I don't know whether to call this a horror film or not. I frankly don't know what I saw. Psychological thriller, horror, quiet independent film, acting showcase? I guess it's got some of all of them.
What I did see is a great performance by Kristen Stewart, who is becoming a favorite actor of mine. Stewart is Maureen, a woman with a great job, who goes around the world choosing and picking up clothes for a rich, famous fashion diva. She hates this job. She is also a psychic who is hardheartedly trying to get some sign from her dead twin brother. Somewhere in all this are ghosts, a murder, a number of creepy scenes, a variety of French accents (you'd think that someone who lived in France would speak French, right?) and generally a bunch of stuff to keep us interested even if they don't necessarily work together. Or they do.
I had a good time. I can't promise that you will. 4/5
- Slightly Scary[REC]
Here begins my Shocktober marathon of watching non-English speaking horror films. I chose this set of films because I find that I love films that not only shock me, but make me see things I haven't seen. A horror film in a different cultural setting can be especially unique and give me some good surprises.
But REC begins as hum drum and everyday as any film I can imagine. A reporter and cameraman are interviewing firefighters to "see what they do all night". That is probably the lamest idea I've ever heard. You watch them sleep? Thrilled to get some attention from a hot reporter? Even the film set up is kind of lame. So it's found footage. And the alarm will ring and we will go to a place to get the horror film started. Yawn.
And that initial setup is perfect for this film. It puts us at ease, thinking that we won't have much imagination or interest in this film. Frankly, I thought it was quite well done. There are so many things to be upset at: government oppression, biohazzard, prejudice, that when the actual horror sets in, it's really a shock. Even the jump scares are natural and set up well.
Frankly, this is a perfect gem of a low-cost horror film. Scary, capturing the interest, and one of best-planned build ups to a satisfying climax. There's nothing new to see here, but it is so well executed that I'm glad to have seen it.
- Really Scary