Reviewed on 2009 April 28
Decent horror flick about what happens when a fluff-type reporter goes to spend a routine night with her local fire department, that turns out to be anything but routine. If you’ve not seen it yet and want to watch it with no spoilers at all, don’t read the tagline for the movie, because that in itself is a spoiler.
Angela Vidal (Jennifer Carpenter) is a television reporter that kind of reminds me of that Sylvia comic strip character “The woman who does everything better than you”. She shows up at a fire station to do an in-depth special on their lives, elaborately casual ponytail and simple gold hoops going nicely with her smart leather jacket and boots, and still beats a fireman at a contest without ruining her smoky eyeliner. She’s thrilled to go along with them to check out an emergency at an apartment complex, little knowing what they’re getting into. A few police cars have already responded to some screams and a few tenants are wandering around the lobby, dazed and frightened. One tenant barricaded herself in her apartment. When they finally get to her, she’s covered in blood and apparently too distraught to speak.
And that’s when the party really starts. This is a remake of a supposedly superior Spanish horror movie called [Rec] and since it’s not on Amazon I don’t have a way to compare the two yet. Unfortunately, a clever and scary concept is largely wasted in the American version because many times the shaky camera work makes it hard to see what’s really happening. We see enough to be horrified but if someone had say, dropped the camera and let it capture some of the mayhem, this would have been much more frightening. There were also some cliches, but unless you set up something really odd (and therefore likely unworkable) I think that’s to be expected in this genre. One thing that I felt some people unfairly singled out is how annoying the Angela character was, and how much she screamed. I felt like the character wasn’t annoying so much as one of those people who sort of sailed through life and was supposed to be overly-confident, and if I saw half the stuff she saw in that apartment, I’d probably be screaming like that too, unless my heart just stopped.
Two chocolate morsels.
Could have been better, but could have been a lot worse, too. I’m also going to add a spoiler, a big one, simply because it has to be said… [Highlight the box below, to reveal the spoiler.]