I’m so tired of people bagging on this film because it’s a remake of[rec] since [rec] is a rip off of The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield, and every other film that has done gonzo before them. Let’s just be straight right now, neither of these films are original.
Understandably so, a commenter or two was a little upset that I was putting Quarantine and [REC] in the same regard. Thanks to a Sheik named Mazoolah, I finally got my hands on a bootlegged copy (it hasn’t been released in the US yet) and watched it last night.
The story follows a reporter Ángela Vidal (Manuela Velasco) and her cameraman Pablo (who never really enters the screen). They tag along behind a team of firefighters in Barcelona for a night, hoping to follow along on an emergency call. They get their wish, the crew is called to an apartment building where the tenants are reporting seriously disturbing behavior by one of the more eccentric neighbors. For unknown reasons, outside authorities quarantine the building, refusing to allow anyone out (even the sick or wounded, or anyone in).
It’s difficult to explain exactly how [REC] (coming to us from Spain) outshines it’s glossy American, bastardized version since many of the scenes are exactly the same dialogue, extremely similar shots, but it there’s no question which one is more skillfully made. It’s fair to say that directors Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza, are masters as suspense. The final 45 minutes are full of thrills, terrifying moments and some incredible acting that make suspending our disbelief easier than finding a piece on CNN about how terrific Obama is. The two directors were joined by Luis Berdejo in writing the script, chock-full of realism that will make you shudder with its intensity. The entire film is shot gonzo style, as if it really was a story happening to someone who just happened to have a camera. This will surely be a cult classic as soon as whoever own the American distribution rights decides to release it.
If you’re lucky enough not to have seen Quarantine yet, don’t. Find someone selling bootlegs of [REC] off eBay. It’s worth the wait. The trailer below is in Spanish, I couldn’t find one with subtitles, but it’s far better than the one made for English viewers.