Monday, July 27, 2009

REC and Quarantine

I made a weird choice in watching this zombie movie from Spain. After reading a review in Entertainment Weekly and consulting Rotten Tomatoes (95%) I downloaded the movie and had a choice to watch it in its original Spanish with subtitles or the dubbed English version. The dubbing was atrocious with what sounded like the same person doing multiple male voices. It reminded me of the worse of the dubbed kung fu dramas they play on satellite on Monday nights. Because I am not a "true" movie fan (according to Ms. Lisa Mynx) I wanted the freedom to be distracted by posting or blogging without missing the story. Little did I know that distraction would not be a problem. The story is a simple one. A very cute young reporter, doing a show called 'Up All Night' is reporting on the goings on at a big city fire department. The POV style and shaking hand-held camera work sets the mood and tone as we follow the reporter, her cameramen and two firefighters on a call to assist some apartment dwellers. They break into an apartment to investigate some screaming that was heard by other tenants. What they find is an infected old woman making weird noises. Then all hell breaks loose. The POV style creates some genuinely creepy moments as we only see what the camera is pointing at at the time. This limitation forces you to react only to what you know immediately around you and that is disturbing especially in this type of subject matter. For reasons unknown at the time the building is quarantined and thus is a similar to the English language movie coincidentally called Quarantine. I plan to see the American version after finishing this Spanish original. I can see why they remade it in English. Its a different take on the zombie genre. The building is a confusing labyrinth of staircases and dark twisty hallways - just the kind of environment you want for a claustrophobic zombie thriller. I set the 'pucker factor' of this movie at about an 11. Today seems to be my day for seeing gruesome death scenes and this movie really works the special effects department. Not for young eyes I assure you. And one more thing I would like to say to the character in this and every other zombie movie. If you get bit AFTER TAKING YOUR EYES OFF OF THE ZOMBIE RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU, then you deserved it. I have no sympathy for you.


Wings1295 said...

I have seen "Quarantine", and it was good. Shaky camera can be nauseating at times, but the film itself is good.

Have never seen [rec] though. Someday, maybe.

Lemmy Caution said...

"Quarantine" is the perfect example of how to screw up an allready perfectly good movie.

The original "REC" was short, briskly paced, and had plenty of great scares throughout.

The american remake is bloated and telegraphs all of it's scares a mile away.

While the original actually USES the first person camera technique, the remake seems almost ashamed of it and goes out of it's way to set up shots that shouldn't have been possible.

Quarantine sucked.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Lemmy I think you just saved me an hour and a half.