Reviewed on 2011 October 29
I finally got a chance to watch this Spanish horror movie — nice crispy-clear subtitles and all — thanks to Fearnet, and as I’ve heard, it’s a lot more frightening than the U.S. remake (Quarantine). I knew what was coming and the end still freaked me out, making me crack open a book and read a little to get the last few images out of my head before turning in for the night. A lot of these pseudo-documentary type films kind of drop the ball. This thing, kind of like Cloverfield, maintained that whole feeling that we were seeing something we weren’t supposed to see. The difference was that Cloverfield wasn’t scary, but it was a lot of fun. This was not “fun”. This was just plain nightmare fodder. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, but a few times I wondered what on earth I was doing, watching it alone, in the dark, while Mr. Shukti was already safely asleep. Oh well, it was worth it.
Angela Vidal (Manuela Velasco) is a Barcelona-area reporter, hanging out with the fire department for this installation of her show “While You’re Asleep”. She tells her camera man and wingman Pablo (Pablo Rosso) to prune their video as needed, since there’s not much going on at the station tonight. As the bulk of the crew sleeps, an alarm goes off. Apparently some tenants at an apartment are afraid, saying a woman is locked in her apartment, screaming. Angela and Pablo ride with the crew to the building, where a group of freaked-out tenants are waiting in the lobby.
Angela goes upstairs with the brave firemen, who are promptly attacked by the screaming woman for their efforts. Nobody has a clue as to what’s going on, but a crew of authority types surround the building, trying to assure the people they’ll be fine if they just stay inside. The tenants relax a bit, thinking help has arrived, but nobody is answering their questions.
I liked several things about this; the payload was more of a wallop in this one, much more so than the American version. I also found the original Angela character to be less Barbie®-ish and more scrappy and pushy, and this was actually a good thing. Forget ratings; if the Feds weren’t going to help the group trapped with those things, she was going to try to tell the world. Like the remake, this one has a problem with what I call the “Disney Teacup Ride Cam” syndrome, but you can tell enough of what’s happening to wonder if you’ll sleep that night.
Three chocolate morsels.