Here’s the next installment of my top 31 horror films since 2000.
#21. Rec (2007)
If you’re a fan of horror films, you’ve seen Rec. With The Blair Witch Project, Rec is responsible for (better or worse) defining the found footage sub-genre as a viable anxiety inducing canvas for telling small stories with big scares. It brought the camera indoors, in stable professional hands. Instead of implying an off-screen horror through incomprehensible blurred shots and deep dark shadows (effective in its own right), Rec opted to keep the mayhem in frame, well lit, and in your face. And while this format has since been done to death, ten years ago it was a very new and special movie.
Like TBWP, Rec reached mythological status before it hit mainstream audiences. I remember hearing, “Have you seen Rec? The scariest film ever” and doing all I could to get copy, and once I did and watched it, I reveled in its originality and terrifying authenticity. I hadn’t seen anything like it. The set pieces were immaculately choreographed. The actors were flawless. The setup was completely believable: a Spanish news anchor and her film crew, while shooting a puff-piece about one of the local fire departments, goes on an emergency call out to an apartment building that unbeknownst to them has an outbreak of a zombie/rabies-like virus. They are quarantined and the news crew takes it upon themselves to document their ordeal. This leads to one of the creepiest endings ever and an iconic ‘monster’ that has since been ripped-off many times over that still manages to freak me out.
Rec easily deserves to be in my top ten, but by no fault of its own, it is now is a little underwhelming. Imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery, and because it’s easier to assimilate than originate, you most likely have seen Rec in one form or another (including an American remake called Quarantine – DO NOT WATCH THIS DRIVEL!!!), but if you’ve been living under a rock, I envy you because if you give Rec a viewing through untainted eyes, you are in for a real treat.
Check out the trailer below and be sure to tune in tomorrow for #20.