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[REC] (2007) is a Spanish horror film following a news reporter, Ángela Vidal, and her cameraman, Pablo, as they cover the night shift in one of Barcelona's local fire stations for the fictional documentary While You Sleep. However, the two intrepid reporters get much more than they bargained for when the firehouse receives a call from an apartment building about a woman who is trapped. As they tag along with the rescue effort, Ángela and Pablo find themselves actually chronicling the discovery and progression of an apparent zombie outbreak in an apartment building, which forces the police and military to seal off the building, trapping everyone inside. Soon they are forced to fight for their lives, as the virus slowly takes over the residents and firemen around them.
The film was very positively received by critics. As of May 17, 2009, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 95% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 20 reviews.
In 2009 a sequel, [REC] 2, was released to generally positive reviews, with a "fresh" 69% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 61 reviews. The general consensus is that it's not as good as the first film, but it's still very good for a sequel.
A new sequel and a prequel have been announced, called [REC] Génesis and [REC] Apocalipsis from the same writers and directors as the first two [REC] films. [REC] Génesis will take place before the first film, documenting the original infection/possession; the film will be released in March 2012. You can watch the first teaser trailer (in spanish) here.
[REC] Apocalipsis will end the saga with the infection spreading to unknown proportions; the film has an expected release date of fall of 2012.
This movie series contains examples of:
- Apocalyptic Log: All the camera footage. Everyone repeatedly says to keep the film running so there will be a log of what happened.
- Creepy Child: Jennifer and the boy(s) in the attic from the first and second films.
- Dark World: Possibly. It's hard to judge whether the "prison of shadow" qualifies, but it's definitely freaky.
- Demonic Possession: The true nature of The Virus.
- Found Footage Films
- Hate Plague: The afflicted have contracted a form of "super-rabies" and can heal extremely quickly.
- Jump Scare: Several. Especially notable is Jennifer suddenly biting her mother in the face (especially jarring since it comes out of the blue), followed by her later attacking the policeman.
- Then there's the boy in the attic...
- Jennifer's mother. Following her death, her corpse is shown lying on the ground as Angela and Manu search the mailboxes... and when Pablo pans back around, she's suddenly standing up...
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: A rare pre-story case. The Church was searching for a medical cure for demonic possession. They were able to find the enzyme which caused demonic possession. Unfortunately, it mutated and spread. Now instead of a demon taking over one person, the demon can take over everybody who is infected.
- Noodle People: The Medeiros girl's extensive emaciation and unsettlingly huge jaw invoke this trope in a way that would give The Enigma of Amigara Fault a run for its money.
- Nothing Is Scarier
- Not Using the Z Word
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: All of the infected sport red irises.
- Religious Horror: While the infection certainly has a biological aspect, the end of the first movie strongly suggests, while the sequel confirms, that Demonic Possession also has a part in it.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The Medeiros girl. She can only affect you if you're in total darkness.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Nobody survives the virus.
- Technically Living Zombie
- The Virus: While the doctor character compares the outbreak to rabies and the tape to influenza, the climax suggests the contagion has a more supernatural origin.
- The second film confirms it: the virus is actually the vehicle of a worm-like demonic entity which uses it to control the infected and jump its mind from one to another, and is able to talk with different voices in different bodies (an infected 40 year old talking with the voice of the infected little girl is disturbing).
- Zombie Apocalypse: A non-undead variety. Implied at the end of the second movie, and with the title of the next sequel.
- All Asians Are Alike: Cesar proves he has this belief during his racist rant about the Japanese family.
- Bald of Awesome: Manu the firefighter, a Boisterous Bruiser who's definitely the most useful character of the first REC movie. He kills more of the infected than anyone else in self-defence, manages to stand on equal authority with the policeman, and helped Angela with Pablo get away from the mob with one last strong resistance.
- Berserk Button: Don't touch the fucking camera! Angela does not like people trying to mess with it.
- Camera Abuse: The policeman is constantly shoving the camera and telling Pablo to turn it off. At one point, Pablo bashes in an infected's head with the camera. Later, another infected smashes his camera light.
- Camp Gay: Cesar. He's wearing a colorful ascot, jewelry and a pencil-thin mustache. In his short interview, he mentions that he used to live with his mother and now lives alone, makes catty comments about the Asian family, fusses about his appearance, and hits on the cameraman. We get it, movie! He's gay!
