REC (film)

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File:Rec poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by Julio Fernández
Written by
  • Paco Plaza
  • Luis A. Berdejo
  • Jaume Balagueró
  • Manuela Velasco
  • Ferrán Terraza
  • Jorge-Yamam Serrano
  • Pablo Rosso
  • David Vert
  • Vicente Gil
  • Martha Carbonell
  • Carlos Vicente
Cinematography Pablo Rosso
Edited by David Gallart
Distributed by Filmax International
Release dates
  • 23 November 2007 (2007-11-23)
Running time
75 minutes[1]
Country Spain
Language Spanish
Budget $2 million[2]
Box office $29.5 million[3]

REC (stylized as [REC]) is a 2007 Spanish zombie horror film, co-written and directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza.[1] The film was shot in Barcelona, Spain and the title is an abbreviation of the word "record", as it appears on a video camera.

Balaguero and Plaza previously directed the 2002 documentary OT: la película.[4] REC was filmed as a found footage film and used a "shaky camera" technique. The film was remade in the US as the 2008 film Quarantine.

As the first installment of the REC series, it was followed by three sequels; REC 2 in 2009, REC 3: Genesis in 2012, and REC 4 in 2014 as the final installment in the franchise.[5] Spanish company Filmax International is responsible for the production of the REC franchise and released all four installments.[6][7]

Plot summary

Reporter Ángela Vidal (Manuela Velasco), and her cameraman Pablo, are covering the night shift in one of Barcelona's local fire stations for the documentary television series While You're Sleeping. While they are recording, the firehouse receives a call about an old woman, Mrs. Izquierdo, who is trapped in her apartment and screaming. Ángela and Pablo accompany two of the firefighters, Álex and Manu, to the apartment building, where two police officers are waiting. As they approach the old woman, she becomes aggressive and attacks one of the officers, biting his neck.

As they carry the injured officer downstairs, they find the building's residents gathered in the lobby. The police and military have sealed off the building and trapped them inside. As people begin to panic, Álex, who remained upstairs with the old woman, is thrown over the staircase railings and seriously injured. The old woman then kills a girl, and the remaining officer, Sergio, is forced to shoot her. Ángela and Pablo begin interviewing the residents, including a sick little girl named Jennifer. Her mother Mari claims she has tonsillitis, and says her dog, Max, is at the vet because he is sick as well.

The injured are put in the building's textile warehouse. A health inspector in hazmat suit arrives and attempts to treat them. Suddenly, they become aggressive and start attacking other people. The residents flee and Guillem, an intern, is locked in the warehouse. The health inspector explains that they are infected with a virus similar to rabies, and the time in which the disease takes effect varies by blood type. He reveals the disease is traced back to a dog in the apartment building, and Ángela realizes it's Max. When the residents confront Mari, Jennifer turns, bites her mother's face and flees upstairs.

Sergio handcuffs Mari to the stairs and proceeds upstairs with Manu and Pablo. They find Jennifer but she bites Sergio, who tells the others to leave him. Manu and Pablo find the remaining residents running upstairs as the infected in warehouse have broken down the door. Leaving the handcuffed Mari behind, they enter an empty apartment along with Ángela, a resident called César, and the health inspector, who has been bitten. César mentions that there might be another way out through the basement, where there is a large drain that is connected to the sewers, but says the keys are in Guillem's apartment. The infected health inspector then bites César, forcing Ángela, Manu and Pablo to escape and fight their way up to Guillem's apartment on the fifth floor.

Having found the key, Ángela and Pablo leave the apartment and find Manu among the infected. The pair are chased upstairs, and take refuge in the penthouse. They discover a tape recorder which explains the virus' origin. The penthouse' owner was an agent of the Vatican. He was researching and isolating an enzyme believed to be the biological cause of demonic possession. He located a possessed young girl named Tristana Medeiros, kidnapped and brought her to the penthouse for research. During this time, the enzyme mutated and became viral. The agent, having no other options, sealed Tristana in the house, presumably to let her die of starvation.

Pablo reaches up with his camera to record around inside the attic. An infected child swipes at the camera and breaks its light, shrouding them in complete darkness. Pablo turns on the night vision and discovers a sealed door. Tristana, now a blind and horribly emaciated figure, emerges and searches the penthouse for food. Ángela and Pablo try to escape, but Pablo is killed by Tristana and drops the camera. Ángela then picks it up and look through the screen. Seeing Tristana eating Pablo, she panics, trips and drops the camera. The camera continues to record as Ángela is dragged into the darkness screaming.


