When reporter Angela Vidal (Manuela Velasco) and cameraman Pablo (Pablo Rosso) begin filming for a routine documentary capturing the life of a nigh shift in a fire station they can’t begin to imagine the horror that awaits them on their first call of the night.
In the midst of a spate of docu-horrors, Spanish film Rec holds its own. Whilst Cloverfield achieved success from the hype leading to its release, Rec bypasses such gimmicks and instead provides a thrilling 78 minute piece.
The realism inherent in Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza’s Rec is not just skin deep. Although it is true the whole film is told through the lens of one camera, it is things like Valesco in fact being a real presenter and the fact that no sets were made for the film that makes it that more harrowing. And harrowing it is; there are some truly terrifying bits that might have you jumping out of your seat whilst the entrapment endured by firefighters, film crew and apartment block inhabitants alike is very convincing.
Due to the nature of its story-telling process you may find that the film lacks any conclusion or explanation, but, luckily, it does add to the enjoyment.
Reviewing the film from an English perspective, the subtitles never feel intrusive and the more chaotic scenes seem to benefit from being in a foreign language as it adds to the tension.
Best line: ‘We have to tape everything, Pablo. For fuck’s sake.’
Best performance: Everyone adds their own part to the tension in the film, but it would have to be the woman who the firefighters initially set out to help…
Best bit: The first encounter with the crazy old lady is memorable…