Rec is a perfect example of how to make a good mockumentary. There have been many attempts in the past like the Blair Witch Project, the Paranormal Activity series, and some others, but none have come as close to Rec when it came to inflicting real horror. I liked it because the idea was perfect with the concept of the movie. The hand held camera made the scenes so shaky and chaotic and it was perfect because it made me really feel the hysteria that was going on in the building. The lack of special effects and deliberate lighting made it really scary too. There were parts where the lights would come on suddenly from the camera and the effect was just terrifying. The sudden illumination of the zombies followed by their roaring and running towards the screen was a really scary sight.
I usually don’t like it when towards the end of the story they have a deliberate explanation of what was going on. Usually, I’d prefer it if they just let me figure it out for myself or have my own interpretation, but I thought they did a good job in this movie. I thought it was interesting how there was this girl, mistaken to have been possessed, who in reality may have just had a contagious disease. I thought it was a truly scary zombie film because there were so many scenes that literally jump out of the screen.
I didn’t like the fact that it was in Spanish though. I think it would’ve been scarier if it were in English. I thought the subtitles forced me to remove my hands from my eyes and that totally left me vulnerable to many scary scenes. I didn’t like the subtitles but maybe that’s what made it scarier for me, the fact that it forced me to watch the movie diligently.
On a deeper note though, I thought that this movie has some very important implications and it says a lot about the behavior of man. Sometimes, man can be too ambitious that it goes too far in dealing with things that he does not understand. In the movie, there was an obviously sick girl for whom a doctor was trying to find a cure. So contrary to the directive from Rome to kill the girl, he proceeds to conduct experiments on her. He keeps her in the apartment and does all sorts of tests on her. Ultimately, the doctor does not find a cure and even discovers that the disease is contagious. Eventually, the fact that the girl was kept alive is what allowed her to propagate the disease many years afterwards.
I know that the doctor’s intentions were good. He wanted to find a cure to a disease that was so unknown. But sometimes, it is also important to remember to know when to stop, to recognize one’s limitations, to draw the line between doing good and just being simply insane. But I guess the doctor did not know that. He let his ambitions get the best of him and that is what ultimately consumed him.