Isaacs Picture Conclusions

THE DOUBLE FEATURE: (REC) & (REC) 2

*IN honor of a a movie I watched the other day – here are some thoughts on (REC) and (REC)2 that not one single person has ever liked or commented on (or probably even read) ~ originally posted Mar 12, 2012*

*NOTE: It’s OCD has caused a change on the size of the top picture to match the size of the lower picture*

I know I posted my thoughts on (REC) the other day, but I just got around to the sequel and wanted to have them grouped together – and to not chronologically spoiler-up the first by the post date. So, here’s (REC) and (REC)2 {in order}:

(REC) (2007) FOUR TOP HATS

REC1234

In anticipation of the third movie of the (REC) series coming out this month, (REC) 3: Genesis, I thought I could spend some time revisiting the first two kick ass installments of this Spanish franchise and then keep my fingers crossed that some theater shows it where I live (which I doubt). To try and just speak to this one: this is really bloody and violent and, after the first so-so thirty minutes (with the exception of the gruesome surprise around minute 18) very fast paced and, well, unrelenting all the way to the end. Speaking of that minute 18 excitement, the even better (REC) 2 embellishes on that and I can’t wait to see it again. The story is this: a young, hot newscaster and her cameraman tag along with fire crew to a call at an apartment where some old lady upstairs has gone apeshit. Soon enough the entire building is quarantined so everyone is trapped inside and, if they try and escape, they get shot for good measure. After some exposition as to what “might” be going on (the theory changes towards the end) it’s not just the old lady that’s gone crazy – the virus is spreading via blood or saliva pathogens and everyone’s running around bleeding, screaming and trying to eat the uninfected for dinner, yum! Seriously – this is an intense movie and liked it just as much today as I did four years ago. Of course, our movie production machine here in the states had to get a piece of that pie so we have the remake(s) – Quarantine. Oh yeah – the version of (REC) I watched before was subtitled which was fine with me – although it distracted from the consistent action… the one I watched today was dubbed, which I could have done without.

So, reporter Angela (Manuela Velasco) and her cameraman Pablo (Pablo Rosso) are doing an assignment with the local fire department and head out on a call with a handful of victims firemen, most notably a beefy guy named  Manu (Ferran Terraza). There they encounter the crazy, old, covered-in-blood lady who greets them at her door by attacking them and bites one of the attending cops. Next up, something awesome happens at minute 18 and no one knows what the fuck’s going on and more people are getting bitten or having blood spit on them and the chase is on to try and get out of this mess alive, without being shot by the cops. They can’t get out through the front door or windows so they decide to take a chance on the sewers, but first they have to find the keys to the room where the sewer entrance is. Eventually they do (as the number of uninfected quickly diminish) but the building is overrun so they head up to the last seemingly safe place, the abandoned suite at the top of the building. Abandoned by an unknown, mysterious recluse who seems to have left a lot of paperwork lying around regarding the demonic possession of a young girl. What? Yep. He also seems to have left behind his reel to reel taped voice recording of his sessions extracting enzymes from her possessed body. Nothing good can come of this, to be sure and, well – there’s something awful up in his attic.

I really liked this movie and remember liking the sequel even more. This is intense and filled with – shit! I didn’t expect that – moments. Aside from the shaky-cam-first-person POV gimmick (well, and the dubbing) there’s not a lot wrong with this, to me.  Whenever people ask me if I liked “Quarantine” I tell them, sure but I liked the original better and it was called “(REC)”. “Wreck?” “No, “(REC)” like the first three letters of ‘record.” “Oh, OK, sounds weird, how about Quarantine?” Well – now I have this written testimony to the First Book of (REC) and I can point them here for proper indoctrination.

