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AICN HORROR talks about the entire [REC] series with co-director Paco Plaza and focuses on his new film, [REC]3: GENESIS! Plus a review of the film!

Logo by Kristian Horn
What the &#$% is ZOMBIES & SHARKS?

Greetings, all. Ambush Bug here with another AICN HORROR: ZOMBIES & SHARKS column. This time around, I chat with one half of the mad duo who brought you [REC] and [REC]2. Paco Plaza took full control of his newest installment in the series [REC]3: GENESIS while he will be serving as producer for his [REC] collaborator Juame Balaguero for [REC]4: APOCALYPSE. But today, he’s here to talk about [REC]3. Here’s the conversation we had about the film. Look further down for a review of the film.

AMBUSH BUG (BUG): Mr. Plaza, I just want to let you know that I am a huge fan of your work. Let’s start with the original [REC] film. Did you ever think that it would become the world-wide phenomenon that it has become? It was remade n America, everybody including myself consider it one of the best horror films to come around in a very long time, but looking back on that first film did you ever expect that it would be accepted so widely?


PACO PLAZA (PP): Well first of all thank you very much for your words. Of course we never expected something like that to happen. Where it all began was Jaume Balaguero and me having a coffee one afternoon in Barcelona and we were complaining about difficult it was to get our next respective films financed and we were lazy saying “It’s so difficult” and we said, “Wouldn’t it be great to do something like back when we were short filmmakers, just grab a camera, gather a few friends, and just make something?” “Yeah, that would be spectacular” and we looked at each other like “What’s stopping us? Let’s do it.” We began to think about a film we could shoot with a video camera and a few friends and that was where we became more and more obsessed with the idea of doing something, really really small, something we could control one hundred percent.

But while we were shooting it and even the first screenings we had, we didn’t really know even if it was going to be released at all theatrically. We talked sometimes about making an internet release or doing something like a special edition with a DVD. We didn’t know… It was the reaction of people that came to watch the film that really gave us the idea of “I think this is getting out of hand.” We got really excited, but even the whole process we never thought that it was going to be something that big.

BUG: And it really came around at the beginning of all of this found footage trend and just the kind of handheld first person point of view. I’m sure you saw THE BLAIR WITCH project when it first came out, was that influential in you making the film?

PP: Yes, THE BLAIR WITCH and especially CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST and it was an influence. There was another Belgium film and I don’t know the English name, but there were many films that had an influence on us, but even there was a chapter of the TV show THE X-FILES which was called “THE X-COPS” that was a mixture of Mulder and Scully that was like a reality show. It was really interesting, but it’s true that the main influence on us was the television and the language of reporting the news.

I’m not too familiar with American reality shows, but in Spain it’s very, very popular, this genre of having a journalist and a camera man travelling all around making interviews, because it’s he cheapest program you can imagine. We have a lot of them. It’s a very popular way of making television here in Spain for us I think that was the strongest influence more than any other film.

BUG: What I loved about the series in general is the unpredictability. You went from going from a story about an infection in the first one to more of a religious tone with demons and everything and it was very seamless and then going into the third film you kind of elaborated on that religious theme. When you were making the first film did you think that there were going to be… Were these religious themes in there? I guess they were very subtle in the apartment at the very end, but going into it did you have the mythology planned out for the three films?

PP: I wouldn’t say the whole mythology for the three films, because at that time we were only trying to make one and that was all for us, but we knew, because Jaume and I thought a lot about when you make a film with a classic theme, it doesn’t matter if it’s vampires or werewolves, or mummies, something that has been really squeezed in the past, you have to be faithful to that tradition, but at the same time you need something new and something fresh and so we went in that line of making… They were not really zombies or infected by some disease, they were possessed.

We loved mixing zombies and demons. We thought it was a fresh response and it was something we haven’t seen in the past and that was really exciting for us. We sort of succeeded in the first film, like saying about the possessed girl and… referring to this aspect of the church being involved in the creation of these zombies, but we didn’t have a whole mythology. We knew that we wanted to tell… went to a dog and then everything spread. But we didn’t have like a mythology, especially because when we were shooting REC we felt that was going to be it, a solo film.

BUG: Okay, so moving on to REC 3, you made a conscious decision to put down the hand held camera and shoot it as a real cinematic film. Was there pressure from studios or anything like that to keep it into the found footage genre a little bit longer in the film? Because that happens pretty early in the film.

