A few years back I watched a film entitled Quarantine, and at the time I wasn’t aware that it was a remake of [Rec]. I only found this out recently, as I was browsing through some horror flicks, and I came across this Spanish ‘shaky-cam’ film. A few minutes into the film, I was like, “wait, I’ve seen this before!” At the same time I was like, “hhmmm, I don’t remember it being in Spanish.” Anyway, [Rec] is the original to the Quarantine movie, and the original Spanish version, is way better!
With so many ‘found footage’ movies out now, they all, for the most part feel the same, or very similar, at least, but watching this Spanish take on ‘found footage’ was refreshing. One camera, one reporter and one seriously freaky apartment complex!
Perhaps most impressive in this film is the genuine feel to it, like Blair Witch, for at least the first half of the film, you feel as if this could really be happening. For example actress Manuela Velasco, who plays the reporter, is actually a TV hostess, so for Spanish audiences watching this film, it would have felt even more believable. Plus the director chose to withhold valuable information from the cast, regarding the script and certain shocking happenings, so as to get the most genuine reaction possible, again similar directional methods used during the filming of Blair Witch.
I am a fan of continuous takes. I’m not saying that most of the film feels like a continuous take, like Birdman or Rope, but there are some well orchestrated sequences, which make it entertaining to watch. Another ingenious technique takes place in a completely dark room, filmed using infra red. Whilst filming, the room was actually completely dark, so the cast didn’t know what was going on, further enhancing the fright sensation!
This is not the first or last film to use such unorthodox directional techniques, and it raises the question as to when are actors/actresses really acting? If we are seeing real reactions, then, is this a merging of reality with cinema? Is this possibly a sub-genre? Whatever it is, I want to see more of this raw and innovating filming. Thought?
TRIVIA COOKIE: Not only did [Rec] get remade by Hollywood, it became the first instalment of a quadrilogy. I’ve seen the second instalment, which will be reviewed next, but I am not committing to the third and fourth instalment…