Blu-ray Review: The [REC] Collection

[REC] was directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza from a screenplay they co-wrote with Luiso Berdejo and stars Manuela Velasco, Ferran Terraza, Pablo Rosso and Javier Botet.

In the first film, [REC], a TV reporter and her crew are asked to cover a crew of firemen on duty. What seems like a routine story about a night at the fire station soon turns into a nightmare. Trapped inside a quarantined building, the crew must try to survive the terror that rages inside.

The first movie follows Angela, her camera man and some firemen who enter this apartment building where they get trapped inside after it gets quarantined. It doesn’t take long for them to start witnessing the horrors within when they become hunted down by some of the residents who appear to be infected with a strange new virus. At first they think it could be rabies but then the idea of a demonic possession is introduced and as their night plays out, everyone who entered the building becomes a believer, especially Angela who witnesses first hand what’s really going on here.

Run Time: 78 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: Spanish and English Dub DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English

Special Features: The extras include some audio commentary, a making of featurette, interviews, four deleted scenes, two extended scenes, behind-the-scenes footage, a teaser, two theatrical trailers, six TV spots and a still gallery.

  • Audio Commentary with writers/directors Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza (In Spanish with English Subtitles)
  • The Making of REC  (40:52)
  • Crew Interviews (46:38)
  • Extended Scenes (30:05)
  • Deleted Scenes (03:13)
  • Behind the Scenes Footage (44:27)
  • Teaser (01:57)
  • Theatrical Trailers (03:09)
  • TV Spots (01:27)
  • Still Gallery

[REC] 2 was directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza from a screenplay they co-wrote with Manu Díez and stars Jonathan D. Mellor, Manuela Velasco, Óscar Zafra, Pablo Rosso and Alejandro Casaseca.

[REC] 2 picks up minutes after the end of [REC]. The authorities have lost contact with the people trapped inside the quarantined building and chaos reigns. A Special Operations Unit has been tasked with entering the premises … only to discover that this is anything but a straightforward mission.

The second movie picks right up where the first one left off and follows a special ops unit that goes inside the apartment building where they discover the horrors that dwell inside. One by one the highly trained soldiers are taken out by more of the infected locals and in the end it’s even revealed what ended up happening to Angela during the finale of the first movie. There’s also a lot more revealed about this mysterious virus and its origin that’s  definitely tied to demonic possession.

Run Time: 85 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English

Special Features: The extras include some audio commentary, a feature-length documentary about the movie, a behind-the-scenes featurette, one deleted scene, two extended scenes, a set visit, tour spotlight, film festival press conference, four theatrical trailers, five TV spots and still gallery.

  • Audio Commentary with writers/directors Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza (In Spanish with English Subtitles)
  • The Making of REC 2 – In An Affected World (1:58:14)
  • Behind the Scenes (55:37)
  • Deleted Scenes (04:07)
  • Extended Scenes (03:35)
  • A Walkthrough of the Set (09:09)
  • REC 2 On Tour (08:58)
  • Sitges Film Festival Press Conference (11:24)
  • Theatrical Trailers (04:14)
  • TV Spots (00:59)
  • Still Gallery (03:32)

[REC] 3: GENESIS was directed by Paco Plaza from a screenplay he co-wrote with Luiso Berdejo and stars  Leticia Dolera, Diego Martín, Javier Botet, Àlex Monner and Ismael Martínez.

[REC] 3: GENESIS leaves the confines of the quarantined building to follow the wedding of Koldo and Clara. Everything appears to be running smoothly and the bride and groom are enjoying a wonderful day … until some of the guests start showing signs of a strange illness and unleash a torrent of violence.

The third movie is a complete departure from the first two and takes place away from the quarantined apartment building at a wedding reception where a new outbreak takes place. This catches everyone attending what’s supposed to be a happy celebration by a shocking surprise when they all become gory appetizer dishes for the infected ravagers that show up uninvited. Nobody is safe in this unique entry from this quadrilogy of terror, even the newlyweds who ultimately realize that their wedding was doomed from the beginning. The neat thing here is that even though this third chapter is a departure, it is still linked to the first two movies in several ways.

Run Time: 80 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.35:1)

Blu-ray Audio: Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English

Special Features: The extras include a feature-length documentary about the movie, a making of featurette, twelve deleted scenes, outtakes, four theatrical trailers, eight TV spots and a still gallery.

  • REC: Genesis – Preparing A Bloody Wedding (1:57:45)
  • The Making of REC 3 (23:12)
  • Deleted Scenes (23:58)
  • Outtakes (02:55)
  • Theatrical Trailers (05:01)
  • TV Spots (01:53)
  • Still Gallery (04:11)

[REC] 4: APOCALYPSE was directed by Jaume Balagueró from a screenplay he co-wrote with Manu Díez and stars Manuela Velasco, Paco Manzanedo and Héctor Colomé.

[REC] 4: APOCALYPSE returns focus to Ángela Vidal, the young reporter who has managed to make it out of the building alive. But she hasn’t made it out of the building alone as she carries the seed of the strange infection. She is taken to a provisional quarantine facility: the perfect location for the virus to be reborn.

This fourth and final entry takes place several years after the horrifying incident that happened in the first two movies and returns Angela who’s been extracted from the building and is now on a mysterious ship out in the middle of the sea. The plans are to find a cure so the virus can finally be stopped but the people behind this soon realize that there is no cure. There’s also a twist in the story when they realize Angela isn’t infected anymore but the virus is still alive and able to hop from host to host. The mission on this ship ends up becoming a tour of terror for the doomed crew but Angela finds a way to narrowly escape the nightmare at sea as well as the cursed virus.

Run Time: 95 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.35:1)

Blu-ray Audio: Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English

Special Features: The extras include a making of featurette, five theatrical trailers, a TV spot and still gallery.

  • The Making of REC: APOCALYPSE (27:58)
  • Theatrical Trailers (08:05)
  • TV Spot (00:36)
  • Still Gallery (04:55)

The packaging comes with a thick slipcase that houses four individual plastic keepcases inside for each movie. The front of the slipcase features the artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, special features, some images and specs. The front of each Blu-ray keepcase features its own individual artwork and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. Each reverse sleeve features an image. All four of the Blu-ray discs also feature some artwork that matches the front cover of each keepcase. Inserting each disc, the menu screens were simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, I’ve been a big fan of the [REC] movies since they first released from 2007-2014 and now Scream Factory is offering them in The [REC] Collection that includes all four movies on Blu-ray. As saturated as the zombie subgenre of horror is, every once and a while something fresh will come along and that’s exactly what these movies offered. Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza crafted a mixture of a zombie outbreak with a demonic possession and the outcome was something completely new and original that horror fans totally enjoyed or at least I did. Sure, the third entry is slightly weaker than the others because it’s a little different but it’s also the goriest of them all plus it takes all four movies to tell this terrifying tale that includes smart storytelling, skilled direction and some fantastic makeup effects. There’s also gallons of blood and gore to go along with it all. The [REC] Collection is now available on Blu-ray and comes highly recommended.

 

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