Docu-style shocker

Rising Spanish duo Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza give the predictable horror genre a fresh context and style in [Rec]. It begins with a TV crew filming a documentary live from a fire station. They’re called out to a block of flats where horrifying events unfold.

[Rec] is filmed in real time from the viewpoint of a handheld camera and this is vital to the film’s originality and realism, allowing the audience to experience the same emotion, fright and bewilderment that reporter Ángela endures. Balagueró and Plaza employ graphic scenes as the plot progresses, but the beauty is that this is never overplayed, therefore allowing them to entice and intrigue. The mystery of what’s going on is gripping, although a weaker finale may prove to be disappointing after the tense build-up. The American remake (renamed Quarantine) is already in production.

Sarah Davies

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