Review of [REC]3: Genesis
The third film in the REC horror movie releases, REC 3: Genesis occurs alongside the developments of the first two films. The director, Paco Plaza, and the producer, Julio Fernandez, have remained constant through all installments thusfar. The plot follows two newlyweds at their wedding celebration and how things go rather south after a sudden zombie outbreak interrupts the processions.
While the film is introduced through the handheld camera perception and lasts until the rising action, so there is a great majority of the film that is in regular third-person view. The husband's cousin is filming the opening of the wedding and many family members are introduced in various ways. Notably, an uncle is seen with bandages on his hand as he recalls how he was bitten by a rabid dog at a vet's office. So everyone gathers in the church for the wedding proceedings. After the oaths are taken by our beautiful bride (Clara) and groom (Koldo), the reception proceeds at a large mansion for celebration, celebration that is soon cut short.
The cousin films telling glimpses of men in hazmat suits behind the building, and a police car arriving, before making the mistake of heading back inside where all the friends and relatives are dancing. The aforementioned uncle catches the attention of the crowd as he dangerously, almost drunkenly, hangs off the balcony before plummeting onto the dance floor. If that didn't put a halt on everyone's good time, he bites viciously into the throat of an old woman who kneels to assist. In the spreading panic and rapidly increasing infection, the bride and groom are separated when they flee from harm. Angry at his cousin for filming at such an insensitive time, Koldo breaks the camera through which we watch, forcing the movie to go back to the average movie view and breaking the previously unbroken tradition of the REC series.
Through the rising action of the film, there is a distinct lack of what should be a familiar feeling: fear. Or, at least, great excitement. The first two REC films (perhaps due to their hand-held camera style?) were excellent examples of suspense and apprehension of, oh, I don't know, being ripped into by zombies. Not here, though. Koldo, and the group he escapes with, flees through a vent and outside the building into a local church. Surprisingly, they are able to remain in the holy place without the zombies breaking in, as its nature repels the evil spirits. For those of you who haven't seen the second film, it is revealed that the zombies aren't really zombies, but demons who occupy human bodies and have zombie... characteristics.
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Koldo is inspired to dress in some armor he finds in the church and face anything necessary to save his beloved. While not exactly giving me the "hero" vibes, the character satisfies what's need to make a believable action... semi-hero. Meanwhile, Clara joins a priest who claims that these are the end days. Then, the demon/zombies attack and are seen, in a mirror, to reflect the image of the original infected girl from the first film!
They are separated, however, when the hungry infected force Clara to flee underground. Another twist in the plot occurs when the priest freezes the zombies in their place! No, not with Mr. Freeze's ice ray-gun, but with scripture (which is a lot less badass, if you ask me). Koldo, at this point, is roaming all around the premise, dispatching zombies and searching for his soul mate. The two meet up after Clara, who was previously doing some handy work with a chainsaw, climbs a ladder out the cellar and up to her love. All seems lost when, from every direction, zombies corner the two lovers with hunger in their eyes.
The priest delivers a well-timed sermon over the intercom, however, allowing the newlyweds to simply walk away from the danger. They almost make it out to safety when a deaf grandpa, who isn't able to hear the good word, bites Clara. In spite of her husband chopping her infected arm clean off, she still starts to turn. He carries his wife to the boundary of the revealed quarantine that has been set up, where the two share one last kiss before Clara rips his tongue straight out, prompting the infected couple to be blazed down by SWAT gunfire.
Final Thoughts: The main criticism I have to list before anything else would be the lack of scares or real intensity of the film. Gore? Sure. Violence? Yep. Suspense or terror? No. With the trimming of the handheld view comes the shedding of all elements of fear, claustrophobia, terror of governmental isolation, or zombies sprinting after you. That's right, they no longer sprint. With absolutely zero continuation of any plot of the series, as a whole, this seems like pointless filler, as a movie. Skip unless you're a fan inclined to follow the other REC films. 6/10