PP: I knew I wanted to make this decision in the film, that I wanted to have a very long prolog. I think in the film it’s like eighteen minutes or something like that and I wanted a more cinematic filmmaking for many reasons. The first, this is something different. It’s different for me, but especially for the audience. I’m a filmgoer. I go to the theater three or four times a week. I love it. Something that happens to me is that more often I feel like I just went to the theater to check how the film is exactly how I expected, because of all of the anticipation and the trailers, the information you can read on the internet, it’s very difficult that a film surprises you and that’s what we wanted to have back, because I remember when I was a teenager there was very, very little information about the film and you really discovered the films in the theater while watching them and there’s something magical there, and that mystery of the film revealing itself on the screen was something that I was trying to achieve. That’s part of the weight of trying to make something very, very different.

At the same time I didn’t want to recreate REC from the beginning. I wanted to make a statement of “This is a REC film and it is shot in the way we have shot the previous film,” but we had like… When we say “these things have occurred in the other two films” we have to keep on recording “people have to know the truth…” I love having a character say “What are you saying? What about yourself?” and breaking the camera. It was like making a statement of “Okay, this is the end of it and now this is what is happening.”

BUG: Definitely. Did you find it easier or harder to make a cinematic film? It seems like setting up a found footage film where there are continuous shots and everything would involve a lot of preparation, especially in ones that are moving around and you are incorporating a lot of different actions at once in the same location. Was it easier for you to film it cinematically where you can do cuts and you can edit scenes and things like that?

PP: I wouldn’t say in terms of easy or difficult. It was just really different and the last time I had made this type of film it had been like six years ago. It was something I was really anticipating, because since my third film I don’t think I have used that type of… It’s a whole different way of working. It’s not easier or more difficult, it’s just very different and has nothing to do… I think the most complicated thing I have ever done with a camera was in REC. In the first REC it was like a circus filming that film with the choreography and the crew and the actors, that was really, really extreme, but in REC 3 I wouldn’t say one of the two different parts of the film was easier than the other.

BUG: Okay, so with REC 4 being made now, how involved are you in that? Are you involved as far as writing or producing? Or is it all completely on your writing partners?

PP: I was writing it with Manu, who was the writing partner on REC 2, and I’m going to be Creative Producer. So somehow I will be involved, but only if I’m… I’ll be around, but not that much.

BUG: Okay, so you and Jaume, are you guys going to come together for a fifth one, like wrapping the whole thing up from both of your perspectives? Or is it too early to tell from that?

PP: Yeah, it’s too early. Time will tell, you know. We have been collaborating together for the last ten years, so we will see what happens. I have an idea for having like a crazy REC 5, but I think we will have to take each step at its time and see what comes from REC 4. But the idea is that the fourth is the last one. That’s our idea.

BUG: Okay, so can you give us any hints about what we have to expect with REC 4?

PP: No. I don’t really want to get into trouble with Jaume. I don’t want to say too much. It’s better that when the time comes, he explains what he wants.

BUG: Understandable. So REC 3 does explore the story of husband and wife. It does explore themes of marriage and how precious marriage is and then the threat to marriage and the other two films seem to be exploring where the threat comes into your home and it’s attacking your home. Are these conscious decisions by you or is this just something that critics like myself just kind of read into these things? Do you consciously go in saying “I’m going to make a film about marriage.?”

PP: That’s really interesting. No, I think for me it’s like a comment on family and it’s a kind of subversive film with the institution of family, like being… For me it was very interesting to spoil someone’s happiest day of their life. It was like being a kid, like taking the happiest day of her life and spoiling it. I love that. (Laughs) I love these kind of social or political subjects in horror films, because I think that even if you don’t want to do it, you end up doing it, because you can’t help that your film in the end reflects how you see the world or how you are or how you think about different things, so I think all of those readings are worth a value.

BUG: Okay, well one other thing that I noticed about the series is just that it seems like it’s science versus religion where it’s less so in the first film, but in the second two films you have the government putting up a tent around this reception area and basically trying to contain this virus in a scientific way, but it’s something that’s much more powerful than that in religion. Are those themes something that interest you? It seems like it must, since it’s been pretty prominent in the last two films.

PP: I was raised Catholic and in Spain the religion has a big influence in our social daily lives and it’s a special institution and it’s something that Jaume and I talked a lot about. We have been to France with all of the films and in France they really find it a bizarre topic, the religious. For us it’s more natural. It’s something that has been in Spanish society for centuries. It’s really routed in our culture, but I guess it’s something in making this we became like superheroes… I think there’s something that’s really particular of this film.

BUG: I really love the whole arc that you guys did in the story and the way it ended was very dark, but it was also very sweet and very romantic and surprised me at how effected I was with that, how much you become invested in these two characters. One other question, I know we are getting right towards the 20 minute mark, but as far as where… What are your plans for the future after this film? Do you have other things going on?

PP: Yeah, I have some things in the air, but nothing confirmed. It hasn’t been too long since the release and I’m still trying to make up my mind in other projects about what I’m doing next.

BUG: Do you consider yourself a horror director or is that pigeonholing you too much?

