|Directed by||Jaume Balagueró
|Produced by||Julio Fernández|
|Written by||Jaume Balagueró
Luis A. Berdejo
María Teresa Ortega
Chen Min Kao
|Editing by||David Gallart|
|Distributed by||Filmax International (Spain) and Fox Searchlight Pictures (USA, 2011-present)|
|Running time||78 minutes|
REC is a 2007 Spanish supernatural horror film co-written and directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza. The title comes from the abbreviation of the word RECORD on video cameras. The film is in Spanish and was filmed in Barcelona, Spain.
Balaguero and Plaza previously directed the 2002 documentary OT, The Movie. REC was filmed using shaky camerawork as a found footage film. The film was remade, with most of the story line being similar apart from changing the demonic possession into rabies, in the United States as the 2008 film Quarantine.
As of 2011, Fox Searchlight Pictures, the independent film label of 20th Century Fox, purchased the international rights to the REC franchise and will also release future films in the United States, starting with REC 3: Genesis.
REC follows a television reporter, Ángela Vidal, and her cameraman, Pablo, who cover the night shift in one of Barcelona's local fire stations for the fictional documentary television series While You're Asleep. The firehouse receives a call about an old woman who is trapped in her apartment. When they arrive, Ángela and Pablo film the police breaking down the door. The woman becomes extraordinarily aggressive and bites one of the policemen. Meanwhile, the terrified residents gather in the entrance hall and look on as the firefighters and military seal off the building. A firefighter who remained in the old woman's apartment is bitten and plummets through the stairwell to the lobby floor. The camera crew, remaining Firefighter and the second policeman go up again and are attacked. The officer shoots the old woman. The camera crew remains trapped inside the building with the residents and continue recording in spite of the firefighters' pressure. Ángela interviews a little girl named Jennifer who lives in the building. Jennifer is ill with what her mother claims is tonsillitis. She says her dog, Max, is at the veterinarian because he appeared to be sick as well.
A health inspector wearing a hazmat suit arrives and attempts to treat the injured, who become suddenly and fiercely violent despite their critical injuries. The health inspector explains that the time frame in which the disease takes effect varies by blood type. The health inspector also reveals that sometime during the previous day, a dog with the illness was taken to the veterinarian; the dog became violent and attacked and killed other pets at the clinic. The dog was euthanized, and was traced back to the apartment building. Jennifer, the girl who owned the dog, then suddenly vomits blood on her mother and escapes upstairs. The policeman handcuffs the mother on the stairs and proceeds upstairs with Manu. Pablo follows them. They find Jennifer, and the policeman tries to subdue her with a syringe that the inspector gave him, but she bites him. Manu and Pablo run outside where they find that the infected are trying to burst in the hallway through the textile shop. They are forced to leave the handcuffed woman and they run upstairs into an apartment, where the inspector tells the distraught residents that this unknown but virulent disease is infecting people, causing them to turn into bloodthirsty savages. More and more people in the building become infected, and Ángela, Manu and Pablo are forced to fight them off. Eventually they learn that there is a key to a door in the apartment building workshop, which leads to an exit via the sewer system. However, the key is located on the third floor in the manager's apartment.
After finding the key, Ángela and Pablo appear to be the only human survivors, everyone else being dead or infected. Rather than making their way to the workshop, they are forced upstairs to the penthouse by the remaining infected. They then search the penthouse and discover that its former owner was an agent of the Vatican who was charged with researching and isolating a suspected virus believed to be the biological cause of demonic possession, which was later confirmed to exist in a young girl who was possessed. The agent kidnapped and brought the girl to the penthouse to conduct his research and possibly cure her; during this time the virus managed to mutate and become contagious. The agent decided to seal her off, presumably to let her die of starvation and dehydration. A door to the attic opens and Pablo uses his camera to look inside. A boy jumps at the camera and breaks its light. Pablo turns on the night vision to see in the dark and discovers the sealed door referred to earlier by the agent on an audio tape. The agent abandoned his efforts to cure the girl after failing to engineer a vaccine. The Medeiros girl, now a horribly emaciated figure, begins searching the penthouse, unaware of Ángela and Pablo's presence. Ángela and Pablo try to escape, but Pablo trips and is viciously attacked with a hammer by the Medeiros girl, causing Pablo to drop the camera. Ángela picks it up and runs, only to fall and drop the camera as well. She searches for it in the dark but is unable to find it. The camera continues to record as the cries and screams of the possessed Tristana Medeiros are heard on the tape recorder, and Ángela is dragged into the darkness, screaming.
