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Film4 FrightFest 2012: Britgeek reviews [REC] 3: GENESIS!!



Britgeek here.






To say that ‘found footage’ movies are all the rage right now is an understatement. In fact, I sound a little like a broken Furby repeating what so many others have said since PARANORMAL ACTIVITY opened the flood gates in 2009: they’re commercial and cheap to make. Unfortunately, very few manage to be effective. [REC] and [REC] 2 are among that small handful of gems. They sizzle with suspense and there is a genuine, almost overwhelming sense of dread that permeates the films from beginning to end. The key location of both – the apartment complex – and the horrors it contains feel real. Found footage as a genre has been deemed by many to be a flavour-of-the-month gimmick, but what the first two entries do in what is now the [REC] franchise is remove that doubt and showcase bona-fide film-makers stretching their muscles and making audiences shriek.


[REC] 3: GENESIS on the other hand seems to find that lost doubt and bring it back, all while recklessly – although very deliberately so – abandoning the exact elements that made its predecessors stand out on an international level. It would be a push to even categorise [REC] 3 as a found footage film. Beyond the first act, the shaky handheld angle is dropped. And then it becomes a comedy of the splatstick variety. Twenty minutes in, [REC] ceases to be [REC].


The events of Paco Plaza’s film take place either a few hours before the original or run concurrently to it, it is never quite clear. The wedding of a young couple turns from the happiest to the bloodiest day of their lives when the uncle of the groom becomes infected with the mysterious virus and the reception goes to gooey, gory hell as the nameless plague spreads like wildfire, offing suited and booted guests – and seemingly bringing them back to life in zombie-like resurrection – left, right and centre.


The all-too-generous comparisons to Peter Jackson’s BRAINDEAD are as bemusing as the decision to change tone so dramatically. Such bemusement as to the tone of the piece needn’t have mattered beyond the initial comprehension of such a change if it had succeeded in finding the balance between gags and guts, which it fails to do.


The characters become lost in the bloodshed and futile attempts at humour. It’s a film devoid of the shocks and scares that we have come to know from the series and it’s a crying shame.


Word is that Jaume Balaguero’s [REC] 4: APOCALYPSE, the apparent concluding chapter of the series, will return to its straight-up horror roots, and that is good news to say the least. This third part is a sadly misjudged effort that has left me longing for another [REC] as we know it.









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Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 24, 2012, 8:39 a.m. CST

    Hang around for the special version of Cabal

    by IWantCheese

    That could be worth seeing.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 8:49 a.m. CST

    Trailer for this looks retahded

    by Steve Lamarre

    1 and 2 were good.

  • Going comedy is quite the way to throw in the towel however. Hats off.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 8:58 a.m. CST

    ehhh it was decent enough

    by Waka_Flocka

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 9:10 a.m. CST

    Screw you domi'sinnerchild, TDKR ruled!

    by JarJar25

    You fuckers, that film was fantastic. You thought Avengers was going to suck, and you thought the Dark Knight Rises was going to be great. Well, the Avengers was awesome and so was the TDKR. TDKR isn't going anywhere, so deal with it!

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 9:20 a.m. CST

    Not up there with the first two, but still enjoyable.

    by Liam Brazier

    It had a less clear intent this time around. The first was a zombie horror, the second a religious, supernatural horror, this third entry a.. sorta pastiche on american twenty-somethings in peril/Scooby-doo sorta comedy horror thing. It had some good scenes, and as someone currently planning their wedding I enjoyed the scenario, but yes, not up there with those that preceded it alas. I still applaud the creators bravado to change tack so abruptly.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 9:28 a.m. CST

    Funnily enough....

    by spyro

    I watched this the other day. I thought it was alright with a few 'jump scare' moments but compared to the first two it's not that great nor does it really continue/further the story in any way. It's really a standalone film and while fun by itself I'm not sure what it add's to the larger picture. Maybe the 4th film will link it somehow.....

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 10:46 a.m. CST

    it was atrocious

    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

    The first one is the best horror film in years. The second had terrible acting and plotting, but I guess it could still make you jump. Why did they make the third like this? It's like they wanted to do Army of Darkness but with no quotability or comic timing. People disappear out of the film with no explanation given. Lazy shit like a ripped off dress unripping itself in the next scene, etc.<P> Very surprised that they're doing a fourth. It can't be carrying on from this one, surely? <P> I get that it's a joke, but it is a bit of a shame to pull it on a franchise that wasn't entirely shite to begin with. REC scared the hell out of me, was just 'realistic' enough, and felt like it had 'Aliens'- era-Cameron levels of attention paid to the script.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 10:47 a.m. CST

    chainsawed, not ripped

    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead


  • Aug. 24, 2012, 12:07 p.m. CST

    the last 20 minutes or so was good though

    by Matt Szczerba

    rest of it was mediocre and boring. ending was romantic and the last 20 minutes was pretty cool though.

  • that would suck

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 4:19 p.m. CST

    not really, they spend a lot of time yelling out prayers

    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

    and it stops them dead in their tracks. But there's absolutely no progression of what we know about the virus and its spread; this seems to be a standalone film

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 4:27 p.m. CST

    It there a bomb in this with a giant countdown timer?

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    And a crying butler? Maybe a bunch of smelly policement trapped in a sewer?

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 7:38 p.m. CST

    Curious as to how...

    by AotD

    ...this review was up before the film actually screened. What's up with that? I know because it popped up on my twitter feed whilst I was waiting for it to start. Personally I liked it a whole bunch.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 10:39 p.m. CST


    by Adam Stephen Kelly

    I was sent a screener last week.

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 3:44 a.m. CST

    @the green gargantua

    by buggerbugger

    They revealed that the virus was supernatural at the end of the first REC when they ventured into the priest's attic room. re: "Did they drop that angle in 3???" Nope, it's still very much supernatural in origin. In fact, they reveal an extra element to it during the course of the movie. See below for a wee SPOILER. SPOILER for REC 3 When you see the infected/possessed in a mirror, their reflection isn't that of themselves, but of the tall, skinny Madeiros girl from the first two movies. Not entirely sure what this means, but perhaps it implies that it's some sort of weird multi-possession/infection by a single creature?

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 4:52 a.m. CST

    Still buying the Blu-ray...

    by AnalFissure

    ...with expectations suitably adjusted. UK BD is out in a couple of weeks which gives me an excuse to watch RECs 1 & 2 again.

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 9:06 a.m. CST

    Braindead comparison

    by tattooedjackass

    I said this to you on twitter the likeness they tried to go for, the first 2 movies were von aide horror movies and I wish they stayed away from the humour, fingers crossed 4 will be terrifying!

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 3:38 p.m. CST

    feared this when i saw the preview...

    by IamHERE

    I love REC, I love REC 2 even more because it expanded the original and is a perfect companion piece to it. When I saw the preview to this, I rolled my eyes and swore. Its a sad shame they didnt take the logical step in the story and have the quarantine broken and the city becoming infected.