UK Release date: 11th April 2008
Watched on DVD Monday 20th June 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I first have to admit to having seen the Hollywood treatment of this film in the guise of Quarantine (2008). To be honest, this telling of the story is far better in just about every way! It is very very creepy and I’m really glad I didn’t watch it in the dead of night. It is a Spanish film (with subtitles) and it looks almost like a home movie, so I guess if you can’t handle ‘shakeycam’, as I call it, then this is definitely not for you.
A TV reporter, Ángela Vidal and her cameraman, Pablo, are doing a programme about what the Firemen do during the night. It all starts of light-hearted enough with a tour of the station and introductions with the two Firemen they will be following, Manu and Álex. Just when boredom was about to really set in they get a call. A woman has become trapped in her apartment and the Firemen are called to get her out. They arrive at the building and eventually open the door. The woman looks very distressed and an ambulance is called for. At this point she attacks one of the Policemen there, biting his face. They take him downstairs only to find the building has been sealed from the outside and the authorities will not allow anyone out. I’ll leave it there so as not to incur the wrath of the ‘Spoiler Police’ and hope it’s enough to peek you interest.
It is all shot on one hand-held camera and so does suffer a little from ‘shakeycam’ as I mentioned earlier. This does not detract from what is a very atmospheric and genuinely scary movie. I can see why Hollywood remade it… I just wish they had done half as good a job as these guys did. Good performances all round, particularly from; Manuela Velasco as Ángela Vidal, Ferran Terraza as Manu, Jorge-Yamam Serrano as Policía Joven, Pablo Rosso as Pablo and David Vert as Álex.
I did find that the story did start to briefly fall a little flat in the middle, but it’s only 75 minutes long, so it didn’t last long. It is definitely one of the scariest things I’ve seen in a very long time. A really well thought out plot combined with some great performances make for an experience you won’t forget in a hurry… For those that like to be scared witless, highly recommended… the rest of you… watch at your peril.
My Score: 8.6/10