Recently — without quite realizing I was doing it, because I just don’t pay enough attention to the behind the scenes stuff sometimes — I rented the original version of Quarantine, a Spanish film called [REC]. I also accidentally discovered that — on this DVD, at least — it’s possible to have both dubbing and subtitles on at the same time. It was weird, because they didn’t always match.
Recently — without quite realizing I was doing it, because I just don’t pay enough attention to the behind the scenes stuff sometimes — I rented the original version of Quarantine, a Spanish film called [REC]. I also accidentally discovered that — on this DVD, at least — it’s possible to have both dubbing and subtitles on at the same time. It was weird, because they didn’t always match. The dubbing had a little more of the dialogue, of course, but there were places where the voices were saying “cold” and the subtitles read “flu”, or people were saying “third floor” while the subtitles insisted “fifth floor”. I suppose Spain might do the same thing they do in England, where the first floor is called the ground floor and the second floor is then the first floor, but they were still off a floor and I’m not sure why.
But I digress. A lot.
As I settled down to watch, I realized it looked even more like Quarantine than one would usually expect from a remake. As in, it looked like they were using the exact same sets and possibly the exact same outfits as well. The main character’s name changes only in that Ángela Vidal has an accent mark in her name in [REC] and it’s gone for the remake. They didn’t keep the name Manu for one of the firemen, though, sadly.
So we have two virtually identical horror movies, made just a year apart (2007 and 2008). The plots are the same until the very last scene — [REC] leans towards religious fanaticism, while Quarantine leans more towards the Great God Science — and, shockingly, leaves the plot much more to the viewers’ imaginations than the original, which explains it all in those last few minutes. Imagine, Hollywood encouraging us to use our brains! Braaains…
*ahem* But what I keep thinking is, why did they bother remaking it at all? Doing it so soon implies that all they wanted was to catch the English-speaking audience, and that’s only because people in the U.S. in general never seem to want to watch movies with subtitles. Or dubbing, but there I kind of agree. [REC] wasn’t bad in that respect, but a lot of dubbing is just plain silly.
Lately, movie offerings have been reboots of one sort or another — as in Star Trek — as opposed to actual, faithful remakes. So that’s probably part of what makes this near-exact cloning seem so strange.
And now, of course, we also have [REC] 2. Rumor has it it takes place immediately after the events of [REC], presumably in the same dark, labyrinthine building. And we also have Quarantine 2, which, rumor has it, takes place in an airport. So much for cloning. [REC] was, I think, slightly better than its spawn, unsurprisingly; but I have a feeling Quarantine 2 won’t even register on the scale of “good” compared to its cousin [REC] 2. Oh, Hollywood. You were so promising for a minute or two.