Finally having seen this, this was probably the 4 or 5th time I've attempted to watch this movie and finally saw the whole thing. Not that the previous times I found it lacking or boring, I would just always fall asleep from tiredness or have been interrupted in someway shape or form. So finally about two months ago I was finally granted by the Fates to watch this film uninterrupted with the lights turned off with my wonderfully soft and warm cover. And wooo-boy was this fun! Now I have not seen the original but from what I hear, like nearly every remake, people were very annoyed that this film was made to begin with when you had the original titled REC from Spain. I've also read that both films are in fact nearly exactly the same, as the film seems to be a shot-by-shot recreation of the original. As someone who hasn't seen the original but only seen the remake, I have to say I'm definitely a fan and was entertained. I may have to look for the original to own if I found this remake so darn fun to watch.
The movie is filmed in a "found footage" style, the style of Cannibal Holocaust, Blair Witch Project, and recently Paranormal Activity. The movie begins with reporter Angela Vidal (played by very believably by Jennifer Carpenter) and her camera man Scott Percival (Steve Harris) filming footage introducing us to their next assignment where they follow a group of firefighters for the night. Through interviews and b-rolls, we're introduced to different firefighters, Jake (Jay Hernandez) and Fletcher (Johnathon Schaech), showing them the ins and outs of the fire station. Angela, who mentions when she was a kid wanted very much to be a fire-fighter, is anxious to get a call to go out and get some action. Boy, does that "Be careful what you wish for" saying come true. The crew gets a call and they rush over to a three story building where it seems everyone's in a panic. We meet the various tenants in the building and a police officer, Danny (Columbus Short) who isn't happy one bit when Angela and Scott get in his face with their camera, especially after shooting to death a tenant about to rabidly attack him. Angela's night of excitement is quickly halted after seeing an old woman get shot to death. This is no longer a "fun, laughing" matter. Her world will completely be turned upside-down by the end of this movie. The building suddenly gets sealed up as the tenants, including the cops, fire-fighters, and news crew get trapped inside of the building by what seems to be the government, cutting off their cable and cell phones. This ends up causing the building to become a death trap as a weird virus begins to trigger the tenants, bringing them into a state of rage as if being affected by rabies and attacking each other. The bacteria seems to be spread through biting and any type of saliva and while people begin to get infected one-by-one, there's seems to be no way out of this whole nightmare.
I absolutely enjoyed the heck out of this film. Having the film shot in found footage style really helps pull you into the action and it certain helps that the characters, actions, reactions, and decisions are entirely believable. None of the movements, specifically the camera, come out forced in anyway shape or form. It doesn't seem convenient that the camera was looking at a specific thing before an action took place. Cinematography through out was simply perfect. While I was enticed and having a ton of fun watching, as the movie progressed I really started to feel generally scared for the characters and would get annoyed when an infected character would come to cause terror. I laughed at how much I was into this film and I really wish I saw this in theaters to hear people shouting at the screen, "Run!" "Oh, you stupid bitch! Stop making noise!"
Directed by John Erick Dowdle, if you haven't seen this film I'd definitely recommend it. I feel with all I've been reading and what I've seen of this film, the film itself was recommending me to be interested to see the original which I plan to do now. Also take note of Doug Jones being in the film! I love Doug Jones! Yes, I said Doug Jones, so if anyone's familiar with that name, you know for sure what kind of role he'll be playing and of course he's as creepy as ever. And major props goes to the lead, Carpenter. Is it safe to call her a new-aged Scream Queen after this and her Exorcism of Emily Rose role where she was also excellent in?