In 2007 Spanish filmmakers Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza became the toast of the town when they directed and introduced the world to a new genre of zombie film in the form of [REC]. The easiest way to describe REC is its Blair Witch Project meets Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake. Admittedly I just committed sacrilege by comparing it to a remake and not the original but [REC] is not a philosophical zombie film like Romero’s Dawn of the Dead it’s a tight, tense, and terrifying film which is a perfect mix of Blair With filmmaking and Zack Snyder’s terrifying zombies.
[REC] unfolds in a single isolated building. Trapped in a quarantined Barcelona apartment building with residents, firefighters and a growing horde of ravenous zombies, television reporter Angela (Manuela Velasco) and her cameraman, Pablo, record brutal deaths and terrifying events while trying to stay alive.
Shot entirely in first person with English sub titles it comes off as an actual live news report. The tension is palpable and the creep factor is high as Paco Plaza and Jaume Balaguero lead the viewer down a road of clear and imminent doom. Clearly shot on a shoe string budget it is one of the most unique and truly scary zombie films I have seen in many years. If you are not typically a fan of foreign flicks you should still consider giving REC a shot as its combination of first person news reporting and Blair Witch Elements make it really work as a creepy and intense experience regardless of whether you would normally do a sub-titled film.
As a barometer of just how good [REC] is it came out in 2007 and in 2008 Hollywood remade it in English releasing the film under the title Quarantine and casting Dexter’s Jennifer Carpenter in the lead role. Although still a good movie and one I spoke highly of it is no match for the original. Quarantine was a fun waste of 90 minutes but [REC] even though I already knew the plot and outcome was a truly fantastic and scary experience. It’s currently available on Netflix on Demand which is where I watched it. I definitely encourage you to watch it! REC has since spawned 4 sequels, REC 2 which is now available and REC 3 and REC 4 which are not yet available to see.