Thursday, October 22, 2015
We follow the action in [Rec] through the camera of Pablo, a cameraman for a Barcelona news program called "While You're Asleep." We never see Pablo, but we see his host, Angela Vidal (Manuela Velasco), as she and Pablo follow firefighters on a midnight run to an apartment building. Once inside, the firemen and news crew find themselves trapped with all the other residents as zombies infest the building and the police barricade them inside. Angela orders Pablo to keep filming, but the terrible secret of the outbreak reveals a more horrifying truth.
When I say [Rec] seems genuinely filmed by a person really going through that situation, that is both a compliment and detraction. It's gritty, raw, intense, chaotic, and really plants the viewer in the middle of what's going on. There's no music or professionally staged camera setups that would suggest artifice. The downside is the camera never stops moving, and the camera operator rarely holds it steady, except during the quiet, interview pieces between the zombie attacks. After a while, this gets annoying and distracting because when you want to get a good look at look something, the camera prevents you from doing so.
As I would expect of people going through a zombie infestation, these characters spend a lot of time shouting at each other, becoming hysterical, crying, and making all sorts of LOUD NOISES. These conversations repeat a lot: turn the camera off, keep it running, we have to get out of here, what's going, what's wrong with these people, etc. It would have helped if the characters were better defined and given more to do, but too often, it's a lot of shrill screaming, repeated ultimatums and explanations, and people explaining things to the camera that we've already witnessed. When the zombies attack, the movie is pretty nifty, but there's a lot of dead spots between the action.