PP: Well I love horror and it’s what I have done in the past and I think that’s what I want to be in my life. I would love to be a horror film director. I think I would be proud of that when I’m seventy or seventy-five years old and I look back and see that I have done a bunch of horror films. This is exactly what I want to do, but at the same time more and more I’m more keen on comedy and I wouldn’t say I wouldn’t write or direct a comedy, but there’s something with horror that is so fun to shoot with all of the fake blood and the effects. It’s having so much fun, like being a kid at the playground at school again. I don’t know if I will stop doing it, because I really love it.

BUG: You say you’re an avid filmgoer, are there any horror films that have come out recently that have impressed you or have really scared you.

PP: In general with horror films… The last film that really impressed me was SHAME by Steve McQueen. I’m crazy about that and when I walked out of the theater I bought… I don’t know if you have seen it.

BUG: I don’t think I’ve seen that one.

PP: It’s amazing. It’s a masterpiece. So I guess HUNGER, but Steve McQueen is the last movie that really shocked me. It hasn’t come out yet, but I watched THE IMPOSSIBLE by Juan Antonio Bayona, the director of THE ORPHANAGE, and it’s an amazing film. It really moved me and made me feel something. It’s amazing.

BUG: I have not seen it yet no, but I definitely will seek it out. I’m a big fan of THE ORPHANAGE, so I definitely have to see that one.

PP: It’s incredible.

BUG: Well thank you so much for taking the time out today to talk with me. And congrats on the great film with REC 3.

PP: Thank you very much.

BUG: [REC]3: GENESIS is available On Demand now and in theaters September 7th! Here’s my review for the film below!






Available now on Video On Demand and in theaters September 3!

[REC]3: GENESIS

Directed by Paco Plaza
Written by Paco Plaza, Luiso Berdejo, David Gallart
Starring Leticia Dolera, Diego Martin, Javier Botet, Alex Monner, Ismael Martinez, Claire Baschet, Mireia Ros, Ana Isabel Velásquez, Borja Glez. Santaolalla, Carla Nieto
Find out more about this film here!
Retro-reviewed by Ambush Bug


Though much ballyhoo is heaped on THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT as the one that made found footage the popular trend in horror that we have today, I have to disagree and say that, while there were some found footage films after BWP, it wasn’t until PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and internationally [REC] came along before people realized the potential fright factor those types of films possess. I remember the first time I saw [REC] and how blown away I was from it. Now, there are those who hate QUARANTINE, but for it being the shot for shot remake that it is, I have to admit my fondness for that film as well, mainly because Dexter’s freaky sister always creeps me out.

Though [REC]2 evolved naturally from the first film, it was, by and large, its own film; pushing the mythos forward and delving into the religious matters that might be behind this plague. As Plaza and his creative partner Juame Balaguero split for parts 3 and 4, the two seem to have decided to evolve the series even further. Having seen [REC]3 twice now, I understand those who criticize the film, but still feel it is something far superior than mostly all of the zombie/plague/possession films out there today.

Dropping the hand held, found footage motif fifteen minutes in seems to be a conscious statement by the director that we are moving past the allure of making the same film all over again for the third time and want to do something different in the same universe, using the same rules, and telling a much broader story. [REC]3 GENESIS does this by doing what the previous two [REC] films did so well—that is, taking expectations of something we take for granted (in [REC] it was the reality television show, in [REC]2 one could argue it was the COPS based reality show or even our fascination with on the spot war news as it followed the response team around the same building through the soldier’s eyes) and tossing them on its ear. In [REC]3 GENESIS, Plaza takes another standard, the wedding and twists it into a nightmare.

By doing this, I feel Plaza has made the most thematically strongest entry in the series to date. Every cliché is met in the first few minutes from the creepy uncle who drinks too much to the fat aunt who likes to pinch cheeks to the chicken dance. In showing this is your typical wedding, Plaza draws the audience in and helps them get comfortable before sinking its teeth in. These establishing scenes as seen through the intimate hand held lens of the camera in the first minutes solidify the audience’s investment and the film relies on that for the rest of the film.

Though it was made evident in [REC]2, I fully understood that this isn’t a zombie film, but a film about what would happened if Regan from THE EXORCIST were not tied to the bed and what if there were fifty Regans running around passing on the possession through bites and scratches. The religious themes continue to permeate as playing readings from the bible send the possessed into a trance and other holy standards are used to combat this demonic threat. The simple fact that so much of the typical wedding is based on religious themes and tradition makes it the perfect place for Plaza to utilize his demonic plague to the fullest.

