Time Out rating:
<strong>Rating: </strong>4/5Rate this
Time Out says
Tue Apr 8 2008The most effective of this year’s ‘Blair Witch’-style shaky-cam horror movies, ‘[Rec]’ is more focused and far scarier than either ‘Cloverfield’ or ‘Diary of the Dead’. In ‘Cloverfield’, the party-goers braved the streets and subways of a monster-torn Manhattan; in ‘Diary’, the film students roamed the back roads of Pennsylvania, avoiding a zombie plague. In ‘[Rec]’ – as in the record button on a camera – the action is confined to a Spanish apartment block, and the nature of the threat is unknown.
‘[Rec]’ softens us up with a gentle prologue in which the crew of a late-night ‘reality TV’ show called ‘While You’re Sleeping’ – invisible cameraman Pablo and presenter Angela (Manuela Velasco) – make a late-night visit to a fire station. Then comes a call about an old woman trapped in her apartment. When a policeman and two firemen, Manu (Ferran Terraza) and Alex (David Vert), break into the apartment, they are attacked by a shrieking, zombie-like woman in a blood-stained nightdress. Suddenly, the building is locked down by cops squawking something about a health threat. Trapped inside with the panicking neighbours, Angela keeps up a running commentary.
The less you know about what happens next the better. Suffice it to say that nothing in the previous work of joint directors Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza prepared us for the nerve-shredding intensity of the ensuing scenes. 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.
Author: Nigel Floyd