[Rec] is a documentary-style Spanish Horror film that starts following a journalist TV reporter Ángela Vidal (Manuela Velasco) and her cameraman, Pablo (who mainly remains off-screen) as they film a piece in the local Fire Station in Barcelona. They accompany some firemen to a callout of a person trapped in an apartment needing rescue and when they arrive they find a very strange situation indeed.
It creates what feels like a very authentic environment in some ways, with the engaging screen presence of Manuela Velasco always looking like a reporter trying to continue to film the story in an increasingly frustrating and scary environment (Pablo has to be quite a patient cameraman to put up with her at times though!) unlike other similar style films in the genre where you are forever asking why would they be filming still? It effectively portrays a claustrophobic atmosphere and has a couple of really nice moments – Fireman Alex appearing in the lobby and the girl and old lady upstairs being two of the best – I won’t say any more than that.
The apartment residents drag you into their increasingly frantic world as the film progresses and despite a final scene which threatens to send the story wallowing into superstitious/religious nonsense it actually wraps up very efficiently.
Intense, chaotic, screamy, at times gory, [Rec] is basically a Spanish, urban ‘Blair WItch Project’, but a very effective one.
4 on 5
Directed: Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza
Starring: Manuela Velasco, Ferrán Terraza, Jorge-Yaman Serrano, Pablo RossoUK Release: 11th April 2008