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A cornerstone of the resurgence in Spanish horror cinema, [REC] (2007) is a propulsive single-location ‘found-footage’ film in which a news reporter and her cameraman investigate an incident at a Barcelona apartment building. Beginning with a discussion of the aesthetic choices of co-directors Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza, Jim Harper’s Devil’s Advocate assesses the various political and social themes present in [REC], in particular the range of human responses to crisis situations and the threat of violence. He goes on to consider the influences upon [REC] – especially George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968), the cornerstone of the modern zombie movie, and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later (2002), the film that kick-started the 21st century zombie boom – before offering a brief history of Spanish horror, illustrating the continuity between the first true Spanish horror film in 1962, the flourishing of Spanish gothic horror in the 1960s and ’70s, the barren period of the 1980s, and the subsequent resurrection epitomized by [REC]. Harper then goes on to consider the American remakes (2008 and 2011) as well subsequent emergence of the international horror franchise – [REC] 2 (2009), [REC] 3: Genesis (2012) and [REC] 4: Apocalypse (2014) – addressing the different concerns and themes of the sequels.


Author Information

Jim Harper is a writer specialising in cult and horror cinema around the globe. He is the author of Legacy of Blood: A Comprehensive Guide to Slasher Movies, Italian Horror 1979-1994 and Flowers From Hell: The Modern Japanese Horror Film, and a contributor to a number of encyclopedias, anthologies and magazines.