Modern found footage horror film Rec is directed by Jaume Balagero and Paco Plaza, based around a TV reporter and cameraman who go into an apartment building to investigate what’s going on inside, the film stars Manuela Velasco, Ferran Terraza, Jorge-Yamam Serrano.
If you’re a Spanish horror film fan or just an avid horror fan then you’ve heard of and probably watched Rec, such is its great reputation and deservedly so in the sub-genre of found footage horror film which are bad 9 times out of 10, the story reels you in with its initial mystery and unanswered questions and the plot keeps your attention throughout. With the found footage aesthetic really working well to make a tense atmosphere in the film and really draw you in, what the film does isn’t exactly revolutionary but the camera work makes it pretty unsettling and and quite scary in parts, due in part to the good performances in the film, with Manuela Velasco as Angela Vidal for example, she’s great in the role and quite good in emotional scenes.
The lighting in scenes and sense of claustrophobia as well both contribute to that feeling of dread uncomfortably knowing whatever is in the building with the characters is unexplained and effectively un-seen for a lot of the film and also even if characters want to make a run for it, they have to do it in the dark and in a cramped apartment building. The setting makes for some good scares actually and with the verticality of the apartment, separate rooms and an attic, there are multiple arenas for thing to take place in, each their own unique and different experiences, rather than the film just being set in one house for example, the location is static but the action definitely isn’t.
The plot flows really well and exploring the setting with the characters is a bit of a thrill ride as you don’t really know what to expect and the hand held camera view used is practically a stand in for you as the viewer, as if you were in the situation, scared and unable to really do much. Rec works so well because it has effective, well worked scares and a great use of atmosphere and tension, it doesn’t try to re-invent the wheel but uses simple techniques to really engage you with its story, keeping you hooked as it goes along.
. Engaging plot
. Well worked scares and unsettling moments
. Hand held cam really works with the film but may be off putting to some people