You may not have heard of Terrorflicks.com. In the world of online horror reviews and news, this fresh-from-the-grave hub is still moldy behind the ears, so to speak. You may have heard a whimper from them, a moan, a distant ghastly wail. Or you may have heard nothing. Dead silence.
Either way, you ought to have heard of them. For a website fixated on zombies, demons, and enough blood to paint twelve hell-portals, they’re shockingly friendly and fun. They recently published an article highlighting re-imagined, minimalist horror movie posters, which gives you an idea of how diverse their content is. It’s not just reviews. They’ve got a series called “Stayin’ Alive” which provides tips on surviving genre-standard predicaments. They have quizzes. They review games, music, trailers, books, and shorts in addition to feature-length movies.
Oh, and they recently published a review of mine, a grudge match pitting the Spanish handheld-camera demonic-zombie fun-ride REC 2 against the sequel to the Hollywood remake of the first film, Contagion 2: Terminal. Don’t be fooled by their common origins: these are totally different films. And even the worst of the two is frightfully decent.
The two flicks face each other through several rounds in which they prove to be eerily evenly matched. Whenever the match seemed decided, the underdog came delivered an out-of-nowhere left hook that left the prevailing champ blinded. Take, for example,
Location: Terminal vs. Tenement
As its subtitle suggests, “Quarantine 2” moves the series away from its cramped, dingy apartment building and takes to the sky, courtesy of Trans Sky airlines. As anybody who’s spent any serious time in the air knows, however, airplanes can be just as dingy and cramped as the seediest tenement block. From insufficient overhead lights and ink-black windows to lots of close-quarters sniffling, “Quarantine 2’s” first act admirably captures the malaise of air travel. When a crazed passenger attacks one of the flight attendants, resulting in a turbulent emergency landing, the change of scenery doesn’t necessarily make anything nicer. If anything, the scuffed walls and labyrinthine clutter of Las Vegas Airport’s “ramp-up staging area” is darker and seedier than most other real-world locales I could name. Don’t mistake its comparably wide-open spaces for a lack of zombie hiding spot — “Quarantine 2” milks those stray forklifts and sinuous conveyer belts for all they’re worth.
In contrast, “REC 2” stays close to home. It’s a nostalgic return trip to the site of the original outbreak, mysteriously silent upon the arrival of the Special Forces team called in to clean up the mess. The apartment building still has a few secret passages to disclose — a few of which stretch the imagination when you consider the scale involved — but the majority of the journey is through all-too-familiar territory. Balagueró and Plaza made terrifying use of every toilet, closet, and stairwell in the original film, as the pools of blood coating nearly every surface attest. There are still some scares to be pulled out of crawlspaces and hidden chambers, but there’s no denying that its American cousin wins for originality. Plus, the use of an already blood-soaked area means “REC 2” has to hit the slippery ground running, resulting in a few tumbles in the first act when not enough tension has built to justify high-stakes scenes.
Read the full review, and discover the winner, here.