[REC] was my first foray into foreign language horror therefore I have a real affection for it and the follow up [REC]2.
Unfortunately [REC]3: Genesis didn’t get a cinematic release which means I now have a perfect score of not seeing any of the films on the big screen.
PLOT: Koldo (Diego Martin) and Clara (Leticia Dolera) are celebrating their wedding day with family and friends at a lavish hotel when an uncle, who has been harbouring a dog bite injury, suddenly becomes enraged and starts attacking the guests. As the infection spreads Koldo and Clara try to leave the hotel and get to safety however this isn’t the first outbreak of this kind that the authorities have dealt with........ END PLOT
The success of the [REC] films isn’t due to complex plotting or well structured mythology but rather because of their style. The handheld camerawork in the cramped apartment block worked very well for the first two films but with Genesis it is all change.
Gone are Angela Vidal and the darkly lit apartments, two aspects that could justifiably be dropped in an attempt to widen the story but Genesis does the unthinkable – it drops the handheld camera.
The handheld camera made a brief cameo during the opening “getting to know the characters” segment before switching to a more standard format as soon as the action began. The purposeful smashing of the video cameras rubbed salt in the wounds.
The gritty feel of the [REC] franchise has been replaced by an over glossed mess. If the filmmakers were not capable of progressing the story without abandoning the key features of the franchise then they probably shouldn’t have bothered.
Losing the handheld cameras wasn’t the only drastic shift as the tension and scares have been replaced with comedy. There are a few decent one liners and comical moments such as the grandfather’s hearing aid but overall the comedic tone fell flat.
With the handheld cameras gone it allowed the action sequences to play out on a much grander scale. Genesis can boast that is it by far the bloodiest of the trilogy. The problem is I prefer tension and scares to in your face gore when it comes to horror so I was never going to be completely satisfied with this element of the film.
The action is fairly impressive and on another day an angry bride wielding a chainsaw at hoard of zombies would be pretty spectacular. As a stand alone comedy/horror it may have worked, but like everything else, the action was so far removed from the events of the previous films that it just seemed overly ridiculous.
Performance wise Leticia Dolera (Clara) was very good as Clara although once it occurred to me that she looked like Shelly Duvall from The Shining I couldn’t let it go. Diego Martin as her (literal) knight in shining armour Koldo was also fine. Despite the surrounding blood and gore their relationship was actually quite sweet.
Paco Plaza wrote and co-directed the first two [REC] films with Jaume Balaguero but Genesis is the first time Plaza has flown solo. It does make you question just how important Balaguero’s influence on the franchise was.
[REC]3: Genesis isn’t a bad film in terms of solid 90min horror/comedies but as the third offering of one my favourite horror franchises it is terrible. It gets 4.5/10 as it was fairly enjoyable but as a potential franchise killer it deserves a much lower rating.
[REC]3: Genesis knocks X-Men 3 of the top of the chart when it comes to less than average third instalments. Those of you who know just how gutted I was at X-Men3 will understand the level of my sorrow.