Ubisoft Presents Fantasia 2008

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Sponsored by: Sympatico.MSN

North american Premiere

WINNER: Public Prize, Best Occidental Film (Silver), Fantasia Film Festival
WINNER: Public Prize, Most Innovative Film (Silver), Fantasia Film Festival

Official Selection, Venice Film Festival
WINNER: Audience Award, Fantasporto
WINNER: Silver Scream Award, Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival
WINNER: Audience Award & Jury Prize, Gérardmer Film Festival
WINNER: Best Actor, Best Director & Audience Award, Sitges Film Festival

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“Terrifying beyond words” – Andrew Kasch, DREAD CENTRAL

"Without doubt the scariest film ever made" - Billy Chainsaw, BIZARRE MAGAZINE

“Gripping, unsettling and truly horrific” – Mark Salisbury, TOTAL FILM


Director: Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza
Screenplay: Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza, Luis Berdejo
Cast: Manuela Velasco, Javier Botet, Manuel Bronchud, Martha Carbonell, Claudia Font
Producers: Julio Fernández
Distributor: Seville

Part of...

Playback In Black   

Playback In Black

Screens with...

Desmond Coy   

Desmond Coy

2008 | 9 min
English language, English subtitles


Any horror fan with an internet connection has been reading the breathless praises of this one for nearly 11 months, and we’ll say right now that [REC] is the most intense and frightening film of this year’s festival. If that’s too vague, how’s this? It will scare you to the outer limits of your endurance. A verité-styled real-time zombie siege film that absolutely shreds surface-similar subjectively shot works like DIARY OF THE DEAD or CLOVERFIELD, [REC] is the unholy result of a co-directing collaboration between Fantasia favourites Jaume Balagueró (THE NAMELESS) and Paco Plaza (ABUELITOS), co-scripted with Luis Berdejo (LA GUERRA).

It all begins with television reporter Ángela (Manuela Velasco) shooting a profile on the Barcelona fire department when an emergency call tears through from dispatch. Something is very wrong in a nearby apartment building. The fireman race to the scene, Ángela and her camera crew coming along to shoot them in action. They arrive and encounter tenants in panic. There is an older woman upstairs. She lives alone with her cats. And she’s been screaming. When the team enter her apartment, they step into a situation that no degree of training could have prepared them for. Let’s just leave it at that!

Balagueró, Plaza and Berdejo reinvent the familiar and calculate their film to brilliant propulsive effect, building from slow-burn dread to an eventual fever pitch of unadulterated terror, crisis and hysteria. By the second act, heart-stopping set pieces begin to explode from nowhere at a brutalizing pace, one on top of another, utterly smashing the viewer’s nerves until moments of calm and eruptions of violence become equally unbearable in their intensity. It’s an absolutely exhilarating experience that will nail you sweating to the edge of your seat. A U.S. remake has already been completed (!) so be sure to get ravaged by the original on a larger-than-death screen while you have the chance. Astonishingly well-staged and winner of numerous festival prizes and two Goya awards (Spain’s Oscars), [REC] is one of the most captivating rollercoaster nightmares ever burned into light. Calling it a must-see would be an understatement.

—Mitch Davis