Writer: Jaume Balaguero, Paco Plaza, Luiso Berdejo (Screenplay)
Starring: Manuela Velasco, Ferran Terraza, Jorge-Yamam Serrano, Pablo Rosso, David Vert
Plot: A television reporter and cameraman follow emergency workers into a dark apartment building and are quickly locked inside with something terrifying.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Great Atmospheric Horror
Story: [Rec] starts as reporter Angela Vidal (Velasco) is cover the local firefighter department for her latest report on While You’re Sleeping. The first incident the team gets called to is a domestic disturbance case inside an apartment building.
What seems like a simple and even boring story to cover quickly turns into a battle of life and death when the woman causing the disturbance attacks the police officer sent to help. The make the matters worse the people find themselves trapped inside the building which has been locked down by the authorities refusing to let anybody out. When the infection continues to spread, Angela must find a way to survive the terror inside the building and learn the truth about the source of the virus.
Thoughts on [Rec]
Characters/Performance – Angela is the reporter that is covering a simple story but finds herself fighting for her life but wanting to report every single part of the story for her audience. The rest of the characters are cops, firefighters, residents of the apartment and the cameraman.
Story – The story is simple to follow, people get trapped in a building as a virus is spreading through the people inside making them killing machines and the ones not infected need to find a way to survive. This all works and the added found footage keeps us believe this could be a breaking story unfolding.
Horror/Mystery – The horror is very good with each corner potentially having a threat as well as each character not knowing what is happening which I think adds to any horror element.
Settings – The whole film is set within the apartment complex which adds to the tension and horror unfolding through the film.
Final Thoughts – This is a great atmospheric horror that is short, sweet and hits all the marks for found footage horror needs.
Overall: One for all the horror fans out there.
Writer: Gary Hawkins (Screenplay) Larry Brown (Novel)
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Tye Sheridan, Gary Poulter, Ronnie Gene Blevins, Adriene Mishler
Plot: An ex-con, who is the unlikeliest of role models, meets a 15-year-old boy and is faced with the choice of redemption or ruin
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Slow Drama
Story: Joe starts as we meet ex-con Joe (Cage) who hires down on their luck people of a small town to help him kill trees for his employer, he expects them to work and they will get paid, he treats them all with respect through this questionable job. When he gets approached by 15-year-old Gary (Sheridan) a homeless boy from a family of drifters who wants work. Joe gives him a chance and he doesn’t disappoint.
When Joe sees the abuse, Gary receives from his alcoholic father Wade (Poulter) he gets put in a difficult situation, where he must decide whether defend Gary and become the person he had hoped to escape or do nothing, either option will define his future.
Thoughts on Joe
Characters/Performance – Joe is a former criminal that has put his life together to offer other down on their luck men a job killing trees. He is good natured to the people who work for him and takes a look at what is happening to Gary and decides to help him find his way. Gary is a boy that is never been given a chance in life, so he makes his own chances by getting a job working for Joe, he learns from Joe which are important lessons for life. The rest of the cast show us what is going on in both the lives and what could change the ones they are living.
Performance wise, Nicolas Cage is good in this role and you can see why people believe it could have been one that turned his career around. Tye Sheridan does a great job and shows why he had an ever-growing potential in his career with these types of roles. the rest of the cast all do a great job throughout the film.
Story – The story is a trademark of the indie style of films, it shows one man needing to question what he is doing with his life for the sake of a teenager who is struggling. This isn’t the most original but does everything you need for an indie film, telling the story and offering redemption for our leading man.
Final Thoughts – This film shows us just what Cage is capable of great performances with the right material and can keep us watching until the end of the film. Everything comes together nicely but is unlikely to be a re-watchable film.
Overall: Well-acted, good strong drama but slow in places.