REC aka [•REC] – Spain, 2007

‘Experience fear’

REC – stylized as [•REC]; short for “record”- is a 2007 Spanish found footage horror feature film co-written and directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza. The movie stars Manuela Velasco, Ferran Terraza, Jorge-Yamam Serrano and Pablo Rosso.

REC was both a commercial and critical success; it is now recognised as one of the best films in the found footage genre.

Plot:

A reporter and her cameraman covering a firefighter intervention in an apartment building in Barcelona; as the situation escalates after some of the building’s occupants show animalistic and murderous behaviour, they find themselves confined inside the perilous building…

Reviews:

“The faux-docu handheld style amps up the single-location claustrophobia brilliantly, wobbly-cam scenes shot on the hoof adding to the confusion as [REC] ticks off every zombie movie cliche: shouting characters, a kiddie ghoul and uncaring authorities (who, in a masterstroke, are seen only in silhouette as they vacuum pack the building in biohazard plastic).” Jamie Russell, BBC Online

[REC] is the quintessential example of found-footage done right. Loaded with superb acting, horrifying scares and genuine terror, [REC] is a must-see for genre buffs and horror aficionados alike.” Anthony Leroy, Bloodbath & Beyond

“The editing here is tremendous, hiding the necessary cuts that turn moments of fright into utter madness. Also impressive is the cast, who rarely give the gimmick away, even in a few comedic scenes included to give the viewer a needed rest […] conjuring reality is not an easy accomplishment, yet REC stays within the sight lines of plausibility, at least in terms of acting.” Brian Orndorf, DVD Talk

“With plentiful gore and little exposition, Balagueró, Plaza, and co-screenwriter Luiso Berdejo conjured a true (and all-too-rare) sense of urgency, terrifying viewers with the prospect of what lies just outside the camera’s viewfinder, with a mind-blowing third-act twist that made it much more just another fast-moving-zombies flick.” Horror 101 with Dr. AC

Cast and  characters:

  • Manuela Velasco … Ángela Vidal
  • Pablo Rosso … Pablo
  • Ferrán Terraza … Manu
  • David Vert … Álex
  • Jorge-Yaman Serrano … Sergio
  • Vicente Gil … Older Policemen
  • Carlos Vicente … Guillem Marimón
  • Carlos Lasarte … César
  • María Lanau … Mari Carmen
  • Claudia Silva … Jennifer
  • Martha Carbonell … Mrs. Izquierdo
  • Akemi Goto … Japanese Woman
  • Chen Min Kao … Chinese Man
  • María Teresa Ortega … Grandmother
  • Manuel Bronchud … Grandfather
  • Javier Botet … Tristana Medeiros
  • Ben Temple … Doctor
  • Ana Velasquez … Colombian Girl
  • Daniel Trinh … Chinese Children
  • Marita Borrego … Operadoras Cuartel Bomberos
  • Jana Prats … Operadoras Cuartel Bomberos (as Ana Prats)
  • Víctor Massagué … Child in Attic
  • Javier Coromina … Voice of Pablo

Sequels:

The film spawned the REC franchise, and was followed by three sequels: REC 2 directed by Balagueró and Plaza in 2009, REC 3: Genesis directed by Plaza in 2012, and REC 4: Apocalypse directed by Balagueró in 2014 as the final entry in the franchise, so far. The film was remade in the United States under the name Quarantine in 2008. That film also spawned a sequel, Quarantine 2.

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