Looks like our heroine may have survived the terrifying finale of [REC] (which I wrote about in an earlier post HERE) as actress Manuela Velasco reprises her role for the sequel which started shooting in Barcelona on November 10th. Little is known about the story line except that it picks up mere hours after [REC] ends. The good news is that producer Julio Fernández returns with writer/directors Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza as well as art director Gemma Fauria, director of photography Pablo Rosso, editor David Gallart, sound engineers Xavi Mas and Oriol Tarragó (who absolutely rock!), and special makeup FX artist David Ambit. This, at least, means there’s a chance the film will be decent. Sequels rarely seem to understand what made their predecessors work so well and often end up being disappointingly misguided efforts. Let’s hope the makers of [REC] can triumph where so many others have failed.
Unfortunately, [REC] was never released in any format here in the U.S., but instead was remade into the recent film, QUARANTINE, which disappeared quickly from theaters. I didn’t see QUARANTINE, nor can I confess much interest beyond a passing curiosity. I did manage to get a hold of a copy of the Spanish DVD release of [REC] and will, most likely, have to go the same route to see [REC] 2. Why [REC] wasn’t released in the States is completely baffling to me since the film has won a slew of awards and is easily one of the best, most frightening horror films made in ages. The film grossed $27 million worldwide (from an estimated $2 million budget) and its awards include the Silver Scream Award at the Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival, the Audience Jury Award and the International Fantasy Film Award at Fantasporto, two Goyas for Best Editing and Best New Actress Manuela Velasco at the Goya Awards, an Audience Award, a Special Jury Prize and a Youth Jury Grand Prize at the Gérardmer Film Festival, an Audience Award, a Best Actress Award, a Best Director Award, the Grand Prize of European Fantasy Film in Silver – Special Mention Award and the José Luis Guarner Critic’s Award from Sitges – Catalonian International Film Festival, as well as a Special Award at the Turia Awards. No small feat! So what’s the problem? Still afraid Americans can’t handle subtitles? Or did someone just think that an American remake would be better than a Spanish horror film that garnered this kind of praise? The logic of Hollywood isn’t logic at all. More often than not, it’s a group of folks who aren’t too bright to begin with believing their audience is even stupider than they are. But whatever the reason this time, it was a bad choice and it deprived a lot of Americans from seeing this striking piece of work. Not to mention denying these talented filmmakers the opportunity to share what they’ve done with the huge audience of American filmgoers and film lovers.
Damn shame. But for those who really want to see it… Let’s just say, it’s out there.
And it’s scary.