Late To The Party: ‘[REC]’ & ‘[REC] 2′


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Hello everyone! Rod Paddock reporting for duty with my new column: Late to the Party. This column will be dedicated to all of the lovely horror films I have missed in my 30+ years as a horror fan.

The concept of this column was spawned last month after the SXSW film festival here in Austin. During the fest I asked fearless horror leader Brian Salisbury if he needed coverage of any horror films for HND. We boiled our choices down to two titles: [REC] 3 and V/H/S. [REC] 3 was ruled out immediately as I had seen neither [REC] nor [REC] 2. Missing those two films game me an idea for an article. Brian with his diabolic brain took it one step further lets turn this into a column. Late to the Party was born.

The Film(s)

[REC] tells the story of Angela Vidal, played by gorgeous Spanish actress Manuela Velasco. Angela is reporter for a television station in Barcelona, assigned to spend an evening following a crew from a local fire station. The klaxon sounds and our fearless news reporter, accompanied by her cameraman Pablo, sets out with the firefighters. The firefighters are responding to a call of a disturbed woman in an apartment building. Barely a minute after entering this disturbed woman’s apartment, all hell breaks loose. In a rage, the woman attacks the fire fighter sent in to help. Soon we learn that we are dealing with an issue much bigger than a single disturbed woman. As Angela and the firefighters head for the door they soon realize they are locked in. The authorities have put the building in quarantine. Over the remainder of the movie the tenants of this building are overtaken by some force/virus/malevolence reminiscent of a 28 Days Later / Dawn of the Dead mashup. There are scenes in this movie that made me jump from my chair. I love it when a movie can do that.

A few days after viewing [REC]  sat down to watch [REC] 2. [REC] 2 takes place in the immediate aftermath of [REC] and is told from the point of view of a police team sent into the same building on a rescue mission. You cannot help but be reminded of Aliens when the police officers check their helmet cams. I was waiting for someone to shout “Wake up Hicks!” The police enter the still quarantined building accompanied by a man from the environmental services department. This man seems to have knowledge of what happened in this building, only problem is he is not sharing the details of this knowledge. [REC] 2 is a well made follow up to [REC], which made for another satisfying, chair-jumping viewing. I won’t go into too many details of [REC] 2 as it would spoil the cool mystery of these two great horror films.

July 2009 Horror DVD and Blu-ray Guide.


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Last Week in Horror News: May 3rd to May 10th


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Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Studio News and Attachments

  • THE APPARITION – Dark Castle films slates up another, this time the ambiguously titled haunted house’r.
  • DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK – Katie Homles is headlining the Guillermo del Toro produced creature feature?
  • JEKYLL – Keanu Reeves is now taking on the roles to be written by REVOLUTIONARY ROAD scriptor Justin Haythe?

Remakes

  • H2 – Michael Myers is not a Necromancer.  Michael Myers is not a Necromancer.  Michael Myers is not a Necromancer.
  • MOTHER’S DAY – Three production shingles, including Brett Ratner’s, are planning a franchise, the first of which will be directed by Darren Bousman.
  • CHILDREN OF THE CORN – Is that Officer Dualla with hair growing out of her eyes?

Indie, Foreign and Random News

  • DEAD LOSS – Chris Gorak, who made the admirable RIGHT AT YOUR DOOR (review), is directing DEAD LOSS which is basically “DEADLIEST CATCH” with a horror twist.
  • David Slade is Diplomatic – And also a liar.
  • MANDY LANE – Senator has once again shelved ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE (review)from its July 17th release date.  The region free Blu-ray is down to $15.
  • [REC] – A US DVD finally comes out on July 14th.

Non-Theatrical Trailers

Last Week in Horror News: January 11th to the 18th


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Note: was anyone else aware that South Korea has a reality show about exorcisms?  And that its music is the SAW theme?

Also, what billiards game involves a blue pool table with no pockets and only three balls, the goal of which, as far as I can surmise, is to hit both balls after bouncing off at least two of the rails?  I really want to know what this is called as it is on TV All. The. Time.

Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Sorry, bone dry.

Studio News and Attachments

Remakes

Indie, Foreign and Random News

Non-Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Review: QUARANTINE


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Directed by John Erick Dowdle, 2008
Written by John Erick Dowdle & Drew Dowdle, based on 2007’s [REC]

QUARANTINE is nothing to me but a surrogate for everything wrong with Hollywood horror.  Production began on it before [REC] had even left post-production in its native Spain, which may just be a world record for fastest Hollywood remake.  Despite [REC] becoming the festival hit of 2007 and 2008, proving that the original film in its original state was an undeniable success, here we stand not twelve months later.  In the United States [REC] has yet to receive any commercial setting, be it limited theatrical run or a bare bones DVD.  Instead the stakeholders have given us an inferior American remake equipped with inferior performances under the eye of an inferior director, yet conversely boasts an astonishing superiority in the field of recreating to the tiniest detail every major set piece from its Spanish progenitor.

Thus I disclose my biased position in this review.  I might be in the position to call QUARANTINE a good movie were I able to shake the indelible memories of [REC].  That just taint the case, however, especially given John Dowdle’s slavish attention to detail in recreating the set pieces, the camera’s point of view therein and the script’s jolt’s throughout.  There are a few minor differences, mind you, but in no capacity can anything in this Screen Gems produced cash-grab be considered an improvement.

In fact, every addition to QUARANTINE over [REC] is a concession at the expense of audience enjoyment.  As should be expected from America, global leader of a rising obesity epidemic, the only original elements brought to the table are ones of bloat.  Bloated length, bloated script, bloated explanations.  Expansions where none was needed that do little but bog down the experience.  And since I’ve seen [REC], I’ve experienced QUARANTINE.  Maybe for the uninitiated watching this will be as delightfully frightful as watching the original, but that was not the case for me.  The last time I checked my watch this often I was sitting naked in an exam room waiting for the doctor.  Come to think of it, QUARANTINE had as much entertainment to offer me as that office did.  Or, more accurately, it did not.  I may actually take something away from reading year old issues of HIGHLIGHTS, I took nothing from QUARANTINE.

Last Week in Horror: June 29th to July 6th


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Last Week in Horror, The items of most interest to me belong to genre brother Sci-Fi.  Alex Proyas’ latest film, KNOWING, finally got a trailer, albeit a derivative, uninvolved one.  But I love DARK CITY so much, even Nicholas Cage’s forehead couldn’t keep me away.  Same goes for Keanu Reeves’, well, entire self in THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL remake.

Also, I was sent a press release regarding a contest for Electronic Arts’ forthcoming survival horror game DEAD SPACE.  Normally I’d not pass along such a thing, but DEAD SPACE happens to be a title I’ve been anticipating.  Not to mention the 100 film prize pack at the end of the rainbow is a bounty worth coveting.




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