Made in 2007 on an equivalent budget to 1.9 million U.S. dollars (and remade a year later as QUARANTINE with a budget of over 10 million more), [REC] is an enjoyable Spanish B-movie. It is chilling, thrilling, and simply to the point, even with a running time of less than an hour and twenty minutes.
The film uses the newly popular "found footage" sub-genre to follow a late-night television reporter in Barcelona, Spain. She and her cameraman must suddenly leave for the night to cover a shift at a local fire department. The fire station receives a phone call from an elderly woman trapped inside her house, and when they go to rescue her, the first thing they hear is a barrage of bloodcurdling shrieks. From then on, their night is bound to be full of chaos, horror, and nightmares that will stay with them forever.
If you are one of the many people who saw the 2008 remake QUARANTINE, loved it, and have yet to see [REC], you are in for quite a pleasant surprise. I rarely find films scary enough to honestly admit that I was truly scared; and I sadly cannot admit being even remotely afraid with this film. On the other hand, it is intriguing from the very first five minutes; it finds easy ways to freak one out and make one jump; and it is hard to even press pause on.
All in all, [REC] is not perfect. But it is a great horror film, and it is worth watching once or twice. Maybe not for the squeamish, I'll warn them. But the rest of you that aren't, don't miss out!