(REC) 2 (2009) FIVE TOP HATS

REC2

Five TH? How can this be for a sequel? What can I say? I LOVED IT! This thing was Holy Shit Intense for almost the entire run time, I liked what they did with the camera work, I enjoyed the way they changed up the noise (meaning we got a muffled respite from the constant yelling and screeching), I really liked how they shot two different perspectives of the same things and they way they wove them in (three different perspectives if you count the end), the action and blood blew the first one away, I thought it was kick-ass the way they recreated the bloody set from the first (even bringing in some of the original character) and I thought the way they explained the infection / possession worked; it wasn’t the same old zombies-from-the-grave or poisonous gas or sunspots or an army experiment gone wrong or whatever – I liked it. Did I mention it had me grinding my fucking teeth most of the time? If I put this side to side with awesome, independent, artful “28 Days Later” I think this takes the 1st Prize Ribbon, because this is more violent-action horror while “28” is deep and well acted and well scored and well shot and well produced and everything else. Bravo (REC) 2 – good show!

So – spoilers ahead regarding the franchise (and the sequel) if you’re interested in watching something awesome and not knowing what’s coming.

We start off with a group of four “SWAT” (I have no idea if there’s really a S.W.A.T. in Spain) team in the back of their ride firing up their helmet cams and arming their high powered weapons – preparing to escort someone (Doctor Owen – a strange looking actor named Jonathan Mellor) from the Ministry of Health into the building to figure out what’s going on. They waste no time heading up the gore covered stairways, passing the gore covered walls and bust into the penthouse where, last we saw, good looking reporter Angela was being dragged into the darkness by the hideous and emaciated monster that is what’s left of the possessed Medeiros girl form the first one. Immediately they board themselves in start looking for a sample of her blood – why? Here it is: the Vatican investigated a report of possession, confirmed it to be true and took the little girl into custody – to extract the chemical essence of demonically possessed people in order to develop and antidote. Obviously, everyone in this building is possessed and tearing the uninfected to pieces, so “something” has “gotten out. Dr. Owen turns out to be a priest from Rome and the search is on for that vial of blood: make no mistake – that search is bloody and filled with a ton of white-knuckle interactions with unfriendly people. At one point, they have to resort to going back downstairs to priest-interrogate-demon (and nothing goes well) but they look over a banister and what? there are some kids below filming everything.

Why? In a side story, starting from about thirty minutes before they get seen on the stairs, this same trio of youths are trying to shoot a blow up doll with bottle rockets (I guess) taped to it off of a rooftop somewhere nearby and film it for what I presume is youtube; kids today! Anyway, they are shooed away by the snipers that will shoot you if you try and leave the quarantined building and, below, run across a fireman who is trying to help the dude with the medicine for the sick daughter from the first. They all make their way through the sewers (as alluded to in the first), get involved a shitload of grizzly action (that poor fireman) and eventually meet up with the SWAT guys and the priest.  Nothing happy goes on here either and eventually, wait for it, as the priest isn’t getting anything out of a possessed boy, who comes walking up? Angela – in the flesh. Sweet.

To wrap this up, eventually they get a lead and head back up to the penthouse to figure out some mythological doorways involving fallen angels imprisoned by doors that can’t be seen in “The Light”. I really,really liked the sleight of hand they pulled with the spotlight and the night vision of the TV Camera from the first movie. I also liked the change up they pulled that I didn’t really see coming the first time around and I even liked the repulsive very, very end – explaining how Angela survived. To watch this today I had to buy it and I don’t regret it at all. This is something that I will enjoy watching again, probably soon. To each their own, but to me: Bravo and Salute (REC) 2. can’t wait for (REC) 3.

30 comments

  1. I didn’t read all of this because of the spoilers for REC 2, which is funny because I never would’ve cared about spoilers for it before I saw you gave it five top hats! Lol. Had no idea it was so good! I’ll have to track it down now! But I was overall impressed with REC–especially that scary ass attic creature. FUCKING A THAT THING IS AWFUL!!!!

    *thinks about monster*

    *hides*

    *places Miguel on guard duty*

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Victor De Leon

    Dude, aren’t these movies fucking incredible! I watched them a few years ago, back to back at a screening and after I came out, I felt like I was having a heart attack. I had felt like I ran a frakkin marathon, man. These movies are so damn intense and they still hold up incredibly well. Love these flicks to no end.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: