The Spanish film [REC] is a so called ‘Found Footage’ film and it’s not even a bad one! Angela and Pablo, a television reporter and her cameraman, are working on a program and therefore follow a group of firefighters. The first half hour of the film is actually like you’re watching a documentary about firefighter and what they do at night in the barracks. The excitement starts when an emergency call brings them to a dark apartment building where something scary is happening. Once they are inside they have to stay inside with the horror that’s among them.
Angela, the television reporter, is played by Manuela Velasco. Like the journalist she is, she wants her cameraman to record everything. Velasco shows a character who is at first quite unimpressed because nothing is happening. But once they are called to an emergency, things get really ugly. In the beginning she just want to make a nice show and give a proper view on what’s happening before and during an emergency. But this emergency is not quite what anyone could expect. Angela is no after answers and desperately needs to know what is happening and why. Pablo the cameraman is the one who records everything. Sometimes I just thought: “Dude, put down that camera and help the others!” He’s the only person we never see but the actor Pablo Rosso makes sure we get to see an exciting horror film, a bit unsteady sometimes which is only normal with Found Footage films.
[REC] is a horror film that never really get that scary. The suspense is very real though, but first you need to get through the boring part inside the barracks. Like I mentioned before, the first 20 – 30 minutes of the film are like a normal documentary about firefighters. What they do at night when everybody else is asleep is something Angela and Pablo wants to find out. When they find themselves locked inside an apartment, along two firefighters – Manu (Ferran Terraza) and Alex (David Vert) – two police agents and the residents, Angela and Pablo get more than they bargained for. Once we see what’s happening inside a certain home, we already know what we are dealing with. Therefore some things are very predictable and when you are familiar with Found Footage films, you know how this film ends.
The lack of typical horror music is a relief. It doesn’t push you in a certain direction of give you some kind of expectation. Therefore the surprise is bigger when something happens, but some might still think it’s too predictable. There was one moment I was really surprised, but in general I saw things coming from a distance. The attacks are very freaky though, predictable or not, they look very scary. Definitely no jump scares. There is also no sympathy for the characters. If they live or the die, who cares. They do get very scared and freak out at some point. When someone from outside enters the building, events takes a drastic turn and Angela get some of her answers. But what she and Pablo find in the apartment on the highest floor, raises more questions. Therefore the film seems unfinished. Evil has not been defeated and the building is still in lock down. Maybe [REC] 2 gives the answers but to me one film is enough.
[REC] is a Found Footage horror film that is for most people quite predictable. Once the boring part – that looks like a normal documentary about firefighters – is over, the excitement starts. The film doesn’t have a typical horror score, but the tension is there. No jump scares though or sympathy for the characters, but the attacks look very real and creepy. There is a second and third film in this Spanish series, but I don’t see the need to watch them.