Get Ready for a New Way to Experience ‘[REC]’

4DX is perceived as a gimmick by some movie fans, but ‘[REC]’ lends itself to this type of immersive experience.
Rec Fire Station

Welcome to Horror Horizon, your one-stop-shop for the most interesting developments in the world of horror. Before getting to our latest roundup of news, let’s dive into something involving the 2007 Spanish film [REC].

Movies about contagion outbreaks might not be the most desired viewing right now. Especially those that have zombies thrown into the mix. Then again, right now is also the perfect time for movies like this to have their desired effect on viewers. And when it comes to zombie outbreak movies, you can’t beat [REC].

If you’re unfamiliar with the movie, the concept is simple. A news reporter and a cameraman find themselves trapped in a quarantined apartment building. In that building, zombies are on the loose. What ensues is one of the most visceral and intense horror movie experiences of the 21st century.

But why am I discussing Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza’s found-footage hit thirteen years after its release? According to Deadline, the movie is returning to theaters in Spain, with a worldwide rollout expected to follow in the near future. The goal is to attract more moviegoers to theaters, which have been struggling to stay afloat in recent months. Re-releasing a beloved horror hit is a smart way to pull in the crowds while there aren’t many new films to choose from.

Furthermore, [REC]’s re-release might be the most immersive version of the film to-date. It will be the first Spanish non-CGI movie to receive the 4DX treatment. This technology — which was invented by the South Korean company CJ in 2009 — aims to make the cinematic experience more transportive for viewers. [REC]‘s first-person qualities make it the ideal match for the tool as well.

The 4DX format allows movies to be augmented with various practical effects, including motion seats, wind, strobe lights, simulated snow, and scents. Essentially, it makes viewers feel like they’re experiencing the actual environment of the movie. [REC] already comes close to accomplishing this immersive effect due to its claustrophobic setting and realistic found-footage approach. Adding these new elements to the formula will only enhance its strengths. Get ready to smell the death and decay in the apartment complex from hell.

Still, 4DX does have its naysayers. Critics equate the technology to a theme park ride, so this re-release won’t be every horror fan’s cup of tea. The format might be too distracting for some viewers, too, and that’s understandable. But [REC] is the type of movie 4DX was created for, and Balagueró believes that most fans will be pumped for it.

“I’m so thrilled to know that both old and new fans of ‘[REC]’ will be able to see the film in such a special format. The experience will be so powerful, that it will be like watching ‘[REC]’ for the first time all over again!”

Regardless of how [REC] gets released, it’s going to strike a chord with audiences all over again. While there aren’t any zombies lurking in the shadows of the real world at the moment, the film’s depiction of an outbreak is utterly terrifying. Even though it was released in 2007, [REC] is a movie that reflects contemporary anxieties and then some. I find it quite funny that one of the movies that could save theaters during a pandemic is one that will remind audiences of the state of the current world. Hopefully, it will at least scare more people into wearing masks.

In other news:

There are some new Stephen King adaptations in the works from Ben Stiller, Darren Aronofsky, and Ryan Murphy. They are developing Rat, The Life of Chuck, and Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, respectively.

Relic director Natalie Erika James is working on three new movies. One is a Japanese folk horror film in the vein of Rosemary’s Baby and The Wicker Man, which she says will explore “the trauma of childbirth.” The other movies will focus on demons and body horror.

Check out the trailer for Brandon Cronenberg‘s Possessor. He’s making his old man proud. You should also read our own Rob Hunter’s review.

Kelly Marie Tran has joined Hulu’s Monsterland, an anthology series based on Nathan Ballingrud’s stories about fantasy creatures. She joins a cast that includes Kaitlyn Dever, Taylor Schilling, and Mike Colter. Horror anthologies continue to thrive, but you should also watch Harper’s Island for old time’s sake.

Paul W.S. Anderson thinks the beasts in Monster Hunter look better than the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. I love his optimism, and the movie actually sounds pretty fun.

Kieran Fisher: Kieran is a Contributor to the website you're currently reading. He also loves the movie Varsity Blues.