- Casting Gag: Manuela Velasco was best known as "that silly Canal+ TV presenter" before this movie.
- The Danza: Pablo is played by Pablo Rosso. Who is a cameraman in Real Life.
- Dead Line News
- Death by Racism: Cesar. The moment he starts making racist comments about the Asian family, you know he isn't going to last long.
- Definitely Just a Cold: She's not a zombie, she just... has tonsillitis! Really!
- Downer Ending: Everybody either dies or is infected and Angela is dragged into the darkness.
- Drop the Hammer: Manu uses a sledgehammer as a weapon against the infected. The Medeiros girl appears to be using a hammer as a weapon during the finale.
- Enforced Method Acting:
- During the filming of the scene where Alex (the young fireman) falls from the stairs, not a single actor knew that was going to happen, so the reactions we see on the films were the real reactions of the actors themselves.
- They didn't know that Jennifer (the little girl) was going to be infected either, they thought she really was just sick.
- Manu didn't act as if he hurt his ankle, that actually happened during the filming, and he didn't stop.
- The Faceless: Pablo, given that he's the one behind the camera. Even after he's killed, we only see a bit of his back and shoulder.
- Facial Horror: Alex has extremely nasty and gruesome bite wounds on his face after encountering the old woman.
- Foreshadowing: The sealed-up apartment is mentioned shortly before everything goes to hell. Later, Angela and Pablo find out the apartment was sealed up for a damn good reason.
- Freak-Out: Angela has one after fighting with an infected and mistakenly believes that she's been bitten.
- Full-Frontal Assault: The Medeiros girl. Well, she is wearing underpants, but still.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Many see Manu doing this when he chooses to guard the apartment's door alone in the darkness, while Pablo and Angela are looking for the building keys inside.
- Hollywood Darkness: Averted: We see the action through a two-man tv crew's camera, when the light goes out, the camera light comes on, but when the camera light bites the dust, it gets very dark.
- A House Divided: Well, an apartment complex. The inhabitants never fully reach this level seeing as how the infection happens so fast people rarely get the chance to argue with one another.
- Idiot Ball:
- When Cesar gets bitten by an infected scientist. The scientist locked himself away because he knew he was infected. All Cesar had to do was to stay the fuck away from the bars the infected locked himself in. He didn't.
- At one point, they can't remember who lives in which apartment. They all forget that Pablo recorded the roll call earlier, and Angela had already consulted the video previously. Possibly justified, given how panicked they are at the time.
- Jittercam: It's a handheld, obviously.
- Littlest Cancer Patient: Averted hard.
- Lost in Translation: Non-Spanish-speaking audiences fail to realize that Cesar, the one neighbour that blames the Japanese family for the crisis, speaks with an Argentinian accent and is in consequence an immigrant himself - which makes him a genuine hypocrite as well as racist. The dubbed version tries to help out by giving him a British accent.
- Neck Snap: Manu on the Asian man.
- Oh Crap: Angela, when she makes the connection between Jennifer's story of her sick dog, Max, and the health inspector's story about the infected dog who became violent...
- Later, Pablo has one (although being The Faceless, you can only hear it in his voice), when he sees the Medeiros girl.
- Room Full of Crazy: The closest anyone gets to an explanation in the first film is a Room Full Of Crazy covered in newspaper clips about a "Medeiros girl" who seems to have been infected or possessed, a recorder that plays back some ramblings about a virus, an infected hyper-aggressive little boy and, finally, the girl herself that kills the last two survivors.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: [REC] ends with what can only be described as an over-the-top Spanish rockabilly number.
- Stairwell Chase: Several, as the infected increase in number.
- Undead Child: Mom is in denial to the bitter end:
- The Un-Reveal:
- The origin of the virus is explained, but the fate of Angela is still up in the air. Until [REC]2.
- Pablo's face is never shown.
- Zombie Infectee: Mostly averted. When the young policeman and the health inspector are bitten, the former tells everyone to get out while he stays behind to subdue the infected Jennifer before he turns, and the latter locks himself away.
- Action Girl: Angela right at the end of the second movie, right before you discover she is actually possessed by the Medeiros girl. Clara on the third.
