Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: [REC] 3: Génesis

The second sequel—actually a prequel—to 2007 Spanish horror surprise [REC] (as in “record”) is something of a disappointment, but serious genre fans (which is to the say the non-subtitle-averse) and anyone who thrills to the idea of seeing cannibal zombies ruin a perfectly lovely wedding will check it out anyway.

Sept 7, 2012

-By Maitland McDonagh


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1362818-Rec3_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

Clare (Leticia Dolera, possessor of the biggest peepers since Eyes Without a Face star Edith Scob), and Koldo (Diego Martín) are enjoying the fairy-tale wedding of every little princess’ dreams, complete with historic church, lavishly catered reception in a medieval castle set in the middle of handsomely landscaped grounds, and busloads of family and dearly loved friends in attendance. Literally busloads—the catering hall is far enough from the church that the happy couple has rented a fleet of coaches to ferry them all from one location to the other. Even their videographer is top of the line—the guy's got a Steadicam rig. Their wedding tape is going to be epic!

And so it is, though not in the way they imagined. As always, the first sign of trouble is small: Jovial Uncle Victor (Emilio Mencheta), a veterinarian, seems a little under the weather and has a bloody bandage on one hand—it seems one of his canine patients got a little feisty and nipped him. Nothing to worry about, he says: It goes with the job. But it becomes clear that's not the case when Victor, now sweating and wild-eyed, takes a header off an indoor balcony during the reception: Broken glass, spattered food, horrified guests, dead uncle…poor Koldo and Clara! And then Victor gets up and starts biting people. Uh oh…cue the running and screaming.

With the bulk of the supporting cast zombified or perhaps possessed by demons ([REC] 3: Génesis doesn't delve as deeply into that possibility as [REC] 2 did, but they can be stopped in their bloody tracks, at least temporarily, by a praying priest), Clara and Kolda are separated and spend much of the next hour trying to find each other and avoid just about everyone else as their wedding finery becomes progressively gore-soaked and ragged.

Paco Plaza, who co-wrote and co-directed both [REC] (remade in the U.S. as Quarantine in 2008) and [REC] 2 with Jaume Balagueró, takes the reins alone here, and the result is briskly efficient and handsomely photographed (by the serendipitously named Pablo Rosso, who also worked on the previous two installments). But it lacks the element of surprise that helped make [REC] and, more remarkably, [REC] 2 so sublimely creepy. Of course, neither had any kind of U.S. release beyond a couple of horror festival showings, so [REC] 3—which works as a standalone story—might play just fine to the mall multiplex crowd looking for some gory fun on a Saturday night, especially since it delivers plenty of gore, some smartly staged suspense sequences, and a pretty heroine feisty enough to grab a chainsaw, rip the skirt off her dream dress and go bridezilla on the monsters who crashed her party. And despite some repetitive time-wasting on the way, it comes to a Romeo-and-Juliet ending that's both genuinely haunting and gleefully gross. Let's hope Plaza can do as much in the fourth and supposedly last film in the series.


Film Review: [REC] 3: Génesis

The second sequel—actually a prequel—to 2007 Spanish horror surprise [REC] (as in “record”) is something of a disappointment, but serious genre fans (which is to the say the non-subtitle-averse) and anyone who thrills to the idea of seeing cannibal zombies ruin a perfectly lovely wedding will check it out anyway.

Sept 7, 2012

-By Maitland McDonagh


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1362818-Rec3_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

Clare (Leticia Dolera, possessor of the biggest peepers since Eyes Without a Face star Edith Scob), and Koldo (Diego Martín) are enjoying the fairy-tale wedding of every little princess’ dreams, complete with historic church, lavishly catered reception in a medieval castle set in the middle of handsomely landscaped grounds, and busloads of family and dearly loved friends in attendance. Literally busloads—the catering hall is far enough from the church that the happy couple has rented a fleet of coaches to ferry them all from one location to the other. Even their videographer is top of the line—the guy's got a Steadicam rig. Their wedding tape is going to be epic!

And so it is, though not in the way they imagined. As always, the first sign of trouble is small: Jovial Uncle Victor (Emilio Mencheta), a veterinarian, seems a little under the weather and has a bloody bandage on one hand—it seems one of his canine patients got a little feisty and nipped him. Nothing to worry about, he says: It goes with the job. But it becomes clear that's not the case when Victor, now sweating and wild-eyed, takes a header off an indoor balcony during the reception: Broken glass, spattered food, horrified guests, dead uncle…poor Koldo and Clara! And then Victor gets up and starts biting people. Uh oh…cue the running and screaming.

With the bulk of the supporting cast zombified or perhaps possessed by demons ([REC] 3: Génesis doesn't delve as deeply into that possibility as [REC] 2 did, but they can be stopped in their bloody tracks, at least temporarily, by a praying priest), Clara and Kolda are separated and spend much of the next hour trying to find each other and avoid just about everyone else as their wedding finery becomes progressively gore-soaked and ragged.

Paco Plaza, who co-wrote and co-directed both [REC] (remade in the U.S. as Quarantine in 2008) and [REC] 2 with Jaume Balagueró, takes the reins alone here, and the result is briskly efficient and handsomely photographed (by the serendipitously named Pablo Rosso, who also worked on the previous two installments). But it lacks the element of surprise that helped make [REC] and, more remarkably, [REC] 2 so sublimely creepy. Of course, neither had any kind of U.S. release beyond a couple of horror festival showings, so [REC] 3—which works as a standalone story—might play just fine to the mall multiplex crowd looking for some gory fun on a Saturday night, especially since it delivers plenty of gore, some smartly staged suspense sequences, and a pretty heroine feisty enough to grab a chainsaw, rip the skirt off her dream dress and go bridezilla on the monsters who crashed her party. And despite some repetitive time-wasting on the way, it comes to a Romeo-and-Juliet ending that's both genuinely haunting and gleefully gross. Let's hope Plaza can do as much in the fourth and supposedly last film in the series.
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

Laggies
Film Review: Laggies

Disappointing comedic entry about a late-20s slacker who won’t grow up is writer/filmmaker Lynn Shelton’s first outing directing someone else’s material. Points here for strong cast and an occasional chuckle, but otherwise there’s just no point. More »

Rudderless
Film Review: Rudderless

Well-done indie drama about a lost-soul house painter reborn through rock ’n’ roll is a nice actor’s showcase for star Billy Crudup and an impressive directorial debut for actor William H. Macy. But in spite of some good work onscreen, both hero and story lack the edge and originality to carry this drama beyond respectability. More »

Camp X-Ray
Film Review: Camp X-Ray

Army guard and Guantanamo detainee form a grudging relationship in a thoughtful but far-fetched drama. More »

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Film Review: The Tale of The Princess Kaguya

As charming as it is delicate, this unusually low-key, if a tad overlong, animated feature brings yet more prestige to the famed Ghibli output. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Fury Review
Film Review: Fury

American tanks fight superior German forces in the closing days of World War II. More »

Birdman
Film Review: Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Virtuosic camerawork and a stellar ensemble of actors more than make up for the occasional moment of portentous twaddle in Alejandro G. Iñárritu's latest—and maybe his best—film. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here