It’s October, the month of Halloween and what would be more clichéd than doing a countdown of top horror films, so fully admitting to being a walking cliché, I will be doing a series of blogs running down the films in my own personal top 20. Here’s the previous blogs for numbers 20, Audition, 19, Night of the Demon, 18, Zombie Flesh Eaters, 17, Last House on the Left, 16, The Beyond, and 15, An American Werewolf in London.
Next is the wonderful Spanish horror, [REC].
[REC] tells the story of a film crew in Barcelona doing a reality programme about firefighters in the city. When the film crew are called out on an emergency call with the firefighters to a block of flats in Barcelona they find a situation that they couldn’t have expected. It’s a ridiculously simple set up that lets the Found Footage style room to actually work rather than be forced as many films now in that genre are, though it does fall apart a bit at the end as they try to stick to the limits of the Found Footage/Mockumentary genre.
It is essentially a zombie film at first viewing , but it’s not. It actually turns out it’s something else entirely but it lures you in under the pretense of a zombie film so that all the cliches you think you’ve been watching are something else entirely. It’s a masterful bait and switch, not to mention it ends up being very Spanish and very Catholic.
As for the shocks and scares, they come very quickly once the film gets going, not to mention it’s a very bloody film but hardly an excessive one that plays on the fact we can’t see exactly what’s going on as the camera is constantly in motion and not fixed. There’s a vicarious nature in being caught up in the carnage that other Found Footage films have since tried to emulate, but have, on the whole, failed horribly to do.
[REC] is a unique beast. Forget the shockingly awful American remake, watch this to find out just how good the Found Footage genre can get.
I will give a good word for it’s sequel [REC] 2. It’s fun, though nowhere near as good as it’s parent film. Less said about the third film the better…
Next time, E=MC2.