{It should be noted to everyone who reads the following that I originally wrote this under the completely false idea that the [REC] films were produced in Mexico City. No idea where I got that info from but rest assured several diligent readers corrected me (see comments below) – the films are completely Spanish productions. I’m leaving the erroneous comments so as not to cover up my ignorance at the time (see also the comments for why), but read on with those corrections in mind}

… equals what is, so far, possibly the best horror film franchise that I’ve seen in a looooooooooooooong time. My slow build to fandom of the series began when I saw the American remake, Quarantine, in the theatre upon its release several years ago. That film turned out to be completely different than what I thought it was going to be, namely a demonic-themed horror film (and I’m still thinking they cut that Quarantine trailer with some images from the then unknown to me south of the border original). As regular readers of my blog may have gathered I have a thing for the demon-infused horror of the 70’s and 80’s and I’d been holding my breath for someone, anyone in Hollywood to act as a catalyst and plunge the horror macheen back into that demonic paradigm while the torture porn and Japanese remake trends withered and died.

No dice.

Of course I had to exhale and pretty much figure that other than the occasional one-off the return straight to DVD it was, on the big budget scale, probably never going to happen. The post-millenial filmgoing public simply isn’t scared of the devil anymore because as a whole our mainstream media culture has become a post-religion one. I’m not saying everyone in America is post-religion – clearly they’re not if you look at our politics, but at some point Hollywood all but officially declared anything stemming from religious fears as a  waste of time. It didn’t occurr to me that what I wanted so badly might end up coming from our southern neighbor Mexico, where Catholicism still holds a meaty sway and their filmmaking isn’t as centralized as ours (or at least I don’t think it is. Is there a Mexican city equivalent to Hollywood, not in scope but nexus?).

A year or so later someone schooled me on the fact that Quarantine – while not a bad film – was essentially a shot-by-shot remake of a [REC] from aforementioned neighboring country. A remake where pretty much the only thing altered was the substitution of rabies for Satan. Fast forward a year or so after that and [REC] floated back into my sphere of awareness and got added to our Netflix Que*, where it would weave in and out of attention until such time as I felt that the Quarantine viewing experience had softened in my recollection enough for the original to make a distanced impact.

And an impact it did make, oh yes sirree Bob.

[REC] is awesome. I mean, really awesome. It knows how to scare, it knows where to ramp up the chills, the violence, the gore – the whole nine yards, and perhaps most importantly it never overdoes any of it. As soon as the credits began to roll on our tv I ran upstairs and moved [REC]2 to the top of the Que. Last night we watched it.

Wow.

Someone (possibly you Mr. Brown…hmmm?) had mentioned to me that [REC]2 played like James Cameron’s Aliens but with demon-possessed zombies** swarming all over the films protagonists, a SWAT team that goes into the building that served as the setting for the first film. And yeah, [REC]2 definitely has some of that furious chaos that defines Aliens as such an intense and affecting film. But it also has a quiet, evil undertone that is worthy of some of the best moments of my vote for all-time scariest film The Exorcist. And the story advances too. It advances in a way that left me wanting MORE – ever since Romero took his first shaky steps off the glorious path he was on with his original three Dead movies I’ve wanted to see someone explore the evolution of a world devastated by a raging plague of evil. And now, as I found out last night after I hit [STOP] on the remote control and ran upstairs to type [REC]3 into a search engine, we have one:

Couple the above with the fact that apparently there is already titterings of [REC]4: Apocalypse*** and all I have to say is…

I. Can’t. Wait.

Jaume Balaguero, Paco Plaza and Luiso Berdejo, you guys are doing an amazing job of disturbing me. Keep it UP!!!

……………………………..

* Or wait, is that Qwikster now? Do I get chocolate milk with my movies? How about JUST REDUCING THE FUCKING PRICE AGAIN – AN APOLOGY DOESN’T MEAN SHIT IF WHAT YOU’RE APOLOGIZING FOR DOESN’T FUCKING CHANGE…. ahem…

** Not really the right word, so maybe I’ll take a moment to coin a term and call ‘em Devil Puppets

*** Can anyone confirm if this is real or not? IMDB simply lists [REC]4 as ‘in production’ and I guess I want to go on believing that it’s on the immediate horizon. PLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASE