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[REC]3 Genesis - Review

[REC]3 Genesis

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

THREE films in and [REC] co-creator Paco Plaza has decided to freshen up the formula and really go for the jugular in terms of gory thrills.

The result may lack the claustrophobic tension and sense of dread that marked the first two films but replaces it with a dark humour that only adds to the fun.

Set hours before the events of the original, [REC]3 Genesis takes place at the wedding of Clara (Leticia Dolera) to Koldo (Diego Martin).

But what begins as a day to remember for the happy couple soon becomes the reception from hell after one of the guests becomes infected and unleashes the virus and its flesh-eating consequences upon all present.

Early on, Plaza’s film retains some of the elements that made the franchise so successful, including the hand-held camera approach as the various guests are introduced (including a professional wedding camera-man, a hapless children’s entertainer and a Romeo best man).

But once the mayhem begins, the director drops the format (literally) in favour of a more traditional approach that allows him to follow the two main characters as they become separated and spend the rest of the movie attempting to find each other.

This, in turn, opens up the possibility for Plaza to have some fun and really go for broke in terms of depicting the gory deaths that await various characters (both human and zombie), and which include the use of kitchen utensils and a chainsaw.

There’s also a self-consciously OTT element, whether in Plaza’s use of the heightened romance between Martin and Dolera or the comedic moments, which include the sight of Martin dressed up in ancient body armour to try and fight off the zombies or a recurring gag involving the children’s entertainer and his unwitting comparisons to a certain Spongebob Squarepants.

It does, however, come at the expense of any genuine frights or terror, which may come as a disappointment to certain fans of the franchise, but which freshens things up and retains its ability to evolve and surprise.

Performance-wise, too, the film delivers with both Martin and Dolera on particularly good form – Dolera, especially, gets to unleash her inner Bride-zilla with chainsaw wielding relish during the movie’s blood-soaked latter stages.

Hence, while the originality of the first [REC] chapter has long since passed, [REC]3 has more than enough in its armoury to keep zombie fans entertained and the franchise itself in continued good health. It is, in short, bloody good fun.

In Spanish, with subtitles

Certificate: 18
Running time: 80mins
UK Release Date: August 31, 2012