Thursday, March 19, 2009

Remake Grudge Match!

You may remember that a couple of weeks ago, I talked about Quarantine You may also remember that I absolutely loved it. It was scary, the pacing was spot on and had to assume that, as remakes go, it was one of the best.
Well, I finally got to see [REC]. The Spanish original that Quarantine was based on. I had said
This is one remake that I have to assume that they got absolutely right.
And I was right. They nailed the remake. Which got me to thinking, is this going to be another Ringu/The Ring. One of those things where, since both are so good, people tend to prefer the one that they saw first? And, I could see that being the case. However, I firmly believe that Quarantine improved on what was already a great movie in [REC]. Quarantine took a little more time to build up. Which, isn't saying much. [REC] comes in at a brisk 75 minutes, and Quarantine is only 89. Both are pretty short movies that move at a good pace. Quarantine, however, spends that extra time building tension in and around the apartment complex, as well as giving you just a little bit more of the characters. Those 14 extra minutes are well spent in that regard.

[REC] is also much shakier. The camera is constantly moving, regardless of what's going on. I think the only time it stopped moving is when it gets set down. Quarantine keeps the shaky cam, but there are moments when it's steady. I think that at those times, such as when the fireman falls from the floor above, has greater impact.

Quarantine though, has an ending that makes a little more sense. That may have more to do with my own, American, sensibilities though. The quasi-religious ending of [REC] just doesn't feel as plausible as the chemical terrorism explanation in Quarantine.

I will say that the 'creature',  for lack of a better term, at the end of [REC] is MUCH creepier looking. It's just plain unsettling. And, I will say that I liked Manuela Velasco a bit more than Jennifer Carpenter.

Like I've said, Quarantine, got it right. It took the story, kept all the great stuff and then improved upon it, making a tight, taut movie that much better without losing a bit of the soul of the orginal.