While the rest of the horror community are celebrating the big releases from Scream Factory this year like “Creepshow” and “Trick r Treat,” in comes a somewhat overlooked horror child known as the “[REC] Collection.” Shout! outdoes themselves packing together all four films from the found footage horror series from Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza, and it’s a box set that should be explored if you’ve never seen the “[REC]” films or have only ever seen the original.
In “[REC]”, late night reporter Angela Vidal is performing a remote interview at a local firehouse with her camera man. When the firefighters are called away at an emergency, Angela and her camera man follow along. Unbeknownst to them, they’re called to an apartment complex where an old woman has seemingly become rabid and violent. After attacking her fellow neighbors, the virus begins spreading and before long Angela is stuck in the building with infected monsters running around and murdering their neighbors. “[REC]” is a remarkable horror film, if a bit gimmicky at times. It gets off on playing with sound design and it’ll definitely rattle your nerves how one scene finds a character sneaking in to a hallway only for someone to pop up from a corner screeching and clawing at them.
That said “[REC]” is a fun horror film with an iconic final scene. “[REC]2” is a direct continuation as four HAZMAT suited SWAT agents with recording equipment enter the apartment complex, intent on learning what happened and eliminating any potential infected. When the team find themselves trapped, they learn they can not leave, and now have to fight their way out in the face of the extraordinary circumstances. “[REC]2” has a decent excuse for the found footage format and should be a solid viewing experience that advances the entire mythology of the original film by emphasizing what clues about demons and possession that we saw in the finale of “[REC].” The third film “[REC]3: Genesis” is focused on the wedding of Clara and Koldo who are at their church filming their wedding. But when they notice police arriving at the reception hall during their big party, shit hits the fan and the night becomes a fight for survival.
“[REC]3: Genesis” is one of the more unpopular films from the series as it drops the found footage format in favor of the traditional storytelling format mid-way through the film. The movie seems to have had enough of the polarizing sub-genre and kind of just paves a new path for the series, which pissed off fans. It also opts for more of a comedic bent on the original two films which took the premise very deadly serious. Your enjoyment of this film depends on your willingness to stray from the first two films’ formula and intense scares, and the fact that the apartment complex storyline is not resolved very much. The final film “[REC]4: Apocalypse” revisits the original storyline from the first two films with Angela Vidal from the 2007 film being carried out by the SWAT team. When she’s taken to a far off shore oil tanker for the sake of quarantine, they’re not prepared for the see of the demonic infection that she is carrying.
“[REC]4” much like its predecessor is generally considered a disappointing finale that doesn’t so much resolve Angela Vidal’s storyline, so much as it just ends the entire movie series. It goes back to the original tone of the series, save for some callbacks to the third film, but it’s generally more of the same running around dark corridors and fighting off zombies. If you’re looking for a great end to the Angela Vidal storyline, you might as well lower your expectations. That said, the “[REC]” movie series is an imperfect but solid line up of movies for hardcore zombie movie fans, and it’s a worthwhile set.
The [REC] Collection comes packed in individuals BD cases, and packed in a hard shell for sturdy collecting. For “[REC]” there’s an audio commentary with Jaime Balagueri and Paco Plaza, as well as The Making of [REC], a forty minute segment of on set footage of shooting the film, along with sit down interviews with the directors going over the process. There are also candid looks at the make up and effects. There are forty six minutes of crew interviews including the sound engineer, camera operator and post productions. There are three minutes of deleted scenes, thirty minutes of extended scenes, and forty four minutes of Behind the Scenes Footage with some candid footage, and auditions and rehearsals from the cast.
There’s the original teaser, TV spots, and theatrical trailers. The “[REC]2” BD comes with an audio commentary with Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza. “The Making of [REC]2: In a World of Infected People” is a two hour very in depth look at the making of the sequel, along with interviews with the directors. There are even more interviews and exhaustive details in to the filming. There’s an hour long “Behind the Scenes” where we get to see the directors and crew at work. There are Deleted Scenes, Extended Scenes, and a nine minute “A Walkthrough Of The Set” which interviews mixed in, and a screen and picture comparison. “[REC]2” on Tour” is a nine minute video of the cast and crew going to various screenings and festivals.
“Stiges Film Festival Press Conference” is an eleven minute highlight reel of the press conference with the directors, crew, and Manuela Velasco. There are theatrical trailers, TV Spots, and an Image Gallery. The “[REC]3: Genesis” BD comes with “[REC]3 Genesis: Preparing A Bloody Wedding” a two hour exhaustive, extremely in depth look at the making of the film. “Making of [REC]3” is a twenty three minute truncated look at the making of the film, there are also Deleted Scenes clocking in at twenty three minutes, three minutes of outtakes, the theatrical trailers, TV Spots, and an Image Gallery. The BD for “[REC]4: Apocalypse” includes “The Making of REC 4: Apocalypse”, a twenty eight minute look at the construction of the finale to the series. There are also theatrical trailers, TV Spots, and an Image Gallery.