Rec is a simple title for an incredibly complex, scary, and immersive Spanish horror movie. It’s the best found-footage movie I have ever seen and a damn fine horror movie. And this is coming from a guy who doesn’t like found-footage movies. However, Rec ticks almost all the other boxes I love so much. It’s a single-location intense and scary experience unfolding in real-time. And I would love to expand on other details but I don’t want to spoil anything for you. This is one of those movies you just need to play without much previous research. Just dive into it and you’ll be greatly rewarded.
In fact, fuck this text you’re reading right now. If you haven’t seen it, you should do it immediately. But not before sourcing the 2009 and 2014 sequels Rec 2 and Rec 4: Apocalypse. Rec 2 picks up the story right where the original left it and it reminds me of the Aliens concept. Mostly because we will be following the strike team responding to the events we’ve seen taking place in the original. And Rec 4: Apocalypse picks up the story after the events portrayed in the sequel. The third, Rec 3: Genesis is a stand-alone sequel also worth watching.
The thing I love doing is playing the original movie, Rec 2007 to unsuspecting friends and scaring the shit out of them. I mean, the whole story starts so innocently with poor Angela trying to get some scoops in the fire station. And from there it develops so naturally that it’s genuinely frightening. We will be following her and her cameraman Pablo as they ride along with a group of firemen responding to an emergency. What seemed like an open and shut case, soon starts getting more and more complicated.
Since this is a found-footage movie, you feel like you’re right there with our heroes, trying to figure out what’s going on. The dialogues are believable and realistic. Just pay attention to the dynamic between the old couple, it’s pure gold. It also helps that our lead, Manuela Velasco, playing the role of TV reporter Angela is a real TV reporter! She was infinitely cute breathing life into an already masterfully written character.
All of these things pull you into this slowly escalating story and make the surreal events you’re about to witness feel more real. I should also add that all locations are real. This means that there were no sets or anything like that. And it fucking shows! If you ever had an emergency in the apartment building you live, everything will feel familiar. The pacing was relentless and with a runtime of just over seventy minutes, Rec is going to be over before you know it. And that finale was something else. Just so you know, that’s not CGI but a real man, Javier Botet.
Unlike other found-footage horror movies, Rec features excellent make-up and practical effects. The finale was especially gory, frightening, and disturbingly creepy. I would also add that it has a special weight after the events we lived through recently. Yes, I’m talking about the pandemic. If you’re looking for movies like Rec, I suggest you check out Containment and Diary of the Dead. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention my favorite Jaume Balaguero movie, Sleep Tight.
Finally, I want to add that if you ever happen to find yourself in Barcelona, excuse me, Barthelona, the building you’re looking for is: Cedimatexsa building, Rambla de Catalunya, 34, Eixample district. I know, I’ll be sure to visit this place if I ever make it to sunny Spain.
Directors: Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza
Writers: Jaume Balagueró, Luiso Berdejo, Paco Plaza
Cast: Manuela Velasco, Pablo Rosso, Jorge-Yamam Serrano, David Vert, Vicente Gil
Fun Facts: The filmmakers Jaume and Paco didn’t plan on any sequels but after the huge success of the original they actually made three.