Young TV reporter Angela (cutie-pie Manuela Velasco) and her unseen cameraman Pablo (Pablo Rosso) spend the night with a Barcelona fire station, filming for their show "While You Are Asleep". While responding to a call at an apartment building, two firefighters, Angela and Pablo find the police trying to speak to an elderly woman inside. The woman attacks a policeman and one of the firefighters, badly wounding them before she is shot and killed. As the remaining policeman trys to calm down the building's residents, the entire building is suddenly quarantined by the government. No one is allowed out due to an unspecified "biological hazard". When the "dead" old woman and critically injured people turn viciously violent, the remaining people inside find themselves slowly being cornered and slaughtered.
I loved [Rec]. While it is an example of "shaky cam" cinema, I've never had a problem with that. The "suspension of disbelief" comes much easier for me with the hand-cam likes of Cloverfield, Blair Witch and the like. But I think even detractors of those kind of movies will like [Rec].
The movie is a bit slow at the beginning but builds a claustrophobic suspense later. Despite the fantastic premise, I found myself "believing" [Rec]. Clocking in at about 85 minutes, the movie doesn't have much time to develope the characters but I still identified with the terrified residents and wondering how I would deal with the situation.
So, is [Rec] a perfect horror movie? Well, no, not perfect. A few tired old cliches are still dragged out and whle the jump scares were effective, they were still just jump scares. And while the penultimate scene is novel (and the final "monster"-wow!), the last few frames are very predictable.
[Rec] was followed by a sequel, [Rec]2 in 2009. Additionally, an American version, Quarantine, was released in 2008. Quarantine is available on Netflix instant-view
I haven't seen [Rec]2 yet and I have heard it's not even close to the original for scary viewing. Still, I'll probably check it out based on the strength of the original. I can't say much about Quarantine althought I have scanned through it quickly. Seems to be a shot-for-shot remake of [Rec] though I really haven't watched completely. So, until I give it an honest shot, the jury is still out.