- Alien Geometries: As confirmed in [REC]2, the penthouse where Medeiros was kept changes in the total absence of light (the characters can only see the changes with night vision). In the original movie, the door that leads to where Medeiros was sealed doesn't appear until the lights are off. In the sequel, further exploration of this room reveals a well from where Medeiros reaches out and drags in the SWAT Chief; when the lights come back on, the well is gone, and there's only a sink in its place.
- Back for the Dead: Jose, a fireman who briefly appears in the introduction of the first movie, comes back in this one. He ends up being accidentally shot by Mire, one of the teenagers. Angela could qualify as well, since she is posessed.
- The Danza: Pablo Rosso is back as one of the special forces guys named Rosso... who handles the main camera.
- Downer Ending: Same as above, save for two teenagers who remain trapped inside the apartment building. On top of that, Angela is possessed, manages to act normal until the last five minutes and fakes the voice of the last guy she killed so she can be released from the building and infect the whole city of Barcelona at the very least .
- And since 'Angela' gave the order to burn down the building they are most likely going to be toast...
- Fate Worse Than Death: Possibly the case with Angela who ends up possessed. In fact the least horrible fate from her point of view might be if the possession has simply destroyed her identity and her body is just an empty vessel for the demon.
- Gilligan Cut: When the three teens are about to enter the building through the sewers, Mire nearly leaves and takes her camera with her. She says "I've had it with your stupidities," and when Tito and Ori try coaxing her back, "I said no!" Guess where they are the next time the camera cuts back on.
- Idiot Ball: The teenagers... Good Lord, what a bunch of idiots.
- And having the vial of potential demon blood uncorked and too close to the priest when he did a mini exorcism to test a small amount to see if it was possessed, leading to the whole thing going up in flames!
- But the officer wasn't sure what was going to happen. If anything it's the priest's fault for not telling him to take a step back.
- Plus, if you need her blood, and you just blew her head off, why not simply pick up her body?
- Improvised Weapon: A bottle rocket. Seen here at around 9:00 (SPOILERS AHOY).
- Jittercam: Another handheld for the main shots, but the soldiers also have helmet-mounted cams with somewhat less jitter.
- Kill'Em All: With the exception of two of the teenagers, everybody either dies or is infected/possessed.
- Our Demons Are Different: Possession spreads through biting people via a virus that resembles rabies, the original is a long worm-like creature that seemingly lives in the digestive system and can be passed from person to person, and those possessed can accurately mimic voices.Also they fear religious symbols (crosses) and don´t enter in holy places (churches), and recitations of Bible verses stuns them
- Orifice Invasion: At the end, we see an extension of the ending scene of the first one, showing Medieros vomiting a worm into Angela's mouth.
- Stairwell Chase
- Your Mom: The demon, when asked where it [that is, the Medieros girl] is hiding, retorts, "Your mother's cunt!"
- Alien Geometries: in Génesis, the Medeiros girl appears as the reflection of the infected/possesed people, giving more evidence that the all the infected, no matter what their location, are directly under her control.
- An Arm and a Leg: Clara
- And I Must Scream: Hinted at the end of "Génesis. Clara becomes infected and is shot by the soldiers, but Koldo and her reach for each other while they are dying in the ground. This actually could mean that possesed people are aware of their status, but cannot fight against it
- Blessed Are the Cheesemakers
- Blood-Splattered Wedding Dress
- Chainsaw Good
- Downer Ending: Everybody at the wedding reception dies, except for the priest. Clara gets bitten, and when she becomes one of the infected Koldo decides to let her bite him so they can die together. And then they both get shot by a platoon of soldiers.
- Hope Spot: On two separate occasions, it looks like the couple will be able to escape. Then you remember what franchise this is.
- Infant Immortality: Averted HARD. At first it seems like the children at the wedding are gonna get away in a bus parked outside the reception. Unfortunately, the infected get inside the bus...
- Pregnant Badass
- Something Completely Different: This movie significantly from the formula associated with the saga so far. At first it seems like it´s gonna be a Found Footage Films like the other movies, but at the end of the first act the camera gets smashed and then it jumps to a traditional style of filming. Besides, no main characters from the first two movies appear on the third. Lastly, it has more parodic elements, it is more of a dark comedy than a horror film at times
- Together in Death: Clara and Koldo at the end.
- Wedding Smashers