Koldo & Clara are made for each other and they plan to celebrate their marriage accompanied by their nearest and dearest. But a black cloud is looming over them. On the happiest day of their lives, all hell is about to break loose.
It's a brave sequel that abandons everything that was popular and distinctive about its predecessors. Yet that's exactly what "Rec 3: Genesis" does. The first two films in the Rec series of zombie-based Spanish horror movies were notable for their claustrophobic feel (almost all the action took place in a single narrow apartment block), their vicious and fast-moving zombie villains, and - above all else - the 'found footage' hand-held camera approach to shooting the movies. Both Rec 1 and Rec 2 also feel particularly closely bound-together because the action of the second picks up immediately after the end of the first, giving a strong feeling of a coherent and closely-connected narrative - and the second movie ends on a killer cliffhanger that sets things up very nicely for a third.
Rec 3, however, unceremoniously jettisons all of that. Gone is the confining apartment building, replaced instead by a sprawling country estate that's hosting a lavish wedding. Gone are the 28-Days-Later-style super-zombies, replaced instead by more traditional, George Romero-esque shuffling, mindless drones. And although the hand-held camera approach does manage to survive until about twenty minutes into the third movie (in the form of a wedding video), even that is ultimately abandoned in favour of a far more conventional filmed approach.
It all feels like a conscious attempt to separate this third movie from the first two, and to inject some new life into the franchise by (ironically) taking a back-to-basics traditional approach to the zombie genre. But does it work? Well, sadly, the answer is "not really".
In consciously avoiding the elements that made the first two films so distinctive, this third movie inevitably ends up feeling like it has less of an identity of its own - instead, it feels more like any number of zombie B-movies you could name. Admittedly, there are still one or two deftly-handled shocks and gory moments, but they're few and far between in a film that feels as much like a comedy as it does a horror movie. The central conceit of a wedding being trashed by a zombie infection is a potentially great one, but it's thrown away in favour of a slapstick approach that always opts for laughs over shocks when faced with the choice. As a dumb-but-fun slice of silliness in the mould of "Shaun of the Dead" or "Evil Dead: Army of Darkness", it succeeds - but that represents a step down for a franchise that had so far thrived on being so smart, unpredictable and original.
Admittedly, there are some positive elements: the cast are all fairly decent and believable, there are some inspired gags (such as the Spongebob Squarepants impersonator who changes his name for legal reasons), and the plot allows for some great visuals - including a wedding disco that's rudely interrupted by a blood-splattered suicide leap from an infected partygoer, and a later scene in which the bride picks up a chainsaw and goes zombie-hunting whilst still sporting her ruined wedding dress. But these are outweighed by contrived plot points (such as the sudden power of religious texts to incapacitate an entire army of zombies), a rather dull and undramatic overall storyline, and a lack of any real drama to give the surprisingly serious ending the weight it demands. Oh, and the film's "genesis" subtitle - which promises so much in terms of the franchise's unrevealed secret origins - is totally misleading, as we don't really get any extra backstory to help further explain the action of Rec 1 and Rec 2.
Whilst it's a fun enough way to spend an hour and a half, Rec 3 ends up as a lesser addition to the franchise, and one that turns out to be just like the zombies that populate it: it's simply crying out for more brains.
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play The origins of the demonically possessed that inhabit the apartment building from the first two REC movies is explained in this prequel from director Paco Plaza one of the two co-directors of the series His twice over collaborator Juame Balaguero returns to helm the conclusion to the first-person action horror franchise Diego Martin and Leticia Dolera star Actors Leticia Dolera Javier Botet Diego Martín Ismael Martínez Àlex Monner Mireia Ros Carla Nieto Claire Baschet Ana Isabel Velásquez Emilio Mencheta & Xavier Ruano Director Paco Plaza Certificate 18 years and over Year 2012 Languages Spanish Subtitles English
Spanish horror sequel in which another outbreak of a deadly infectious virus strikes an unsuspecting group of civilians. It is Koldo (Diego Martin) and Clara (Leticia Dolera)'s wedding day. Everything goes well, with the happy couple revelling in their special day, until an elderly guest who had complained of being bitten by a dog earlier in the day keels over and appears to be dead. However, subsequent events reveal that a fate far worse than death has struck the guest when he awakes and savagely bites his wife, triggering a further outbreak of the rabies-like infection among the wedding party. Amidst the chaos that ensues, Clara and Koldo become separated from one another. Can they find each other and make their escape before one of them becomes infected with the horrifying virus spreading like wildfire through the group?