Rec: A Mockumentary

Zombies have never appealed to me as something scary or horrific maybe because how they are portrayed in the society. Clearly, I am not a fan of zombies. Nowadays, zombies are very popular and commercialized as seen in games (Plants vs. Zombies),TV series (Walking Dead), movies (Zombieland), books (World War Z), and other events such as the Outbreak fun run.  In 9Gag, zombie apocalypse themes are so popular to the point that people actually anticipate how they would prepare for a zombie apocalypse. The zombie theme is so overused to the point that it lost its scariness.

Rec is a Spanish horror film about how a television reporter and her cameraman got caught up with a zombie outbreak.  Typically, the audience are passive when watching movies, but mentally active. Rec uses the mockumentary (mock documentaries) style to scare the audience even more since it conveys a first person point of view and depicts a fictitious event as a real event presented in a documentary format. By using this format, I, as an audience, was able to feel that I was actually there. Depicting a fictitious event as something that happened in reality is really horrifying.

There is a sense of entrapment since the characters were unable to move from the situation of the zombie apocalypse. The film is very claustrophobic because of the setting and the perspective used. First, the setting is an isolated and locked down creepy apartment where the characters cannot escape. Secondly, the mockumentary style constricts the audience in the perspective or point of view of the cameraman.

I was actually hoping that the girl and the cameraman would survive. Their struggle for survival when they were the only ones left was the high points of the suspense.  I also like the fact that nobody survived. I am a fan of tragic endings because happy endings are so conventional. If they either both or one of them survived, it would be very corny.  The tragic ending made the movie more horrifying.

One thing that was off for me was the tying up of the loose ends. Compared to the former films shown in class, this film would be better with incomplete plots since it mainly relied in the imagery used. I did not like how they explained the cause of the zombie outbreak since they tried to explain the paranormal in a scientific sense.  The story concluded that the cause of the zombie outbreak is a “disease” that can be explained in terms of molecular biology. Also, the “possessed” girl turned out just to be a diseased individual, hence, removing the mystery which makes it scary. In this case, it is best not to answer too many possible questions that may be asked by the audience. I usually complain that plots in horror movies just do not add up because there are so many aspects not explained. After watching the film, I realized that it is best not to justify or explain everything.

Overall, I did not enjoy the movie mostly because I got dizzy due to the camera work.  Secondly, I do not find zombies that scary. Most of the horrifying parts of the movie were attributed to the suspense. Zombies are very popular not because they are scary, rather how they are commercialized.


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