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By James Whittington, Thursday 20th November 2008 Spanish horror hit [REC] is, to put it simply one of the most inventive and effective fright flicks of recent times. Rightly applauded by critics the world over it captured the attention of audiences wherever it played and proved to the world that hits such as The Orphanage and Hipnos (which was shown recently on Zone Horror) that
[REC] tells the story of a young TV reporter, Angela who along with her loyal cameraman Pablo are recording a real-life late night news programme when things go horribly wrong. What appears to be a routine emergency call quickly turns to hell as the team are trapped inside a building with no means of escape as things go from bad to worse. The only thing that matters is trying escape while capturing everything on camera.
Paco Plaza and Jaume Balaguero, the film is a claustrophobic excursion into our deepest fears. It has a constant sense of dread running through it which creates a feeling of horrifying unease, this builds an amazing atmosphere which is lacking in so many recent horror movies. The way in which the “evil” moves throughout the building is truly unnerving and delicately done to help increase the ever present sense of dread. When the nasty zombie-style beasts finally rear their rotting heads it’s a cracking piece of film making coupled with some stunning SFX. Although the footage is captured on hand-held cameras this is not a Blair Witch or Cloverfield clone, [REC] is very unique in its style and execution and directors Plaza and Balaguero should be applauded for keeping it feeling so original. The whole cast provide solid performances, in fact, rumour has it that they were sometimes kept in the dark about what shocks to expect so their reactions to some situations were very real. But to me the movie belongs to Manuela Velasco as Angela, her take as a person stuck in the middle of a living nightmare is at times startling and very moving.
In the end [REC] is an excellent excursion into a nightmare filled world and one that will have you hiding behind the sofa not long after the opening titles.
[REC] is being released on 2-disc DVD by Contender Entertainment Group on August 11th.
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