Carrying out these themes are the loving newlywed couple who are separated for most of the film Leticia Dolera and Diego Martin. Martin does a decent job as the committed husband who won’t give up until he finds his new bride, though I was distracted as to how much Martin looks like a Spainish Jason Segal. Leticia Dolera is fantastic and is able to suck you in as the adorable bride, then shock you at the ultra-violence she is willing to enflict on her special day. The scenes of the bride going apeshit with a chainsaw could have been campy, but the wide-eyed frantic nature of her performance is reminiscent of Marilyn Burns performance in TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE.

[REC]3 GENESIS works best when it is subtle. From the beginning, having seen the previous two films, there are signs that things are slowly going wrong. From the coughing uncle to the hazmat team in the background of some scenes; if you’ve seen [REC] & [REC]2, you know where this is going and the patience Plaza takes to get there really works well on our expectations. Once shit does fly, it does so at a frantic pace. While I can see the point of some folks that without the hand held found footage motif, this cinematic approach is nothing more than one of the millions of zombie films available today, but the way Plaza handles the key scenes of this film—be they the wedding setup or the truly moving ending of this film, [REC]3 GENESIS proves that, though this may be a found footage/zombie mash-up film, it is definitely is the best of its kind.

[REC]3 GENESIS is in theaters now and available On Demand! See it! It’s good.

See ya next week, folks!

Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole/wordslinger/reviewer/co-editor of AICN Comics for over ten years. He has written comics such as MUSCLES & FIGHTS, MUSCLES & FRIGHTS, VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS TINGLERS & WITCHFINDER GENERAL, THE DEATHSPORT GAMES, WONDERLAND ANNUAL 2010 & NANNY & HANK (soon to be made into a feature film from Uptown 6 Films). He is also a regular writer for FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND & has co-written their first ever comic book LUNA: ORDER OF THE WEREWOLF (to be released in late 2012 as an 100-pg original graphic novel). Mark has just announced his new comic book miniseries GRIMM FAIRY TALES PRESENTS THE JUNGLE BOOK from Zenescope Entertainment to be released March-August 2012. Also look for Mark's exciting arc on GRIMM FAIRY TALES #76-80 which begins in August 2012.


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Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 10, 2012, 12:54 p.m. CST

    what a bs review

    by Matt Szczerba

    it's clearly the worst of the 3 Rec movies. the setup was there and then to abandon the found footage style for no reason and some of the stuff that happens in the movie is so inexplicable. not enough zombie action and scares. the setup in the first 15 minutes was fine and the last 20 minutes was very good. everything in between was a huge letdown.

  • Sept. 10, 2012, 12:58 p.m. CST

    no habla espanol

    by txubill

  • Sept. 10, 2012, 1:06 p.m. CST

    Alright film, but a shit sequel

    by strykebr

    I LOVED the first two Rec films, now it feels like the ALIEN franchise to me. I was supposed to save the film on my DVR to watch with my buddies but I just deleted it. I hope the next film can save it for me

  • Sept. 10, 2012, 1:16 p.m. CST

    That third film is a huge letdown ! (spoilers)

    by Nurman Vistosky

    That's what happens when you try to make a quick buck: you forget that your first 2 films where clever and scary and you make a piece of shit sequel that's silly, totally predictable (pregnant ? Nos surprise there) and lacks the most basic internal logic. Shame on you, and I'll pass on REC 4.

  • Sept. 10, 2012, 1:18 p.m. CST

    50 Regans???

    by superhero

    I am SO there! Consider me freaked the F out!!!

  • Sept. 10, 2012, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Loved the first two...

    by GordyDuffNI

    This one though killed any interest I have in this franchise, appalling bad film and a failure on every level, it's obvious Paco Plaza wasn't the brains behind the success of the first two...

  • Sept. 10, 2012, 3:40 p.m. CST

    Couldn't they just have called it something other that a REC film?

    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

    I mean, there was little REC in it, and what was there could easily have been jettisoned to just make a generic zombie movie. Basically they just slammed the brakes hard on the entire series for the sake of a couple of bad jokes. Such a shame; the first film is the best horror in the past twenty years.

  • Sept. 10, 2012, 4:36 p.m. CST

    This is like Army of Darkness to the Evil Deads

    by strykebr

    What worked so well in the first two was the sense that you were stuck in the apartment and couldn't get away. Now they get out of there and make it more light hearted, just like the Evil Dead trilogy.

  • Muy bien, muchachos.

  • Sept. 10, 2012, 6:20 p.m. CST

    strikebr...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    ...absolutely. But maybe more precisely Rec3 is caught right in the middle. There is stuff that's slapstick, but not nearly enough to make it over the top goony the way Army of Darkness was. And the first two movies were so good. The first one was just a revelation. It's a shame. I'll still be there to watch Rec4, not only because I'm a sucker for horror movies but because the mythology behind these films is potentially so rich. But this movie landed with a horrible thud at my house, and my wife likes almost every zombie/evil dead style movie ever made. Seriously. She liked the one with Ving Rhames and the zombie tigers.