  • Manuela Velasco as Ángela Vidal
  • Pablo Rosso as Pablo
  • Ferrán Terraza as Manu
  • David Vert as Álex
  • Jorge-Yaman Serrano as Sergio
  • Vicente Gil as Older Policemen
  • Carlos Vicente as Guillem Marimón
  • Carlos Lasarte as César
  • María Lanau as Mari Carmen
  • Claudia Silva as Jennifer
  • Martha Carbonell as Mrs. Izquierdo
  • Akemi Goto as Japanese Woman
  • Chen Min Kao as Chinese Man
  • María Teresa Ortega as Grandmother
  • Manuel Bronchud as Grandfather
  • Javier Botet as Tristana Medeiros
  • Ben Temple as Doctor
  • Ana Velasquez as Colombian Girl
  • Daniel Trinh as Chinese Children
  • Marita Borrego as Operadoras Cuartel Bomberos
  • Jana Prats - Operadoras Cuartel Bomberos (as Ana Prats)
  • Víctor Massagué as Child in Attic
  • Javier Coromina as Voice of Pablo


The film premiered in August 2007 at the 64th Venice International Film Festival, out of competition, in the opening and closing films sessions.[8] It was also shown in October 2007 at the Sitges Film Festival[9] and the Málaga International Week of Fantastic Cinema in November 2007, before going on general release in Spain later that month.

The film was also shown in February 2008 at the Glasgow Film Festival and the co-directors participated in a corresponding interview in which they revealed their influences during the creation of the cinema work: "Our main reference was TV; was not other films, or a tradition of previous features. I think the main influence for us was TV. What we wanted was to build a classic horror story, but, ahh, telling it in the way of a TV show."[10] REC was then released in the United Kingdom in April 2008 and a North American DVD release occurred in 2009.


The film received critical acclaim. As of July 30, 2012, the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported that, based on 23 reviews, the film has a 96% approval rating. The site's consensus reads: "Plunging viewers into the nightmarish hellscape of an apartment complex under siege, [Rec] proves that found footage can still be used as an effective delivery mechanism for sparse, economic horror."[11]

Reviewing the film for the BBC, Jamie Russell called it "A runaway rollercoaster of a fright flick", praising the "faux-docu handheld style", and the sense of claustrophobia and confusion, claiming that "[Rec] will definitely jangle the nerves"; however, Russell criticised the lack of substance and a "one-dimensional" supporting cast.[12] Bloody Disgusting awarded the film four-and-a-half stars out of five, with the reviewer writing, "[REC] has it all and is probably one of the best Spanish horror films in recent memory."[13] Bloody Disgusting later ranked the film eleventh in their list of the 'Top 20 Horror Films of the Decade', with the article stating: "Out of all the 'shaky-cam' films... this one is arguably the best."[14] In the early 2010s, Time Out conducted a poll with several authors, directors, actors and critics who have worked within the horror genre to vote for their top horror films.[15] Rec placed at number 54 on their top 100 list.[16]


  • Reaper Award 2009
    • Won: Best Indie/Foreign production[17]
  • 2008 Goya Awards (22nd edition)
    • Won: Goya Best New Actress (Manuela Velasco), Goya Best Editing (David Gallart)
    • Nomination: Goya Best Special Effects (David Ambid, Enric Masip and Álex Villagrasa)[18][19]
  • Fantasporto 2008
    • Won: Grand Prix Fantasporto, Audience Jury Award[19][20]
  • Fantastic'Arts 2008
    • Won: Special Jury Prize, Youth Jury Grand Prize, Audience Award[18][21]
  • Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival 2008
    • Won: Silver Scream Award[19]
  • Cinema Writers Circle Awards, Spain 2008
    • Nominated: CEC Award Best Editing, CEC Award Best New Artist[19]
  • European Film Awards 2008
    • Nominated: Audience Award Best Film[19]
  • Fant-Asia Film Festival 2008
    • 2nd place: Best European/North - South American Film Best Film, Fantasia Ground-Breaker Award Best Film[19]
  • Festival de Cine de Sitges 2007
    • Won: Best Director Award, Best Actress Award (Manuela Velasco), Audience Award El Periódico de Catalunya - Best Motion Picture, Jose Luis Guarner Critic Award, Grand Prize of European Fantasy Film in Silver - Special Mention[19][22]


