The Blair Witch Project was big when it came out. The videos sold out and I was one of the many who helped build that reputation. I, unlike others who saw the film, didn’t actually watch the film before buying it. The hype brainwashed me.
The verdict? Let’s just say I don’t remember anything about the film except that it made me completely dizzy. Check that, I do remember the class scene where the girl made that classic whiny message to whomever was watching that she was scared to be in the woods at that moment. I don’t think I took that particular moment seriously.
I think when I saw that scene, the only one of the whole film that I remember, I laughed. Laughter should never be the intended reaction to such a serious moment in a film that is attempting to be serious. I should make a note to watch it again in the future and revise my opinion.
This leads me to REC.
In 2007, Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza released to the world a film to the world that could have easily been, if made in Hollywood, another cash grab using the same “found footage” style. Made out of a budget of two million dollars and making thirty-two million at the box office, the film became a franchise with two additional sequels with a future third entry set to be released this year. Hollywood, as always, paid attention enough to its success that they made their own remake with a completely different title (Quarantine, released the next year) and a few changes to the original story.
Now…I have nothing against Hollywood remaking films that were successful, or not successful during their original release. I do have an issue when the remake throws out elements, whether the story was the same or changed, that made the original work. In the case of Quarantine I take issue with the way they cast the film’s main character.
This is Manuela Velasco playing Angela Vidal in the original REC.
This is Jennifer Carpenter playing Angela Vidal in Quarantine.
The film’s plot in both instances, through the use of the found footage, first starts out at a fire station where Angela (a reporter covering night shift workers) and then in an apartment building quarantined thanks to a virus that changes the tenants of the building into bastard cousins of zombies. Angela in the original, as pictured in the first photo is presented to the audience as a hard-working insomniac who still manages to look good for the camera. The remake, in script as well as presentation, presents Angela as a recent-laid-back college graduate who really doesn’t seem too interested in her job as a reporter.
Although both the original and remake have other characters important to the story, I found I immediately was waiting for the end while watching the remake. I just couldn’t grab on to Angela or feel anything for her. She was “meh” to the writers, a means of guiding audiences through the plot and to the jump scares and gore that Hollywood feels audiences will react to. If one character annoys me, others probably will unless they are written to be the complete opposite.
But who cares about character right? In America, it’s all about the easy thrills. I get it. I just wish the way it was shot was better so that I had a distraction.
There’s just something paparazzi about the way this is done in the remake…..
As opposed to the original…..
I will go into this more in part two.