Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Rundown of the 13 Best Horror Movies I’ve Seen in the Past Year
[2 of 13]
[REC] (August 2007) / QUARANTINE (October 2008)

So I’ve finally gotten the opportunity to see Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza’s [REC]. Lo siento, Senor Balagueró, but as I explained in my Quarantine review, seeing your original has turned out to be a quest for me.
And now that I’ve completed the quest, writing a review for [REC], in light of my Quarantine review, just seemed to be an invitation to, a) repeat myself, or b) have the review be a compare/contrast write-up.
Thus, I’ll just use this opportunity to say this about [REC]: brilliant. It’s great to see Balagueró operating in this chaotic and improvisational first-person POV horror milieu, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t repeat it here, that [REC] kicked off the recent slew of shakycam horror that counts Matt Reeves’ Cloverfield, George Romero’s Diary of the Dead, and of course the Dowdle Brothers’ Quarantine, amongst its ranks.
If you happened to see Quarantine first, then you really must check out [REC].

Thus, we actually get 14 horror movies in this year’s ¡Qué Horror!, and that’s always a good thing… ([REC] and Quarantine share one slot since they’re roughly the same film, but at the same time, are quite different cinematic animals, really.)
In a way, I’m glad I got to see Quarantine first. Yes, it’s a terribly effective horror film (which is why it made the ¡Qué Horror! cut in the first place), but [REC] does manage to hit harder because of the unfamiliar faces in front of the camera, and the ultimate nature behind the infected, which is fundamentally different from that used in Quarantine.
It’s a narrative element that fits very smoothly in the Spanish setting, and manages to induce that much more shuddering during post-viewing contemplation…
If I had seen [REC] first, I suspect that even though I would have still enjoyed Quarantine, there would probably have been a teeny niggling streak of dissatisfaction with the changes, even if those same changes make Quarantine, in turn, fit more smoothly into the post-9/11 American milieu. (See what I mean about the compare/contrast?)

Anyway, I’ll just leave off with this: Now I’m really revved to see [REC] 2!

Oh, and you can read the entire Quarantine review here.

([REC] and Quarantine Spanish OS’s courtesy of

No comments: