Thursday, August 16

REC 3: Genesis

*Poster Art by Tony Moore
REC 3: Genesis
Dir: Paco Plaza
Starring: Leticia Dolera and Diego Martin

The cinéma vérité style that was successfully executed in the first REC film, along with the breakneck pacing, was replicated almost identically with the stateside Quarantine. REC 2 offered one of the best horror sequels in recent memory with an immediate continuation from the first film and a new, clever plot twist that sent the film into another direction prime with possibilities. REC 3: Genesis takes a look at the beginning with a prequel of the previous entries. But that’s not the only change. REC 3: Genesis reduces the feverish and frightening tone the franchise established and introduces a new perspective, sans vérité after a brief introduction. The film struggles at times to successfully execute these new elements while continuing to navigate within the atmosphere established in the first films; however there are still moments when they do work well together, if one is willing to ignore the past, established storyline.

On what’s supposed to be the most idyllic of days, Clara (Leticia Dolera) and Koldo (Diego Martin) are in the midst of preparation for their wedding. The wedding camera crew and family members with camcorders document the hours leading up to the nuptial. Family and friends give well wishes on film, even Uncle Victor who is nursing an altercation that left him bitten. At the reception Uncle Victor is worse off, now stumbling and befuddled, he falls from the balcony only to awaken and bite one of the guests. Before anyone can respond the gathering is thrown into chaos with infected guests biting into everyone in their path. This leaves the bride and groom separated but surviving, at any length, to reunite with one another.

Director Paco Plaza goes at it alone without Jaume Balagueró, who co-directed the first two films. The overall tone of the film is the most distinguishable change from the previous two films. Gone is the overwhelming tension and claustrophobic atmosphere that was distinctive with the first entries; substituted is a wealth of elements that accommodate a more reserved storytelling format with a clear target on comedy. The transition is rough at first and some of the comedic elements fall flat because the established story is so defined. However, the film does find stride around the middle and the situational humor, dark at times, begins to pay off with clever special effects.

The change from vérité to traditional allows the cinematography to showcase the world of the film with greater detail; unfortunately the settings leave little to explore depth wise. The two leads offer a convincing couple, which assists with the more outlandish comedic scenes such as Koldo dressing in full medieval armor to search for his love or Clara taking control of her wedding day with a chainsaw and a defiant battle cry.
Although different, REC 3: Genesis offers a more relaxed and fun take on the franchise. While some of the comedic elements work, there are times when it doesn’t; these are moments when the film could have focused more on frights instead of laughs to even the themes out. Still, the different direction could be what the series needs before the next film arrives, REC 4: Apocalypse.
Monte’s Rating
3.00 out of 5.00

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