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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Nov 8: [Rec] 3: Genesis


Nov 8: [Rec] 3: Genesis

"A couple's wedding day turns into a horrific events as some of the guests start showing signs of a strange illness."
Directed by: Paco Plaza, Rated: R, 80 minutes

I am incredibly conflicted with [Rec] 3: Genesis. One, it's part of one of my favorite horror franchises and I feel obligated to love it, no matter how different it is. Two, it's just that- different. Abandoning the found-footage aspect that made the first two films so intense and terrifying, Rec 3 becomes a generic horror film that actually tries to be funny as well. The end result is a grab-bag of genres that can't find it's focus. It's confusing because Paco Plaza, the man behind the first two films, is back at the helm and pulling-double duty on the screenplay. Yet, it never feels like a genuine Rec film.

The first Rec is still one of the only movies to genuinely creep me out. That ending... Damn

The film's buildup is excellent. The first twenty minutes is actual in the style of the Rec we know, using handheld cameras and wedding footage from the ceremony and reception of Clara (Leticia Dolera) and Koldo (Diego Martin). Unfortunately for the newlyweds, an unusual illness sweeps through their wedding party, turning their guests into flesh-eating zombies (that aren't necessarily zombies). We see the initial outbreak and attacks through the lens of a wedding photographer's camera, but as soon as a character gets tired of it being in his face, he smashes it. Then, Rec 3 becomes your usual, multi-camera HD movie with none of the suspense a close-quartered handheld can actually maintain. Clara and Koldo then must find a way out of the Church and its premises, survive the demonic invasion, and of course, find each other (they get separated at the beginning).

I guess every horror movie does need a beautiful leading lady... 

Paco Plaza is by no means, a bad director. I honestly think that his intentions were good, and that his little baby, the Rec franchise, really does mean a lot to him. With Rec 3, I think he just wanted to experiment a little and breakaway from the found-footage of the first two, maybe in hopes of expanding the series and showing that he can actual do more than film (through first-person) a bunch of people running around an apartment complex. Even with the bad decision to shift the series' style, Plaza still has a terrific talent with a camera. He sets up wonderful shots and captures the color and terror that goes on at a Spanish wedding ceremony brilliantly. However, the weak script detracts from the pretty visuals (including its leading lady, Dolera) and nosedives the film into the realm of the laughable and ridiculous. Plaza definitely attempts to turn the film into a horror comedy, even highlighting each physical joke with cheesy music, all to rather weak effect. Maybe going into this, knowing it was this different, I would have been more prepared, but you don't have to be a genius to know it just doesn't work. 

Showing a little leg while wielding a chainsaw is far from any Rec staple. 

Both leads are interesting characters, but as more horror stories go, they lack any depth or substance. Clara has her moments of being a badass (she goes crazy with a chainsaw) but again, it feels completely unnecessary. The first two Rec films were terrifying because they didn't show a lot, and the moments they did reveal a bit, were all the more terrifying. In Rec 3, Plaza embraces the violence, turning the series down the path of torture-porn and gore. Sure, this works for some movies, but it's not what you sign up for when you head into a Rec flick. However, there's still a lot to enjoy, from the great visuals, to the even better makeup. It's definitely not a failure, just a disappointment. Sure, [Rec] 3: Genesis could have been much greater than it really is but I still like it, even if it is a little difficult to swallow. 

The Good:
the film has style, even if it is a bit misguided
The Bad:
very little of the movie feels like an actual Rec movie and in turn, feels very, very generic (with a lot of blood)
The Ugly:
knowing that the premise is an incredible idea but that its execution ruins it almost completely

Overall: 6.1/10

Discussion Question:
What are some of your favorite foreign horror films?


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At November 10, 2012 at 6:52 AM , Blogger Ben Hayward said...

Nice review. You've got this absolutely spot on - well according to me anyway.

I enjoyed [REC] 3 but I don't think it deserves to be labelled a [REC] film. The tone is too far removed. There was humour where humour shouldn't have been!

Our reviews are pretty much like-for-like:

At November 10, 2012 at 6:59 AM , Blogger Ben Hayward said...

Oh and as far as favourite horror movies go: [REC] and [REC] 2, Martyrs, Shutter, Ils, Dead Snow and Ju-On. I would've usually said Ringu but I rewatched it recently and it's really dated nowadays.

At November 10, 2012 at 11:58 AM , Blogger Corbyn Samuels said...

I haven’t seen [REC] 3 yet but I’ve seen the preview and it looks creepy. I do have to say that it doesn’t make me feel as apprehensive as the first two did. Since I’m a fan of the genre I added this film to my Blockbuster @ Home movie queue which is available through DISH. One thing I did notice though when watching the trailer is that they didn’t give away exactly how it all got started at this wedding. That’s a good thing! My DISH co-worker said he saw this movie with his girlfriend and it made her jump a lot. I’m not sure if this movie will do the same for me but I can’t wait to check it out.

At November 10, 2012 at 10:58 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Good list! Definitely need to re-watch some of those. Glad to see you agree with me on Rec as well. I'll be sure to check out your review.

At November 10, 2012 at 10:58 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Thanks for stopping by.

At November 15, 2012 at 8:33 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed REC genesis, I believe there is a fair degree of elitism about the found footage aspect of the series that made people write this off unjustly. A fun film shouldn't be looked down upon so harshly. Nice Review.

At November 15, 2012 at 10:17 AM , Blogger Nick said...

I agree to an extent. While I haven't written it off completely, I am just disappointed it didn't have the same feel as the first two. It's kind of like the sequel to the Blair Witch Project (just not as terrible) where something so different just didn't feel like a part of the series.


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