“People went stark raving mad & they just started eating each other”
First off I must apologise for the long gap between reviews but I have had very little free time lately & a broken finger which isn’t helping my typing. But this film I simply had to review straight away, after all this is the latest film in the [REC] franchise. The first [REC] movie was stunning a masterpiece in horror cinema. The sequel, while not matching the genius of [REC] was still an outstanding movie. So [REC] 3 Genesis is a movie I have been desperate to see for ages. Once I got my grubby little mits on a copy of the movie it was a case of make coffee, turn phone off & sit down & watch it. So… is it all I hoped it would be? Sadly no it isn’t. I did enjoy it & it really has some great moments but it is in reality a bit of a fuck up!
[REC] 3 Genesis starts at the wedding of Koldo & Clara. The wedding is being filmed by Atun a professional wedding videographer & Adrian, Koldo’s cousin. During the filming of the guests arriving for the wedding Adrian interviews his uncle who we discover has been bitten by a dog at his veterinarian workplace (an obvious link to the first movie & Max) After the wedding, the reception is in full swing when Adrian’s uncle starts to feel unwell. He falls from a balcony onto some tables & as the concerned wedding guest crowd around him to see if he is ok he sits up & bites a chunk out of a female guest’s neck. Suddenly more infected guests attack & in the ensuing chaos Koldo & Clara are separated. each taking refuge in different parts of the building with several other survivors. The movie then focuses on Koldo & Clara as the try to find each other amidst the carnage.
I sooo wanted to love this movie & in certain ways I did. There are moments of genuine brilliance in this movie, sadly there are also dozens of flaws & inconsistencies. Following the first two movies was never going to be easy & was probably made harder by the decision to split the writing/directorial partnership of Jaume Balaguero & Paco Plaza, with Plaza taking on part 3 a prequel & Balaguero taking on [REC] 4 Apocalypse set after the second movie. [REC] 3 Genesis does have its highpoints. The first twenty minutes of the movie is filmed in the now traditional found footage formula. Plaza skillfully uses the movie’s title card to switch the movie’s style from found footage to a regular movie style. Not only is this cleverly done but it allows the movie much more freedom as it no longer has to show the events from a single perspective. Plaza manges some wonderful subtleties in this movie. In one scene Koldo is seen with a TV behind him, the camera focuses on the screen to show a news report from the Barcelona apartment building from the first film. Sadly the movie is riddled with inconsistencies & flaws, none more than the infected. In the first two movies they were fast & deadly. In Genesis they are sometimes fast & at other times they turn into Romeroesque slow shufflers. This makes no sense & seriously undermines the threat posed by the infected. There is a moment when Koldo does something that actually made me shout “for fucks sake” at the TV. I won’t give away any spoilers but I will say St George & anyone watching it will know exactly what I mean. There has been a lot of criticism of the movie pre release about the images of the bride with the chainsaw. I’m sad to report that these scenes are poor. The ending is a serious let down too. The two principal cast members put in decent performances Deigo Martin is good as Koldo & Leticia Dolera is excellent as Clara. As good as Dolera is & she really is good this movie missed the presence of Manuela Velasco.
Sadly this movie isn’t great. I think I enjoyed this despite myself. I dare say if I watched it back to back with the first two movies I would feel seriously let down. As a stand alone movie it just about works, as part of the [REC] franchise it doesn’t measure up at all. For anyone who enjoyed the first two movies this is a film you have to see but I would suggest seriously lowering your expectations. I now hope that [REC]4 Apocalypse brings this franchise back up to the high standards of the first two movies. As for [REC] 3 Genesis I am sad to report it is in all honesty a huge letdown. Shame.