Did I say Splinter was scary? Well, in hindsight, yes, it's still scary ... but not nearly as scary as [REC]. Holy friggin' moly: [REC] is terrifying. Awesome, but terrifying.
A cute little television reporter (Angela) and her cameraman (Pablo), shooting a puff-piece on Barcelona's firemen, tag along with two of said firemen on a call to help an elderly woman trapped in her apartment. When they get to the apartment building, the other tenants are milling about in the lobby, disturbed by the screaming coming from the old woman's flat. Two policemen take the firemen and the t.v. crew up to the third-floor apartment and when they break the door down, all hell breaks loose. The old lady, fat, nuts and wearing nothing but a blood-covered slip, attacks the rescue party, chewing a hole in one policeman's neck. Leaving one of the firemen behind to deal with the now-restrained old lady, the rest of them drag the wounded police officer down to the lobby, only to find out that the Barcelona health department has sealed the building, allowing no-one out for any reason. Then the formerly upstairs firefighter plummets down the stairwell with a splat, face nearly chewed off.
And now the screaming starts. The virus/sickness/demon-possession spreads quickly, picking off the trapped people one by one. There is a lot of screaming - things get very tense very quickly. This is all shown as a real time POV movie, filmed on Pablo's camera and narrated by Angela as they first hope to bring word to the world of what is happening in the building; later, when the power is shut off to the building, the filming is incidental as Angela and Pablo make use of the camera's light, and then night vision scope when the light is broken. This is used to excellent effect towards the end, when the only things we see are what little is illuminated by the light, and then the night vision. There are very bad things lurking just out of our vision - Angela knows it, Pablo knows it, and we know it.
Of all the horror movies I've watched, [REC] is one of the very few that has really frightened me. My heart rate was elevated for the last ten minutes of the moive and was positively POUNDING by the end of it. Both Mr. Mouse and the dog had gone to bed, and I was the only one awake in the whole dark house - I had to watch the Weather Channel to calm down for a few minutes before I dared leave the t.v. room.
The fact that [REC] is in Spanish with English subtitles should dissuade no-one from watching this movie; I didn't think it lessened the fright factor one bit (and I have a crappy t.v. on which subtitles are a little fuzzy). I'm going to watch the American remake, Quarantine, too but I will be surprised if it is as good as the original. [REC] is one hell of a horror movie - I'm so glad I saw it.
2 hours ago