Don’t miss a bloody thing: [REC] and the Spanish adaptation of found footage horror | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2050-4837
  • E-ISSN: 2050-4845



Although found footage as aesthetic expression was common in documentary and avant-garde cinema, it was not until the end of the 1990s that it was adapted for use in the horror film. This sub-genre gave film-makers a new means of cognitive and emotional connection with the spectator. Paco Plaza and Jaume Balagueró’s films [REC] (2007) and [REC] 2 (2009) recycled the format, creating films rooted in the national while at the same time projecting a post-national image of the genre. [REC] turned the found footage film into a commentary on Spanish tabloid television, its vapid journalistic presentation and the public’s appetite for scandal. [REC] 2 adapted the form further, expanding it from a single to several cameras, and expanding the narrative to issues of political and religious ideology. The [REC] films present a directly lived representation through found footage, where the spectator has limited scope of knowledge that goes beyond mere subjectivity to the limits of visualization and knowledge the form depicts. [REC] moves beyond the use of found footage as a tool for horror, and transitions it into a commentary on filmic presentation and spectatorial engagement, re-positioning contemporary Spanish horror film into a post-national context.


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