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Couch Potato Pickings | [Rec]: is this film overrated?

[Rec]: Manuela Velasco

Showing on Sky Movies Premiere tonight at 10pm

People raved about this Spanish film (remade in the US as Quarantine last year) so I had high hopes when I finally came to watching it, but I have to admit that I was somewhat disappointed.

It begins well in a documentary style, with young Spanish presenter Angela (Manuela Velasco) compiling a documentary about a night in the life of a busy Madrid fire station. Watching her re-shoot scenes and voice her concerns that nothing filmworthy is going to occur is fun, because with this being a horror film, we know that obviously something is going to happen.

When the station finally gets a call out, we share her excitement as she tags along to watch her new firefighter pals deal with an incident in a city centre apartment block. And it gets even better when a clearly disturbed resident takes a bite out of a police officer and Angela insists that her cameraman pal Pablo catches it all on film, because we’re of course watching that film. (Click here to see what I said in a recent post about the classic horror film trick of having the camera acting as the eye of those experiencing the terror).


And it’s thanks to Pablo’s hand held camera that we find ourselves sharing the confusion, the fear and the anger of the increasingly hysterical Angela and the residents of that apartment block when they all learn that while the flesh-biting incident has been kicking off upstairs the police and the military have sealed off the building.

I was gripped up until this point and for a while afterwards, but sadly once it becomes clear what’s going on, this film just gets boring and repetitive and I stopped caring about the fate of poor Angela and the unseen Pablo – you never really get to know any of the other characters.


A series of chases, blood-encrusted bodies, heavy breathing and jerky camera angles follow. If this sort of manipulatively-paced, shock-packed action entertains you then you’ll enjoy this film from start to finish, but I clearly need a bit of intrigue to keep my interest. Admittedly, there is a sort of surprise ending, but as I say, I’d stopped caring by then.

So, do you love [Rec], or are you like me, wondering what all the fuss is about? I’d love to know what you think.