  • Sept. 10, 2012, 9:08 p.m. CST

    For shame Ambush Bug.....

    by IPRAYTOCROM

    As a stand alone film it isn't the worst movie ever but because it is REC 3 it sucks big time. Everyone knows that and giving this a good review does nothing for Ambush Bug's credibility.

  • Sept. 10, 2012, 10:28 p.m. CST

    REC is only known of by horror nerds

    by Mr. Giant

    Sorry Bug, Blair Witch is still the king. And Paranormal Activity has actually delivered on sequels anyone cares about, unlike Blair. But Blair Witch did make the trend.

  • Sept. 10, 2012, 11:55 p.m. CST

    Sorry but REC 3 is terrible, a betrayal of the spirit of the saga

    by Seth Brundle

    Rec 1 is one of my top 3 horror films of all time, freakin perfect, amazing ending Rec 2 is so-so but still enjoyable, the bad acting on the cops killed it a bit for me But Rec 3......WTF were you thinking Paco, why shit on everything that made REC special, the first one comes incredibly close to be absolutely believable that its really happening, and rec 3 is just another boring standard typical zombie movie, everything incredibly predictable and cliche You had the chance of being the king of found footage horror, yet you discard it in order to make a generic zombie movie, i shit you not, i was snoozing thru parts of REC 3, a knight in shining armor???? dude wtf?? why you stopped taking REC seriously and put corny, campy stuff? were you trying to make a comedy? Give us fuckin believable horror like you did in REC1, THAT WAS SPECIAL AND MEMORABLE! THIS CAMPY SHIT WAS NOT! you pulled a Lucas on us REC fans, i can't express how dissapointed i was seeing campy comedic shit in a REC movie

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 2:45 a.m. CST

    Seth Brundle

    by Collin

    I have to disagree about the betrayal of the spirit. Whether his execution was well done or not, and you can certainly argue that, I think Paco managed to at least make an entertaining film. I really don't get the hate for this installment in the quadrology. Yes it's a huge step away from what worked with the first two but it wasn't going to be long before the whole premise was going to get stale and with 2 sequels he opted for the slightly comedic spin and he didn't entirely fail at all in my opinion. In fact I applaud both film makers for taking such a bold chance with an already hugely successful (in Spain) franchise. As a stand alone film it had it's merits and it does absolutely nothing to take away from the rest of the franchise so let's all just take a moment and breath! That said....I can't wait for the next film to go back to it's roots and knock my fucking socks off. I've heard it all takes place on a boat or ocean drilling platform which I think will make a really interesting twist on the whole story. Oh yeah and it's the reporter (God I'd marry her) who is taken to the boat and then, well you know ;)

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 2:48 a.m. CST

    seth

    by Collin

    On a side note. The first film is rightly lauded as a fresh and well done take on the zombie genre and I have nothing but love for it. For it's innovations it clearly deserves to be given credit as the better of the first two but I have to say that without that attached as a precursor I happen to enjoy the second one much more. It's simply more exciting no matter how you cut it. After revisiting the first one several times in the past 2 months.....dare I say it, it's a little boring at times

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 2:59 a.m. CST

    Biased review

    by sarg2k

    I understand that people can enjoy the film on a certain level, but this review really seems to be clutching at straws to appease the director. REC 3 is a major let down, and really adds nothing to the series at all. It also discredits the first two films as I understood that the virus was contained in the tower block, with this film the virus has already been released and spreading through Spain. It is sloppy, unfunny, and poorly directed.

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 3:26 a.m. CST

    sarg2k

    by Collin

    Did it discredit the first two? I'm fairly certain it didn't. Wasn't the whole thing started by the dog the little girl's family brought to the vet? And wasn't that dog still at the vet while the events were transpiring in the apartment building? The same dog that bit the groom's uncle in the third film

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 3:34 a.m. CST

    re: "I HEARD THE THIRD MOVIE WAS A COMEDY? IS THIS TRUE?"

    by buggerbugger

    No, it's not. Some people seem to think the movie heads into horror-comedy mainly because of two things: A children's entertainer at the wedding is dressed in a Spongebob-like costume (hilarious, right?!) and the groom dons a suit of armour at one point to prevent the demons from biting him (super-hilarious, right?!) Other than that... no, I can't think of anything that makes this movie even remotely a comedy.

