Journey into horror territory
by Alfonso Rivera
- " A horror story told live and in real time, beginning with the perspective of a single video camera immersed in the action, as if it were a fake news story"
In Barcelona, a young television reporter and her cameraman follow a group of fire-fighters for a routine news story on a routine night. An alarm suddenly goes off in a building. Upon arriving on the spot, the fire-fighters are warned by the neighbours that strange things are happening inside and no one is coming out of the building. This is the premise for REC [+see also:
interview: Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza
interview: Julio Fernández
film profile], co-directed by Jaume Balagueró (The Nameless, Darkness [+see also:
film profile], Fragile [+see also:
film profile]) and Paco Plaza (Second Name, The Werewolf Manhunt, Films to Keep You Awake: The Christmas Tale).
With a realistic, documentary-like aesthetic highly reminiscent of The Blair Witch Project, but more polished and with the narrative techniques of television (audiences see and experience the film as an 80-minute reportage, almost in real time, through the eyes of the camera that accompanies the journalist at all times), the film is a successful and frightening journey into horror territory.
A blend of zombie movie and TV reality shows (the film has no score, all that is heard are the strange sounds of the gruesome pseudo-reality depicted), REC has all the ingredients to become a cult classic: it is modern, unconventional, original and uses new forms of communication. All this in a film that is pure horror, with continuous frights and descents into darkness that keep viewers’ tensions high throughout. Some of the screenplay’s strongest elements are its moments of calm, with scenes in which the main characters and neighbours are trapped in the infested building.
In Spain, audience expectations are extremely high, also because it was recently announced that there is US remake currently in the works, set in an L.A. apartment building. REC is scheduled to be released in Italy in early 2008
(Translated from Spanish)