I’m guilty of believing that this film was titled Wreck- named after the state of the victim’s lives because of the infection, but “REC” makes so much more sense.
I’ve seen the English version of REC before, Quarantine, and initially liked it a lot because of its POV-style which made the whole horror story much more interactive and gave the viewer an experience similar to the cameraman’s.
In my opinion, the scariest horror films are the ones that are realistic. The Strangers still scares me more than Saw, because I know that it has happened and could easily happen again to someone like me. Although REC is like any other Zombie film wherein it all starts with an infection that spreads like wildfire, the fact that it’s shot in POV makes it feel so much more real- just like The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity. Admittedly, I had to check Google if the latter was a real documentary or not … I’m still ashamed.
Another important detail of REC’s storyline was the fact that the authorities knew what was going on, but focused so much on keeping it hidden from the public that they actually trapped the victims inside the building to die. This whole idea gave me the creeps because I’m pretty sure that happens all around the world- censorship to “protect” the image of the government. I’ve heard so many terror stories about media stations having to produce cover up stories to protect criminals who are actually those with powerful positions in our government. I’ve always considered films as a key medium used to express freedom, but this is probably the first time I’ve actually recognized it in the horror genre. REC entirely opposes censorship, which we can see in the curiosity of the television host we follow throughout the film- Her desperation to catch everything on tape despite the policemen’s orders so she has something to show the public, and most obviously in that one line that closes the film, “we have to show them everything.”
However, even though they are practically the same film, there is one thing that differentiates REC from Quarantine- the ending. REC provided a slither of a conclusion- although we were left hanging, at least we know that a catholic madman scientist is involved, and we can pretty much figure out that the whole disease was from an experiment gone wrong. Quarantine gives you nothing.w
With all of that being said, I found REC generally a good horror film because it was realistically disturbing. There was the right amount of gore, right amount of suspense, and right amount of scandal. They didn’t go too overboard with the cause behind the infection, and everyone knows that rusty hospital equipment in a room full of religious cutouts run by a religious nut/torture doctor/madman scientist is probably as scary as it gets.