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 3:37 a.m. CST

    captjohnboyd

    by sarg2k

    You may well be right. Will have to re-watch the first 2 films to be sure. I was convinced that the virus was started and contained with in that original setting although I may be wrong

  • ...with this film the virus has already been released and spreading through Spain." No, not quite. REC 1 and 2 show us the government's efforts to contain the demonic virus in the apartment block. However, what the authorities don't yet realise is that one of the tenant's pets - a dog - has been taken to a local vet for displaying strange rabies-like symptoms (because the dog has been bitten by the possessed Madeiros girl). The vet - an uncle of the bride - is bitten by the dog, but shrugs it off and goes to the wedding. And then all hell breaks loose when he turns into a demonic monster and starts biting the guests. The virus isn't spreading throughout Spain, it's being contained simultaneously at two venues (that we know of so far): an apartment block and a wedding reception. But, considering that the fourth movie is subtitled 'Apocalypse', I can only assume that the virus must eventually escape into the general populace.

  • No, although that's what the characters thought at first: that someone had been bitten by a rabid dog. But it was actually the other way around: A 'rabid' demon-infected human (the Madeiros girl) had bitten the dog, then the dog went on to bite one of the other tenants before being taken to the vet. Whereupon the vet was bitten, then he went demon-nuts at the wedding reception.

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 3:56 a.m. CST

    Scratch

    by Collin

    Yeah I wasn't saying that the virus was the result of a dog. I'd say the ending of the first film makes that abundantly clear. I was just pointing out that it found it's way outside of the apartments through the dog

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 4:06 a.m. CST

    Re: Re: "I HEARD THE THIRD MOVIE WAS A COMEDY? IS THIS TRUE?"

    by Collin

    I'd also like to disagree here Scratch. I think it's pretty obvious that the film adds in quite a bit more comedy than only the two examples you've pointed out. For example the groom's buddy being found making out with the French girl (when the shot made it appear as though it was another zombie attack. Ack! How original!) or the bride exclaiming that it is "her day!" and she won't let it be ruined by zombies while she starts her chainsaw. Even the setting and music used in the ballroom. I'd argue that those were all intentionally used for comedic effect While it's not strictly a comedy per se, it has a fair amount of comedy in it. Think just below Shaun of the Dead but nowhere near Army of Darkness. The AOD comparison I think has done the most damage to the films expectations. It's just not that screwball at ALL

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 5:04 a.m. CST

    @captjohnboyd

    by buggerbugger

    Yeah, the movie's definitely got a different tone to the first two. But comedic? No, I don't think that's it, not quite. I never found myself thinking, "Oh, look, it's trying to be funny, ho-ho." I don't recall the bit with the French girl, although it's been quite a while since I watched the film. I do remember the bit with the bride and the chainsaw, but that honestly never came across as trying to be funny at all. It comes across that way in the trailer, but it didn't have quite the same tone as that when the scene played out in full. To me, at least. Setting and music? Mmm, a wedding isn't doom and gloom (usually :)), so the setting and the music does change the tone to something "lighter" than the earlier flicks. But comedic? No, I didn't see it. There are films that I'd automatically label as horror-comedy, but I don't think this would be one of them. The reviews that place an emphasis on the comedy aspects of 'REC 3' make me feel like I watched a different movie. Reading a sentence like "There's a guy dressed as Spongebob running away from zombies!" sounds like a comedy, but it didn't come across that way to me while watching it.

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 5:56 a.m. CST

    @Mr seth brundle

    by albert comin

    When you say bad acting from the actors who played the cops in Rec 2, did you watched the movie in it's original spanish or in a dubbed version? Because it can make a world of difference.

  • ... but in the first movie it's said that the Medeiros girl, the origin of the demonic virus that turn people to zombies, she is from Portugal. If we know the history between the two countries, then the Rec movies state that the downfall of Spain is because of a zombie virus that started from abroad, the only country in the iberic peninsula that sucessfully emanecipated from Spain. I think that there must be some hidden joke that would be obvious for the spanish audience. Or maybe i'm talking out of my ass and seeing things that are not there.

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 6:33 a.m. CST

    Rec Franchise is not a zombie series..

    by Kid Dynamite

    It's more of in the likes of 28 days/weeks later type deal.. Oh and for Rec 2, I stopped after the bottle rocket/fireworks in the mouth scene... That scene pretty much put me out of my misery and at that point I stopped watching it... It was so out of place and cheesy that I decided to not finish the movie...

  • I hate when people do that shit. Who the fuck sees a part 2 of something and rents it without seeing the first one?

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 10:05 a.m. CST

    the second one is pretty bad, too

    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

    but it was trying to further the series, which is a good thing, and let's face it, the first one is a hell of a film to try and top!

