[Rec] is a Spanish horror in which a camera crew following the local fire department stumble upon an outbreak of a lethal virus and find themselves quarantined in an apartment building with the resulting flesh-eating victims.
It actually manages to sidestep many of the usual flaws of this kind of “found footage” style horror film in that it has decent actors speaking real dialogue within a well engineered, structured plot line. It even uses the format to interesting effect, the cameraman often being brushed aside and forced away from the action, leaving us to hear and imagine what is going on off screen, which is actually quite effective and adds to the authentic documentary-style feel. The effects are convincing without getting too gratuitously gory and technically, it is very accomplished. Unfortunately as is the case with all of these point and record style films, the story is obviously seen from only one point of view and is therefore very linear and simplistic; it contains no surprises whatsoever, right through to the inevitable conclusion.
If this footage had been inter-cut with scenes of what was happening on the outside world or flashbacks to previous events it could have been really interesting, but as it is there’s nothing here you won’t have seen before.