The film premiere was in August 2007 at the 64th Venice International Film Festival, out of competition. It was also shown in October at the Sitges Film Festival and at the Málaga International Week of Fantastic Cinema in November, before going on general release in Spain later that month. It was also shown in February 2008 at the Glasgow Film Festival and had a UK release in April. It was released on DVD in North America in 2009.
- Manuela Velasco - Ángela Vidal
- Ferrán Terraza - Manu
- Jorge-Yaman Serrano - Young Policeman
- Pablo Rosso - Pablo
- David Vert - Álex
- Vicente Gil - Adult policemen
- Martha Carbonell - Mrs. Izquierdo
- Carlos Vicente - Guillem Marimón
- María Teresa Ortega - Grandmother
- Manuel Bronchud - Grandfather
- Akemi Goto - Japanese woman
- Chen Min Kao - Chinese man
- María Lanau - Mari Carmen, Jennifer's mother
- Claudia Silva - Jennifer
- Carlos Lasarte - César
- Javier Botet - Tristana Medeiros
- Ben Temple - Doctor
- Ana Velasquez - Colombian girl
- Daniel Trinh - Chinese Children
- Marita Borrego - Operadoras Cuartel Bomberos
- Jana Prats - Operadoras Cuartel Bomberos (as Ana Prats)
- Víctor Massagué - child Attic
- Javier Coromina - Voice of Pablo
REC received acclaim from most critics. As of July 30, 2012, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 96% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 23 reviews. Reviewing the film for the BBC, Jamie Russell called it "A runaway rollercoaster of a fright flick", praising the "faux-docu handheld style", and the sense of claustrophobia and confusion, claiming "[Rec] will definitely jangle the nerves", while criticising the lack of substance and "one-dimensional" supporting cast.
Bloody Disgusting gave the film four and a half stars out of five, with the reviewer saying, "[REC] has it all and is probably one of the best Spanish horror films in recent memory." Bloody Disgusting later ranked the film eleventh in their list of the 'Top 20 Horror Films of the Decade', with the article saying "Out of all the “shaky-cam” films... this one is arguably the best."
It also received a number of awards:
- Goya Awards (22nd edition, 2008): Best New Actress (Manuela Velasco), Best Editing (David Gallart). Nomination: Best Special Effects (David Ambid, Enric Masip and Álex Villagrasa)
- Fantasporto 2008: Best Film Prize
- Fantastic'Arts festival of Gérardmer 2008: Jury Prize, Prize of the young Public, Prize of the Public
- Festival de Cine de Sitges 2007 : Prize of the Public, Critics Prize, Best Director Award, Best Actress Award for Manuela Velasco.
- Reaper Award 2009: best Indie/Foreign production
The sequel, REC 2, premiered in September 2009, at the Venice Film Festival, and was commercially released in Spain in October. The sequel deals with the events immediately following the end of the first film.
REC 3: Genesis is the third installment of the series. It was released in theaters in Spain on March 30, 2012. REC 4: Apocalypse is scheduled to be released in 2014.
- BBFC (2008). "[REC]". British Board of Film Classification. BBFC. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- "Rec (2007)". Boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 2010-05-05.
- The New York Times (2012). "REC (2007)". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
- Sitges Film Festival (5). "REC by Paco Plaza and Jaume Balagueró: encouraging presentation in Sitges". Sitges Film Festival. Edifici Sitges Reference. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- "Rec Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2012-07-30.
- Jamie Russell (2008-04-08). "Movies - review - Rec". BBC. Retrieved 2010-05-05.
- Bloody Disgusting Staff (8). "'Haute Tension’ in Chicago – March 13th and 18th!". Bloody Disgusting. BLOODY DISGUSTING LLC. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- Bloody Disgusting Staff (16). "00′s Retrospect: Bloody Disgusting’s Top 20 Films of the Decade…Part 2". Bloody Disgusting. Bloody Disgusting LLC. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- Masked Slasher (13). "2009 Reaper Award Winners!". Dread Central. Dread Central Media, LLC. Retrieved 22 August 2012.