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 10:52 a.m. CST

    highdickhead and vicky the fag

    by Collin

    I'm sorry but both of y'all can't be more incorrect with your "opinions" ;) Seriously though, I don't see how anyone can't love that second movie. Yes it falls into some of the more tired tropes of today's horror films at points but it's still a blast and you really can't say that it's not bringing something new to the genre. No matter how you slice it the first two (yes, even the second) are deliberate flicks that know what they want and breath some fresh air into a somewhat tired sub-genre

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Vicky the Fag

    by Collin

    I'm so tired of the "it's not a zombie movie" argument being applied to anything that doesn't have Romero's name attached to it or shuffling derelicts. Do the "zombies" come from something other than bites by other "zombies"? Yes but it doesn't make any of them any less of a "zombie" film. For [Rec] in particular it's shitty to say that it's not a zombie flick. According to Webster's Dictionary that's exactly what it is. Definition of ZOMBIE 1 a : the supernatural power that according to voodoo belief may enter into and reanimate a dead body b : a will-less and speechless human in the West Indies capable only of automatic movement who is held to have died and been supernaturally reanimated 2 a : a person held to resemble the so-called walking dead; especially : automaton b : a person markedly strange in appearance or behavior 3 : a mixed drink made of several kinds of rum, liqueur, and fruit juice So for the sake of argument even if they weren't revived by the supernatural, and I'd venture the Devil counts as supernatural, the zombies in [Rec] certainly Resemble the walking dead in my estimation. Additionally, most of them died previous to turning so here we are again with another example of matching the DEFINITION of zombie. So does that make them zombie movies I ask? As for 28 days later well, again, there's the definition above for ya. Resemble the so-called walking dead. They may be the running dead but most of them sure looked dead not just infected

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 11:11 a.m. CST

    Sorry...no hablo the beanspeak.

    by Cletus Van Damme

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 12:01 p.m. CST

    captjohnboyd...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    ...testify, brother. In the history of the most meaningless, picayune distinctions ever made, the zombie segregation argument is one of my least favorites. Are zombies that only eat brains not zombies? Are the zombies from the later zombi movies not zombies because some of them seem to know kung fu? Are the zombies in Gates of Hell/City of the Living Dead not zombies because they can pull your brain out with their hands? Are the zombies from the blind dead movies not zombies because they're so skeletony and their bites don't transform anyone else? Are the zombies in Nightmare City not zombies because they use guns? What about the kids in the 1980 The Children (of Ravensback)? Were they zombies? They hugged their victims to death, burning them alive instead of biting them, and they had to be killed by having their hands cut off. Most of the zombies above also came about from different causes. It is never established in the later two movies whether they are actually dead. But everybody called them all zombies until 28 Days Later came out. It's a distinction without a difference.

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Of course that doesn't change the fact...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    ...that the best zombie is a Romero Classic zombie. They're the right amount of fizzy with the best sugary taste.

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 12:07 p.m. CST

    captainjohnboyd...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    ...a more fair argument would be if the Rec zombies fell into the category of evil deads. Then you'd be comparing them to Evil Dead, Demons, Night of the Demons and that ilk of movie. Now a pretty good argument could be made for this. I don't care to make it because I don't care enough, but I suppose it's out there for someone who does. I've always sort of lumped those and zombies into a single super-sub-genre anyway.

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 1:35 p.m. CST

    I watched Quarantine first and it sucked. I was embarrased for it.

    by sweeneydave

    I don't know what possessed me to watch the original spanish language version of it, but I'm so glad I did. It's all the same beats and plot points, but for some reason (maybe the acting?), it was so much better. It felt real, like an actual found footage film, whereas Quarantine felt like a bunch of high schoolers "acting". REC was amazing. REC 2 was adding on to the amazing.

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 3:01 p.m. CST

    Zombies come in herd, no????

    by Andrew Quinsatt

    Also they have a sort of decaying/dead corpse look to it/ While the ones in Rec are more rabid with blood foaming at the mouth/ and comes running at you... Zombies are a lot slower, no??? I don't know I guess you can call them whatever you want, I'm not picky....

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 3:07 p.m. CST

    Zombies don't have any red blood cells in them, no???

    by Andrew Quinsatt

    Don't they bleed out green shit??? Again, I'm not picky....

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 3:19 p.m. CST

    scirocco

    by Seth Brundle

    i saw all REC movies on the original spanish, plus my primary language is spanish so i understand every nuance and subtlety of the language my problem with REC2 was that one of the swat guys was so hysterical and screamed and lost control like a little girl too frequently he was overacting the whole panic situation badly but i dont hate REC2 just found it inferior, REC3 on the other hand i hate with a passion

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Oh no, not my cred...anything but that!

