Written & Directed by Jaume Balagueró & Paco Plaza
Starring: Manuela Velasco, Ferran Terraza and Jorge-Yamam Serrano
A television reporter and cameraman follow emergency workers into a dark apartment building and are quickly locked inside with something terrifying.
[REC] is one of the movies I’ve been meaning to watch for a long time. I didn’t know much about it. I was aware that a lot of horror fans liked it and that the movie Quarantine was based on this film. I went in pretty blind. Oh, how my eyes have been opened.
This is the reason I fell in love with horror at a young age. The suspense this film creates is almost overwhelming at times. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen and I found myself grinding my teeth during several scenes. This is a legit and pulse-pounding film. You can have a lot of cerebral reactions to a good horror movie, but watching something this terrifying while you sit alone in a dark room is just the absolute best.
Found-footage films suck most of the time. Filming a mediocre movie in this manner doesn’t add any magic if there isn’t any to start with. [REC] certainly doesn’t have to worry about being mediocre. This film draws you in from its lighthearted beginning and then forces you deeper into fear as this creepy plot unfolds.
A local television crew shadows a fire department on its mundane and uneventful evening. The boring night is interrupted by a call reporting an elderly woman at a tenant building is in distress. What seems to be a standard-issue call quickly turns into a tidal wave of raw and jaw grinding terror.
The tenants are gathered in the first floor hallway, each stating that they heard screaming and cries for help. The woman in question is a shut-in and no one ever sees her. A policeman is already there when the two-person film crew and rescue workers arrive. The firemen are quickly called into action. They enter the woman’s apartment and it becomes obvious that something is terribly wrong.
“OMG! I accidentally heard a few seconds of Nickelback in the car!”
The remainder of the movie takes its sweet time to build to a fever-pitch. The acting is excellent, something about the chaotic nature of the cameraman’s POV adds a real sense of accuracy to the already panicked theme. You’re rooting so hard for the camera crew to make it out alive as they somehow manage to avoid death at every turn.
The pacing of [REC] is perfect. The uneasiness you feel in the beginning of the film washes out to pure horror, and it’s done with such well-timed precision. The last five minutes of this movie are absolutely horrifying. I sat with brow wrinkled and fists clenched, shocked in the end. They took an already bad ass movie and then covered with an extra layer of pure, base evil. You’ll want to add this to your queue as soon as possible.