Critics Consensus

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.



Total Count: 34


Audience Score

User Ratings: 50,306
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[Rec] Photos

Movie Info

After teaming up in 2002 for the dramatic music documentary OT: The Movie, Spanish horror specialists Jaume Balagueró (Darkness) and Paco Plaza (Second Name) join forces once again for this experimental frightener about a mysterious outbreak in an old tenement building. Reporter Angela (Manuela Velasco) and her trusty cameraman Pablo are following a local fire crew for a segment of their reality television series "When You're Asleep" when the firefighters receive a distress call from a nearby apartment building. An elderly woman has become locked in her apartment; a routine call by any account. The police are already on the scene, so now it's up to firemen Manu (Ferran Terraza) and Alex (David Vert) to break down the door and ensure that no harm has come to her. Upon arriving at the building, everything appears normal. But the calm atmosphere at the moment betrays the horrors that begin to unfold after the firemen break down the tenant's door and experience something that no one would believe had it not been captured on camera. Later, as the building is surrounded and quarantined, Pablo continues to roll tape to ensure that whatever the outcome of this terrifying situation may be, there will be some evidence to ensure that the truth gets out.

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News & Interviews for [Rec]

Critic Reviews for [Rec]

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (5)

  • The Spanish horror movie Rec promises, in the first act at least, to be a profoundly disturbing experience.

    Sep 29, 2015 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Midway through, the plot blows a gasket and the camerawork turns altogether crazed, joggling us about in the semi-darkness while the soundtrack rings to distorted screams.

    Sep 29, 2015 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Xan Brooks

    Top Critic
  • [Rec] will definitely jangle the nerves. But it's a movie that's unlikely to last in the memory.

    Apr 15, 2008 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Jamie Russell

    Top Critic
  • A brilliantly staged early scare signals that the safety rails are off and, despite an unexpected, last-minute swerve into the supernatural realm, the edge-of-the-seat tension is sustained to the very last second.

    Apr 11, 2008 | Rating: 4/6 | Full Review…

    Nigel Floyd

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Lazily scripted, without even a pretense of character development or psychological depth, it offers nothing new for genre fans and no reason for mainstream auds to bite.

    Nov 5, 2007

    Alissa Simon

    Top Critic
  • A sterling effort in the eventually overplayed "found footage" genre.

    Mar 13, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for [Rec]

  • Nov 01, 2015
    Absolutely terrifying, [REC] is a gritty Spanish horror film. Shot as found footage, television reporter Angela Vidal goes out on a routine call with a group of firefighters to a Barcelona apartment building while filming the daily life of a firehouse, but things turn deadly when a ravenous woman attacks them. Manuela Velasco gives a strong performance and has a natural charisma that helps with the found footage conceit. Additionally, the directing style has an authentic feel to it. However, the characters aren't really developed; which makes it hard to care all that much about them. Still, [REC] is full of tension and delivers some frightful scares.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 26, 2015
    REC is incredibly harsh in its attempts at providing a nightmare to subdue its audience and it works with such a viscerality that its really frightening. A found-footage film with the unusual choice of framing a zombie story, the shaky video footage of a cameraman and his female assistant TV reporter documenting the nightlife of a team of firefighters explore convincing characters and uses the detailing of the footage genre to its full advantage. The crew ends up quarantined inside an apartment complex as a violent infection rampages through the inhabitants, turning the infected into mindless zombies. The conclusion is terrifying and unforgettable.
    Harry W Super Reviewer
  • Dec 23, 2013
    Found footage zombie horror at its best, "[REC]" takes an interesting approach at the idea by sending in one camera man and a reporter as they follow a group of firemen called to a scene, only to be quarantined in the apartment building with unexplainable attacks by humans. Much eerier than the American remake titled "Quarantine", Manuela Velasco, an actual reporter from Spain, plays the lead part much more convincing than her counterpart in the American version, played by Jennifer Carpenter. With a mostly predictable plot structure, the execution of the scares are key and although "[REC]" isn't perfect and often hits many of the same notes, the overall product is alluring enough to be memorable, especially in an exclamation point ending with some reveals that are left out of the American iteration, including some gut wrenching makeup and prosthetic design. For a found footage foreign horror film, "[REC]" is at the top of the list.
    Christopher H Super Reviewer
  • Jun 11, 2013
    Directors C Super Reviewer

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