The Memories of the Dead: Trauma and Historical Memory in "[REC]"
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The zombie is a monster that has captured the imagination of horror lovers across the world ever since it made the leap from folklore to film. Since then, anxieties over the present and future in these texts have been the object of analysis, while the expression of historical trauma has largely been overlooked, in these texts. Not surprisingly, it is precisely this element that, when analyzed, shifts the understanding we have of such narratives. An example of this phenomenon is the 2007 Spanish zombie film [REC] which, when reading through the lens of past historical traumas, is infused with a different and powerful meaning. This essay, therefore, will argue that national historical traumas related to the Francoist period of Spain, and the repression of historical truth in the subsequent transition to democracy, manifest themselves in this narrative. This historical trauma and memory are explored through anxieties about the production of truth and an ideological conflict over the protection of it. In essence, these two elements synthesize into an allegorical moment which mirrors Spain’s battle for its repressed historical memory and truth.