    by Ambush Bug

    I stand by the fact that I feel it is an entertaining film with some really well done scenes; namely the ending and a few of the scenes leading up to the outbreak. Is [REC]3 the best in the series? Nope and I never say that in my review. But it's not as bad as you guys are making it and it's definitely not slapstick. I feel the fervor over this film is the simple fact why Hollywood sucks today. A director tries to do something different with a sequel and it's immediately curb stomped by the audience who proposed to love it. What would you have wanted, another military team comes in the same building to get out the military team from the second one? And then part four could have another team come in to find the ones from the third one, this time with a camera up their asses to film from a different perspective? I applaud Plaza for taking the chance to do something different in this sequel and look forward to the fully cinematically filmed 4th installment. I swear, this is why we get a rehash of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY every year which is basically the same thing from one movie to the next. Try something new and the crowd turns on it. @sarg2k: Two things, by definition, every review has a bias because it is a personal opinion. Unbiased means without personal opinion, so if I were to say that [REC]3 was a movie and called that a review, then it would be unbiased. Once an opinion is formed, there's a bias. And regarding my "attempt to appease the director", I saw the film in April, wrote my review and was holding off on publishing it until it was released to the masses (which it was last week). I didn't even know I'd be interviewing the director at that time.

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Hey Ambush...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    ...although I do have a certain affection for found footage movies (watched both Area 407 and The Dinosaur Project last weekend...it was not a pleasing experience) my problem with Rec3 was certainly not forsaking the found footage format. I was troubled by the tone of the movie. I'm not going to spoil anything because I know a lot of folks won't have seen it yet, but the comedic business that fills a lot of the second act of the movie and the superhero light hijinks the bride revs up to near the start of the third were not only tonally inconsistent with the first two movies but also the denouement of the third. I didn't hate Rec3 but I did find it disappointing, especially considering the quality of the first two. And as far as what they could have done while staying in the found footage genre, Ambush? You're too good a horror movie fan to set up a straw man like you just did above. They could have followed a news crew covering the outbreak...they could have focused on a Vatican attempt to destroy the source, recorded for the Vatican archives. They certainly didn't need to stay in the building and continue to send in soldiers. Imagine what the series could have been, sticking with the found footage trope while in each film broadening the scope of the outbreak. The next to last could have been set in a newsroom where the characters do the only job they can while waiting for the inevitable. The final film could have returned to an apartment building and some small group of people, no longer sealed in the building with the possessed but sealed in the building against the possessed, the last little puddle of our world in a hell come to earth. You know horror every bit as well as I do. Don't tell me all those possibilities didn't occur to you.

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 6:13 p.m. CST

    REC2: movie flows well until the kids are introduced...

    by garagons

    An annoying group of brats brings the movie to a screeching hault. Couldn't die fast enough Yet REC1 and half of REC2 were solid so we'll give them a chance

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 6:13 p.m. CST

    Paranormal

    by garagons

  • It had some damn good moments too but taking us away from the apartment and what's happening there in the middle of Barcelona to this wedding (despite the connection to what happened in the apartment with the outbreak) just left me wanting to get back to the apartment every other minute while I was watching REC3. Too bad to. REC3 has some big balls to do what it did. However, fucking Satan is walking out of the apartment and I want to know what happens there, not with this wedding. Bring on REC4 because this series still remains some of the best horror on the planet.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 5:12 a.m. CST

    Biased bullshit

    by sarg2k

    Your lack of understanding of the word 'biased' makes me realise that you are not worthy of an argument. The review is biased and you wrote a biased good review to appease the director End of story Move on

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 8:19 a.m. CST

    Poor movie

    by humph

    Saw it yesterday and it's not great. I'm all for trying something different but REC 3 feels like a entire subplot that's been excised from a film because it adds nothing to the story. In addition, it slips up by introducing a very handy way of defeating vast hordes of infected (if you can get hold of a megaphone and a priest with a good memory). Soon as that info gets out it's a done deal!

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Another suggestion for "found footage" movie

    by GreatOne4

    Have it from the perspective of a soldier/cop who has a video headset and then zombified. A whole movie probably wouldn't work, but it'd be interesting to see someone try to pull it off. "Colin" did it remarkably well, although not a "found footage" film.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 8:52 a.m. CST

    by tensaip

    Maybe Part 1 was not available at the time. Besides, what does it matter what order you see a franchise series in, really? Do you absolutely have to start watching Bond films with DR. NO? Nope and LOL!

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 11:29 p.m. CST

    Elgato73 and Red ned lynch

    by Collin

    I can certainly agree with both of y'alls points about the tone of the film being too drastic a shift not just from the first two films but even from it's first act. It's a valid argument and I suppose one that needs to be elucidated on I just didn't find it that it detracted that much from my personal viewing pleasure. Couple caveats though; First, I had already read extensively about the use of comedy in it before seeing it which probably helped to brace me against any letdown of expectations and second I have almost forgotten all about the movie by now. That's not to say I can't bring back up scenes in my memory if needed but on the whole while I had a decent amount of fun watching through the first time, the movie clearly didn't resonate enough to really stick with me like the Rec 1, and to a lesser extent the second