What happens if a fan of Blairwitch Project plays too much Silent Hill?
Watch [Rec], find out.
I don’t know if its still the aftermath of The Cold Hour, but I have a general issue with Spanish movies. And that is: People scream names way too much. Sometimes, for minutes, you hear no real dialogue, only someone screaming someone else’s name. This is brought to a new level in [Rec], where we can’t even see ‘Pablo’, the most screamed name.
This is because Pablo is the cameraman of a young, ambitious and equally annoying TV reporter, and the entire movie is shot through his camera. Including the shaking. All the time. Note for everyone in my current situation (starting to fear your eyesight gets weaker and considering to see a doc about it) – its not your eyes. Its the movie. Especially the first half is really really shaky and all realism praise aside, it totally gets on your nerves.
Our reporter Angela is working on a documentation called “While you were asleep” that is supposed to follow a team of fire fighters on their night shift. After Angela demonstrated that she will be a) the first you wish would die and b) the last to die on a tour through the fire department, there is really an emergency. Along with the 2 fire fighters assigned to the TV team, they reach an appartment building. The police is already there, and most of the residants are in the hallway. They had called the cops because an old lady was screaming insanely. Cops, fire fighters and TV team go to investigate, and find the old lady covered in blood, looking quite insane and attacking one of the cops by biting his neck. More zombie-ish than vampire-ish, by the way.
The fire fighters and the remaining cop fight her off and try to bring the injured one downstairs, where luckily one of the residents turns out to be a medical assistant. Meep, meep, coincidence alert! Anyways, shortly after, and for reasons I must have missed, one of the figher fighters gets thrown down the staircase and is now injured, too. Maybe it just caught me off guard, but I could have sworn he helped to carry the injured cop, and it was impossible he was at the 5th floor at that time.
However, suddenly the police and whoever else is outside, starts to seal off the building and put it under quarantine. No-one inside knows why, residants start to panic, yadda yadda. The police outside announces they will send in a health inspector or something soon. Meanwhile, the fire fighter and the cop check who lives in which appartment for the upcoming blood screening. During this sequence, we learn how stereotype the folks really are. Mommy and her 7 years old sick daughter, hysteric and wanting to see her husband. Guy next door medical assistant. Chinese family speaking broken English, wanting to see the sick grandpa who is still in their appartment. Elderly snob thinking he knows everything.
The health guy really comes in, complete with gas mask and all, and goes to see the injured people with the medical assistant guy. As everyone is already as annoyed by the camera team as you are at this point, they aren’t allowed to film anymore. Resulting in extreme annoyance – Pablo secretly films through a window and we hear Angela ask “What are they doing?” and “What can you see?” for felt 12 hours. What Pablo sees is the health guy giving injections to the injured cop and fire fighter, who go rabid and attack, forcing the rest to escape from the room. They leave medical assistant guy behind, and a minute later he is dead.
Now totally pissed off, everyone demands to know what’s going on. The health inspector reveals that there was a dog with a strange infection, and it seemed to originate in this building. Coincidence alert – it was the dog of the sick girl, who goes insane instantly and runs up the stairs. The cop, fire fighter and TV team follow her to the old lady’s appartment, where they get attacked by both. The cop dies here. Downstairs, others have handcuffed the hysteric mother to the staircase. I have no idea where the Chinese family is at this point, but the elderly snob and the remaining fire fighter, and – of course, the annoying TV team, decide to seek shelter upstairs. People in horror movies are always that smart. It actually doesn’t matter where they go though. The medical assistant guy meanwhile turned into a zombie and made his way to the hallway, where the handcuffed mother falls victim to his newly found hunger for human flesh.
Locked in… somewhere, the TV team and their buddies find the health inspector guy, who tells them he was bitten and locks himself behind something like an iron fence. Elderly Snob has the genius idea to escape through the sewers in the basement, and all they need for that is the key. Sadly, he dies through the attacking health inspector’s teeth before he can say where the keys are, but at least he can tell the name of the residant who has them. Now its down to Angela, Pablo and Fire Fighter. They figure out where they can find the key, and on their way to said appartment, they get attacked by the zombie Chinese family that is suddenly back from… wherever they were for the past 20 minutes. In the process of accessing the appartment with the keys, Fire Fighter dies.
Angela and Pablo are smart. They get the basement key, and flee straight up to the attic. And if not long before, it gets 100 % Silent Hill-ish here. A dark scary appartment with strange newspaper articles about the Vatican investing demon possession of a girl all over, Jesus pictures, you name it. Old tape recorder with cryptic message about weird science experiments, you say? Yes, it is there! Not that any of it matters, because on the attic, there’s also the freaky zombie demon whatever girl that kills Pablo (after some eyesore scenes of night vision cam only), and then Angela (finally!).
Actually, the movie got pretty good at that point. Too bad it ends right here. Well, I decided to watch and review to prepare for the Fantasy Filmfestival next weekend, where I voluntered to review [Rec] 2, so there is hope.
Famous last words: Let’s hope it was a very long prequel, and the sequel will be less about annoying TV reporters screaming the name of their camera man, and more about Silent Hill-ish monsters, experiments and cryptic messages.