The sequel REC 2 premiered in September 2009 at the 66th Venice International Film Festival,[23] and was commercially released in Spain in October of the same year. The second installment portrays the events that immediately follow the end of the first film. Actress Manuela Velasco's role of Ángela Vidal, returned in the sequels REC 2 and REC 4: Apocalypse.[24]

REC 3: Génesis is the third installment of the series and was released in Spanish theaters on March 30, 2012.[25] The conclusion of the franchise REC 4 was released in 2014. First being screened at the Toronto Film Festival and later in Spain at the Sitges film Festival 3 October before being released in cinemas 31 October.[26]


Released in the US in October 2008, Quarantine is an American remake of the film, starring Jennifer Carpenter, that generally follows a similar storyline with several major differences which include changing the demonic possession into mutated rabies.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Rec". The New York Times. 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2015. 
  2. Hughes, Mark (October 30, 2013). "The Top Ten Best Low-Budget Horror Movies Of All Time". Forbes. Retrieved December 27, 2014. 
  3. "Rec (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  4. "OT: la película". Filmaffinity (in Spanish). Filmaffinity - Movieaffinity. 2002–2013. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  5. Miska, Brad (6 May 2013). "Exclusive: ‘[REC]4 Apocalypse’ Teaser Poster Sees Red!". Bloody Disgusting. Bloody Disgusting LLC. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  6. "[REC]3 GENESIS". Filmax International. Filmax International. 2013. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  7. Miska, Brad (29 November 2012). "Official ‘[REC] 4 Apocalypse’ Teaser Trailer Infects The Web!". Bloody Disgusting. Bloody Disgusting LLC. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  8. "Venice Film Festival - the films". The Telegraph. 12 July 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  9. Sitges Film Festival (5 October 2007). "REC by Paco Plaza and Jaume Balagueró: encouraging presentation in Sitges". Sitges Film Festival. Edifici Sitges Reference. Retrieved 22 August 2012. 
  10. GlasgowFilmFestival (8 April 2008). "Interview with 'REC' co-directors" (Video upload). YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  11. "Rec Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2012-07-30. 
  12. Jamie Russell (8 April 2008). "Rec (2008)". BBC. BBC. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  13. Miska, Brad (14 July 2009). "REC (aka [REC] ) (Spain) (V)". Bloody Disgusting. Bloody Disgusting LLC. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  14. Bloody Disgusting Staff (16 December 2009). "00′s Retrospect: Bloody Disgusting’s Top 20 Films of the Decade…Part 2". Bloody Disgusting. Bloody Disgusting LLC. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  15. "The 100 best horror films". Time Out. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  16. NF. "The 100 best horror films: the list". Time Out. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  17. Matt Serafini (13 October 2009). "2009 Reaper Award Winners!". Dread Central. Dread Central Media, LLC. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 "Italy will be premiering [REC] on 250 screens". Catalan Films & TV. Catalan Films & TV. 20 February 2008. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 19.6 "[REC]: Press". Vendetta Films. Vendetta Films. 2013. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  20. "Fantasporto Winners". Fantasporto (in Portuguese). Fantasporto. 2013. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  21. "LE FESTIVAL DU FILM FANTASTIQUE DE GERARDMER EST-IL UN MOTEUR POUR LE BOX-OFFICE ?". Le Box Office Pour Les Nuls (in French). 27 January 2012. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  22. "Sitges - 40ed. Festival Internacional de Catalunya (4/10 - 14/10) – Oficial Fantàstic". Sitges Film Festival (in Spanish and English). Edifici Sitges Reference c/ Pruelles. 2013. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  23. Kurt Halfyard (30 July 2009). "66th Venice International Film Festival". Row Three. Row Three. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  24. Tom Eames (8 May 2013). "[REC] 4: Apocalypse' Angela Vidal (Manuela Velasco)". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  25. Michael Gingold (23 March 2012). ""[REC] 3: GENESIS" HAS A U.S. DATE". Fangoria. Fangoria Entertainment. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  26. Tom Eames (8 May 2013). "[REC] 4: Apocalypse' new teaser trailer, poster unveiled". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 

External links