[REC]: further adventures of the first-person vomitcam

[REC] is a Spanish zombie movie from 2007, all allegedly found footage, from a TV show about night jobs that goes horribly wrong when the fire crew a reporter and her cameraman are following gets a call to help a delusional old lady in her apartment who proves to have something more serious than Alzheimer's.

It's tight, scary fun, with a lean 78 minute running time, a novella among films, and, aside from the usual what's-the-rated-life-of-that-battery question about the camera (particularly pressing in one of its predecessors, The Blair Witch Project, which allowed shooting for days), made narrative sense, until a poorly conceived scene near the end, which purports to "explain" something.

I've never gotten why people feel they need to explain zombies. Zombies don't, um, actually exist, so any explanation is just as ridiculous as the zombies themselves. And this one comes out of left field, and is mostly to make us relax a bit before the final horror arrives. Understanding helps nothing.

Now, as usual, I'll come up with a couple of twists I thought the movie would have that it didn't, and are thus fair game for any works I may create in the future.

At one point during the steady collapse of the culture inside the sealed apartment building, ethnic tensions rise between a couple of Asian immigrants and the Spaniards, in an extremely convincing way. The Spanish call them Chinese, though they are actually Japanese. Unfortunately, this tension plays no role in how events play out, and I think it would have been more interesting if it had, and a possible solution to their problems proves impossible because of their squabbling.

All the video is from one camera run by a single cameraman. Several times he drops the camera, or there is some other interruption. It would have been interesting if something significant happened during the dark time, and then we, as viewers, would have to figure out what that might have been, since everyone else went through it and knows it perfectly.

Who is the cameraman?  His name is Pablo, but has no real existence. But he is just as terrified by zombies, and just as likely to have bad things happen to him as anyone else. Could you tell that something has gone badly wrong by a significant change in his camerawork?  Can how you pan, focus, and zoom be diagnostic of becoming a zombie? After one of those significant blackouts, someone else, not as skilled, is running the camera.

I don't make movies, but the use of the "actually part of the movie" camera would seem to make stunts like that irresistable.

Anyway: face ripping, sinister child, buckets of gore. As Joe Bob Briggs used to say, check it out.