[Rec] and beyond: Spanish cinema, digital technology and the transnationalization of horror Articles uri icon

publication date

  • July 2022

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1741-1548

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2040-0594


  • The horror franchise [Rec] (2007-2014) is one of the most remarkable accomplishments in 21st century Spanish cinema. While banking on transnational modes of address such as the "found footage" aesthetics and the imperfect look of digital technology, these films also build upon existing traditions within Spanish cinema and television. At the same, from an financial standpoint, it is the most successful Spanish franchise ever in the international arena while obtaining sizeable box-office receipts in the domestic market. This article analyzes how the [Rec] saga deploys a variety of discourses to appeal to horror aficionados while utilizing popular cultural artifacts to engage national audiences. Firstly, it situates [Rec] within the history of recent Spanish cinema, scrutinizing the generic hybridity at the core of several post-1990 national film products to ultimately study how this interplay will turn central in the constant re-articulation of the franchise. Secondly, it positions [Rec] within the transnational rise of the found footage horror subgenre, contextualizing it by analyzing other significant efforts such as The Blair Witch Project. Thirdly, it explores this transnational dimension through a detailed analysis of the different films marketing campaigns and how they relate to other products like Quarantine (2008), US remake of the first Spanish film. In this regard, it approaches how [Rec] conceptualizes film spectators as Internet, socially networked, users who participate in diverse, complementary, discourses across multiple online platforms.


  • spanish film; horror; film genres; european cinema; digital technology; marketing; rec