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