then after that, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! DON’T GO INTO THE ATTIC, PABLO!! HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND?!  OH MY GOD, WHAT THE HELL IS THAT THING?!

Holy Sweet Mother of Pete, this movie was awesome.  When the final credits rolled, I was literally sitting in front of the screen with my hands clasped over my gaping mouth, absolutely stunned by its total awesomeness.

Please, for the love of all that is holy in this world, RELEASE THIS MOVIE ON REGION 1 DVD AS SOON AS POSSIBLE so I can buy copies for every horror movie fan I know.

[official web site]

Genre: Horror
Cast:  Manuela Velasco, Javier Botet, Ferran Terraza, Martha Carbonell, Claudia Font

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11 Responses to “MOVIE: [REC] (2007)”

  1. Liz Says:

    One question: does this movie have sub-titles? I HATE sub-titles (hard to read, and distracting from the action). I almost couldn’t stand “The Devil’s Backbone” (over-rated, anyway, IMHO) because of them. My husband has to read me all the sub-titles in “Heroes,” and he has trouble too! Sounds like a great movie, but maybe not worth it for me, if it does have those … things.

  2. megwood Says:

    Yes, [REC] is in Spanish, so unless you speak the language, you have to get the subtitles too. SO worth it, though. Besides, all the best horror and thriller movies I’ve ever see were foreign — you’re really missing out!

    Luckily, however, you can just sit back and wait for the crappy American version of this one to come out! ;)

  3. Melinda Says:

    Oh oh oh!! Pick me, pick me!! I have a bachelor’s in Spanish Culture & Communication!! YOU can watch the movie and I’LL tell you what they’re saying!!

    On a more serious note, why didn’t we get to watch these movies in my Lit classes? I mean, much as I loooooved making fun of the other movies, we probably would have had a lot more funny screaming at this kind. I guess that’s what happens when the prof has a crush on Pedro Almodovar.

  4. megwood Says:

    Cool, Melinda! I thought I might be able to just watch it without the subtitles (took 7 years of Spanish, myself) but it turns out Spanish people talk SUPER fast when they’re UTTERLY TERRIFIED.

    I couldn’t keep up! :)

    Have you seen any of Eduardo Noriega’s movies? They’re awesome! He makes lots of truly disturbing psychological thrillers, and he looks just like Harry Connick Jr. Sooooo cute!

    http://megwood.com/archive/eduardonoriegaf.html

  5. Liz Says:

    Melinda – that was so funny, you volunteering to tell me what the actors are saying while I watch the movie! I told my husband, and he laughed too. And it might almost work, as you’ve hit on exactly what my problem is. I have trouble focusing on both subtitles and the action of a scene.

    My experience with vocal music, esp. opera and choral pieces, shows me that producing the work in its original language is almost always preferable. However, I simply have to deal with my vision difficulties, and accept the “lesser of two evils” i.e. watching a foreign film that’s dubbed, rather than subtitled. I know some people think that’s cheesy, and maybe not worth it, but for me, it’s better than not seeing the film at all.

    So, Meg, I really don’t want to sit back and wait for the – undoubtedly lame – American re-make. I’m actively trying to find [REC], and I MAY be able to get it with dubbing! I saw a really good French werewolf movie (Alas, I’ve forgotten the title) that was dubbed, and it worked pretty well. I also saw “Ju-on” (the original Japanese “Grudge”) dubbed, and it worked pretty well, although I didn’t think it was an especially brilliant film!

    So anyway, I guess I’ll have to just keep slogging along, watching as best I can! :-)

  6. megwood Says:

    Well, that makes more sense — watching it dubbed! Didn’t think of that! I thought you were just anti-foreign movies in general (I have a couple of friends who refuse to watch foreign movies and I just can’t figure that one out!!).

    [REC] is only out in Region 2 DVD at the moment, so you’d need to find a compatible player in order to watch it that way. But I just read something a day or two ago that suggested it may be on its way to the US in the right format of DVD for our machines here. They’ll undoubtedly wait until the crappy American version is in theaters first, but if you can hang in there, I’m sure you’ll find what you want then. I’m sure they’ll offer it with dubbing, as well as subtitles.

    I have a lot of practice with subtitles, not just from watching foreign movies but also because I often turn on the closed captions when I watch TV (or the English subtitles on an English movie) so I can be sure I’m not missing any snappy dialogue.

    As it turns out, closed captions can be absolutely hilarious in their own right. I was just watching a movie on TV the other day and one of the captions said, “[massive pack of screaming zombies]” (they put sound effects in brackets like that). That kind of cracked me up. :)

  7. ANDRE Says:

    WANT TO GET A COPY OF THIS MOVIE, HAVENT FIGURED IT OUT YET. LOVE MOVIES LIKE THIS. WILL SEE QUARANTINE BUT I REALLY KNOW THAT NOTHING IS BETTER THAN THE FOREIGN FEATURE LOOK AT RINGU. PERFECT EXAMPLE.

  8. Liz Says:

    Hi Me

    Hi Meg,

    How do you get this movie? I cannot find it anywhere to rent or buy.

    Thank you.

    Liz

  9. megwood Says:

    If you have a multi-region DVD player, you can order the DVD of [REC] from Spain and see it that way. A Region 1 DVD (which is the only kind the vast majority of American players will play) isn’t available yet.

    Can’t wait for a Region 1 DVD release? There are other ways, if you are net-savvy and your standards for video-quality and/or ethical behavior are low. The easiest one would probably be to check YouTube to see if somebody’s chopped up a low-res version of it into 8 minute chunks and posted it up there somewhere. If you want a high-res version, the most information I am willing to provide is that you perhaps might want to Google the word “torrent” and start brushing up on your movie piracy skills. NOT THAT I CONDONE THAT BEHAVIOR, OF COURSE.

  10. Cole Says:

    OMG well i watched the American version and it was EPIC! you dont need to see REC. JUST DONT WATCH IT ALONE!!!

  11. smart repair Says:

    smart repair…

    [...]MOVIE: [REC] (2007) «[...]…

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