Toronto After Dark 2012: [REC]³ Genesis Review (Robert Harding)

Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2012

[REC]3 Genesis (2012)

Starring Leticia Dolera, Javier Botet, Diego Martin, Alex Monner, and Ismael Martinez

Directed by Paco Plaza

Rec 3 marks a major divergence from the previous two films in the Rec franchise. Fans of those two films should note – this is nothing like the Rec films you’ve come to love. Don’t go into this new Rec film expecting to see first person shaky cam cause you’re not going to find it.  Well, not in the same way you’re used to.

This latest installment in the hit Spanish zombie movie series relocates the carnage to a very large wedding reception. When the uncle of the groom shows up to the wedding with a dog bite on his hand nobody takes much notice. Little does anyone know that this little bite links him to a zombie outbreak happening miles away (see Rec 1 & 2).  When the party gets going everyone thinks said uncle has had a bit too much to drink. That is until he eats someone.

Rec 3 starts off  similar to the first two Rec films with lots of first person hand held camera work. Combining footage of three different cameras, one from the wedding videographer, and two from young relatives; one of which clearly wants to get into the film business. This style of familiar camera work continues up until just after the guests start getting eaten. Shortly after the zombie outbreak at the wedding reception, the wedding videographer get his camera smashed marking a change in camera style as the film switches over to a more traditional third person perspective. The third person perspective allows the film to have nice clean beautiful cinematography but also means that the claustrophobic sense achieved through first person shaky cam is gone. While this may be a good thing to some, most will find Rec 3 to be far less scary (if at all) because of it.

Rec 3 continues the tradition of having lots of gore and blood and it also has some humourous moments. The characters are well defined even in the short period of time some of them are on screen. And much like in the first two films, nobody is truly safe… nobody.

Rec 1 & 2 became popular due to their smart use of first person perspective shaky camera work. They weren’t your standard found footage films. While continuing on with this style may have become tedious to the viewer after three films, fans may not take well to this change. I personally felt the bridge between the old and the new worked very well. When the video camera was broken, it made that clear distinction that the filmmakers were going in a different direction. I wish the filmmakers had been able to maintain the level of scares from the previous outings but the film was too frantic to keep any tension going. I didn’t enjoy Rec 3 nearly as much as the first two but it did leave me with one lasting impression: I now really want to know what’s going to happen in Rec 4!

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