- Balagueró, Jaume
- (1968- )Born in Lleida (Catalunya), Jaume Balagueró majored in communications at the University of Barcelona in 1994. By that time, he had already directed three intense, expressionistic shorts, the last of which, Alicia, won an award at the 1994 Sitges Film Festival. The following year, he worked on another fantasy short, Días sin luz (Days Without Light), which was well received by critics and prepared the way for his feature film debut, Los sin nombre (The Nameless, 1999), a horror film based on a novel by Ramsey Campbell that touched on dark cults and murdered children. From that point onward, Balagueró specialized in horror films, with high production values and an original outlook. This was certainly a step forward in Spanish fantasy film tradition, which had previously centered on cheaper and less sophisticated product.Both Darkness (2002) and Fragile (2005) were ghost stories with English dialog and featuring international casts. Darkness, starring Anna Paquin, Lena Olin, Iain Glen, Fele Martínez, and Giancarlo Giannini, featured some themes from Los sin nombre (children, satanic cults, the past, the family). It was the story of an American family who move into a house in Spain where strange happenings take place. It was released in Spain in 2002 with excellent box-office results, and two years later in the U.S. by Miramax, in a cut version. Less successful, Fragile took place in a hospital where, once again, the memories of past murders linger to haunt the life of a nurse played by Calista Flockhart.Balagueró's most recent project, [ Rec ] (2007), co-directed with Paco Plaza, is a zombie film that shares with The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield the narrative device of telling a story through the single perspective of someone documenting reality in order to produce horror. In this case, a TV reporter working on a program about a fire brigade follows them to a building where, it transpires, a strange illness is making its tenants into flesh-eating monsters. Audiences' knowledge is at all times restricted to what is being recorded in the reporter's camera. It was remade in the U.S. as Quarantine (2008).
Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema. Alberto Mira. 2010.