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The REC Collection Blu-ray Review

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Fans of the REC films will treasure this new Blu-ray set.

In the pantheon of found footage horror films, the Spanish film “[REC]” is one of the best (make of that as you will). The film (later remade as “Quarantine” in the U.S.) is a claustrophobic horror tale about a TV reporter (Angela) and her cameraman (Pablo) doing a story at a fire station only to be whisked away on a ride along to an apartment building. To make a long story short, the two become trapped in the building which soon becomes quarantined due to a rabies like virus spreading throughout the place. Later on in the movie, demonic possession comes into play which is tied into the virus. It’s a strange plot turn to be sure.

As a horror fan, I have never been overly fond of the found footage fad. Sure, it can be done right ala “The Blair Witch Project” and a few of the “Paranormal Activity” films, but, more often than not, it’s just a gimmick. While “[REC]” lacks depth and contains some frankly nauseating shaky cam work, it is effective in what it sets out to do which is create an intense horror chiller that has a sense of realism to it.

“[REC] 2” takes place right after the first film and finds a Priest (Owen) and an armed GEO special forces team venturing into the quarantined building to contain the outbreak. Owen investigates the possessed and diseased Tristana. Angela also comes into play here as does what happens to her at the end of the first film.

While you do get a different perspective in this sequel, it’s more of the same. The demonic possession angle is explored more here and more is revealed about the REC mythology. However, it really feels like less is more in that the more that is revealed, the less interesting the movie (and mythology) is.

“[REC] 3: Genesis” veers away from the first 2 films and focuses on the wedding of Clara and Koldo. Their wedding is, of course, ruined by infected people and bloody mayhem ensues.

The third installment starts off promising enough as it’s a nice departure from first 2. However, the movie strangely abandons the found footage angle which doesn’t make much sense from a narrative perspective. The story also devolves into a pretty standard horror death fest.

“[REC] 4: Apocalypse” goes back to the character of Angela and deals with the aftermath of first 3 films. Angela is on board a boat and is being tested on by a Doctor. Later, a test subject (a monkey) gets loose and lo and behold the virus begins to spread. What follows is parasite hopping, people not trusting one another, and characters trying to survive.

While the movie does wrap-up and conclude the REC saga, this is a case of diminishing returns. Yes, we can all agree Manuela Velasco is fantastic as Angela, but she can’t carry the series (or this movie) herself. Still, it’s nice to see a horror franchise actually conclude the saga of Angela. Granted, the franchise could start up again at some point, but it feels like the story of Angela may be done. How you may feel about it is another story entirely.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: The first two are presented in 1.85:1 1080p while 3 and 4 are in 2.35:1 1080p. How do they look? The first 3 films aren’t going to win any awards for visuals as they are found footage horror films. The transfers are adequate but expect fuzzy and blurred imagery. The fourth film looks the best here visually due to the higher quality cinematography.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How do they sound? All 4 audio tracks are effective.

Extras: [REC]- * Still gallery * A teaser, 6 TV spots, and 2 trailers * 3 minutes of deleted scenes and 30 minutes of extended scenes * 46 ½ minutes of crew interviews * A 44 minute collection of “Behind The Scenes Footage” * A 40 minute “The Making of REC” featurette [REC] 2- * Image gallery * A press conference from the Stiges Film Festival * 4 minutes of deleted scenes and 3 ½ minutes of extended scenes * 3 theatrical trailers and 5 TV spots * “[REC] 2 On Tour”- A collection of footage from various film festivals the film played at * “A Walkthrough Of The Set”- Speaks for itself * “Behind The Scenes”- A 55 minute extra containing set footage, interviews, and more. * “The Making Of [REC] 2- In A World Of Infected People”- A near 2 hour in-depth making of documentary. [REC] 3 Genesis- * 25 minutes of deleted scenes * 3 minutes of outtakes * Image gallery * 3 trailers and 9 TV spots * The 23 minute “Making of [REC] 3” contains film clips, interviews, set footage, the usual. * “ [REC] 3 Genesis- Preparing A Bloody Wedding”- A deep dive 2 hour making of documentary. Yes, it’s longer than the movie itself! [REC] 4: Apocalypse * Image gallery * 5 trailers and 1 TV spot * The 28 minute “The Making Of [REC] 4: Apocalypse” contains film clips, set footage, interviews and more.

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October 7, 2018 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , ,

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