31 Scary Movies: ‘[REC]’

“[REC]” (2007) – This Spanish horror film – that spawned three sequels and an American remake (and sequel) – generates plenty of fear with its effective documentary-style screenplay, but “[REC]” is a frightening concept, no matter what method is used to convey its story.

Local television reporter Angela Vidal (Manuela Velasco) is after a story too!  She’s the host of “While You’re Asleep”, and tonight, she’s filming – with her cameraman Pablo (Pablo Rosso) – the Bravo 128 Fire Company.

They will document how firemen live, work, and eat!

With no incoming emergencies, an atmosphere of relaxation and laughter breezes through the firehouse, and Angela interviews some firemen, tries on a uniform (that’s ten sizes too big), films the mess hall and the trusty pole.  Her job isn’t all fun and games, however, because once things get busy, Angela and Pablo – like embedded war correspondents – shadow a pair of firemen, Alex (David Vert) and Manu (Ferran Terraza).

Alex and Manu receive a call that a woman is screaming from apartment, so they go to investigate and help!  Directors Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza then gin up some horrific surprises, as the firemen and reporters find themselves – and everyone else in an apartment building – in life-threatening danger.

With Angela and Pablo inside, we, the audience, received a first-hand documented-look at the grizzly developments.  Pablo’s camera is our guide!   Balaguero and Plaza deliver a deliciously evil twist on a specific horror genre (which this critic will not reveal in this review), and in the process, execute an effective claustrophobic movie, contained with the said building.

Contained is the right adjective, because, there is no escape within a maze of hallways, open and closed doors and dark rooms.

Don’t recommend this film to a reporter, cameraman/woman or fireman/woman, because he or she will immediately switch careers.  Then again, maybe “[REC]” is required viewing!

Image credits: Magnet Releasing; Trailer credits: N.B.

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