This is actually the fourth time I have watched Rec, thrice of the original Spanish version and once of the American remake. To be honest, it initially did not impress me. First of all, the way in which the movie was made (first person video camera recording point of view) made me a bit nauseous at times. In addition, it was not able to capture a lot of the events that were happening, or to be more specific, the entirety of the moment. Some people would argue that the point of the camcorder aspect is to make it seem as though the viewer is actually participating in what is happening. To some extent, that does add to the charm of the movie. However, I prefer seeing everything that is happening because it intensifies the moment, compared to when I get distracted because I am trying to look at or figure out what is happening. Second, the plot is not exactly original. There are other movies that revolve around either an isolated group of people who are not able to get out of a bad situation or an unknown deadly virus that wreaks havoc in a certain area. Furthermore, the plot does not develop much throughout the movie, ever more so throughout the sequels. The plot development in the Rec trilogy seems quite dragging, to be honest. And, there are no major changes or unpredictable plot twists that the characters experienced in the first, second or third movie. Third and last, the characters were very much stereotyped. They seem to have been conceptualized from basic ideas of personalities or traits. To be more critical, the characters, for me, were not only stereotypical but also one-dimensional. Each character behaved in a way that appeared to follow only one to two traits, such as the main character wanting the public to know the truth or the policeman needing to be the one in charge. There was not much depth or thought to their actions, neither was there much character development.
These comments may be quite harsh and judgmental, but this is not to say that there are no good points to the movie. On the positive side, the first person video camera recording point of view does to some extent add to the horror aspect of the film. Not being able to fully see or understand what is happening in the scene, though personally quite frustrating, does make it more trilling to watch. Even though most people already expect what is going to happen (as they have seen something similar before), looking at it from a camcorder perspective gives it a refreshing and unexpected edge. In addition, the one-dimensionality of the characters encourages the viewers to engage in the movie. What I mean by this is that because the characters cannot make decisions that the viewers can easily make, given their outside view of the event, the viewers become frustrated and engage in the movie, hoping that the characters will change or make better decisions. At the very least, this is what I felt like watching the movie. Finally, the depth of the plot and the true horror behind the movie can be seen once it is watched more than once. I believe this to be true because after the initial viewing and the disappointment that comes with it, watching it again allows the viewer to understand the film purely for the meaning behind it, without the distractions of the acting or the cinematography.
The one thing that helped me consider Rec as a horror movie is what my friend told me – that Rec may be a cult movie. What he means by this is that essentially, it is for a small niche of people – either you love it or you hate it. Taking that into consideration, I can respect that Rec may be a great horror movie to other people, and that is what truly matters in the end.