[•REC] (2007) Reviews of classic Spanish found-footage horror

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‘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.

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…

“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).” 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.” 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.” 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 Doctor AC

Blu-ray release:
On January 4th 2021, Arrow Video released a new Blu-ray edition of the film with the following special features:
High Definition Blu-ray presentation with two viewing options: the “”theatrical version”” (24fps, 1080p, 78 mins) as shown in cinemas, and the “”production version”” (25fps, 1080i, 75 mins) as originally filmed
Original Spanish DTS-HD MA 5.1 and 2.0 audio options on both versions
Optional English subtitles
New audio commentary by film critic and historian Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, author of Found Footage Horror: Fear and the Appearance of Reality
Archive commentary by directors Jaume Balaguero & Paco Plaza
The Making of [REC], an archive featurette examining the process of production featuring interviews with cast & crew
How to Shoot a Horror Movie, a French-language featurette presented by directors Jaume Balaguero & Paco Plaza
Archive interview with Jaume Balaguero & Paco Plaza looking back on the film
The Fantastic Four, an archive panel discussion with [REC] directors Jaume Balaguero, Paco Plaza and new wave Spanish horror contemporaries Gonzalo Lopez Callego and Juan Antonio Bayona
On-set footage of the cast and crew at work on key scenes including the attack on Mrs Izquierdo and the climb to hell
Archive interview with the director of photography Pablo Rosso
Archive interview with sound supervisor Xavi Mas
Archive interview with sound designer Oriol Tarragó
Confidences, a video diary by star Manuela Velasco
Deleted and extended scenes, including Fire Station Redux, The Secret Archive and Corridors of Nails
Casting, original video footage from the audition process
Trailers and TV spots
Image gallery
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Adam Rabalais
First pressing only: Illustrated collectors’ booklet with new writing on the film by Xavier Aldana Reyes

YouTube reviews:


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


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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