Monday, October 22, 2012

Review - REC 3: Genesis

*SPOILER-FREE REVIEW AHEAD!

As many of you who follow me on twitter (@thedeadwalk) know, I was able to attend the Canadian premiere of REC 3: Genesis at the Toronto After Dark Film festival on October 20, 2012!

Set at a lavish wedding reception for the main protagonists, Koldo and Clara are now happily married and celebrating with friends and family. However, the joyful event takes a turn for the worst when Koldo's uncle, who says he was bitten by a dog, begins displaying erratic behaviour. Zombie chaos ensues.

Departing from the serious tone and visual style of the first two films in the quadrilogy, director Paco Plaza presents the audience with a film full of dark humor, a transition to crew-operated cameras, and a much brighter and colourful visual setting. Protagonist Koldo's cousin Adrian, the wedding videographer Atun, and miscellaneous cell phone cameras serve as the primary sources of "found footage" in the beginning of the film before it switches to standard crew-operated cameras. Not entirely shooting the film in a "found footage" style that made the first two films distinct has made the intense feelings of desperation and fear experienced by the characters is noticeably absent. Indeed, only the initial camera style and religious themes (slight spoiler? My bad) tie this film to the first two.

However, the visual change has made much loved gore (the audience squealed with delight throughout the movie) and stylish violence far more visible. This lends itself to a far more violent film, but one that is far less scary. Take Peter Jackson's Braindead as an example. The film isn't necessarily scary. It might have had some surprising moments, but it was far from frightening. REC 2, on the other hand, is a film that I maintain to be the only zombie movie that has truly sacred me.

Let's not label this a bad zombie movie. It just isn't the type of "REC" movie that we've become accustomed to. It's actually very good if viewed as a stand alone movie. Take REC 3: Genesis for what it is, Paco Plaza's fresh and alternative approach to the series made in parallel with creative partner Jaume Balaguero's REC 4: Apocalypse.

I mean, who can say no to a blood-drenched chainsaw-wielding bride?!

4/5 dead thumbs up!

- King of the Zombies

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