[Rec]³: Génesis – 1 out of 5
This third film in the [Rec] franchise needs to be praised for its attempt at abandoning (even parodying) what made the first two films stand out but it’s drastic change of tone and bad comedy (I’m assuming they were going for some dark comedy elements) ends up hurting the film beyond repair and makes a mockery of the last two films.
|Pictured: Mockery...or the lead characters kissing. One of those two.|
Taking place before, after and during the events of the first two films, [Rec]³: Génesis is about Clara (Leticia Dolera) and Koldo (Diego Martín) and their wedding day. The day should be one of happiness and joy for a promising and prosperous future but an uncle who suffered a bite from the dog that came from the apartment complex where the horrors of the first two films takes place becomes one of the infected and the wedding becomes an orgy of violence and death—the least appealing type of orgy in existence. After being separated, Clara and Koldo are now on a mission to find each other and get away safely so they can enjoy their lives together.
|Enjoy their lives together and try to solve the mystery of how the hell her neck|
holds the weight of her head.
Despite what the opening of the film sequences promises, this sequel abandons the “found footage” element of the movie and goes for the run-of-the-mill style of storytelling and horror filmmaking. At first, this seemed like a good idea as it seemed the filmmakers were opening acknowledging they didn’t want to make “just another sequel” and wanted to keep the series fresh. This tactic of establishing a "found footage" story only to toss it out comes off as very witty and amusing, however, it’s soon realized that’s maybe this was just a HUGE mistake.
|The rare moment when I say "found footage" is actually preferred.|
Other than making a “found footage” film look real (a feat not even attempted anymore in America. It’s like all the directors said, “Yeah, The Blair Witch Project did it but why should we even bother?”) ,one of the better aspects of the last two films was how well darkness and light was used to make a truly terrifying experience. This is completely ignored for this film as the overall presentation of the film is too bright to be a horror film. It’s so bright it starts to look like an unintentional comedy.
|There's no way that guy is not a keyboardist in a band.|
And speaking of unintentionally comedy…
There’s no soundtrack in the last two films. There’s no tension hooks meant to give away scares like in other horror films. Since Génesis isn’t a “found footage” movie it was decided that a soundtrack wouldn’t do any harm to the story…but it did. It did a lot of harm. The music cues are cheesy at best and groan-inducing at worse. The music placed within the audio track to try and convey terror felt like they were taking from a Halloween music CD someone purchases for their DIY haunted houses in their garage to try and scare Trick or Treaters.
|Shit, even the zombies were unimpressed with the music selection.|
And sticking with the concept of unintentional comedy…
There are times when I couldn’t tell if this movie was a poorly written dark comedy or a genuine sequel to two great works of terror (although the director/writer claims his intentions were an "over-the-top" dark comedy but the end product screams that this wasn't the intention as he forgot to add fitting jokes). Look at this…
|LOOK AT IT!!!!|
There’s a reason for that picture—albeit not a very convincing or intelligent one but when you add a guy in medieval armor and the fact this movie has just painfully bad acting (a punch in the face after the amazing acting seen in the first and second film) it’s hard to tell if they were trying to make a comedy but didn’t have the money to get decent actors who could sell the satire, were trying to make a horror but hired actors who can’t sell the terror or just said, “Make it look like a Direct-to-DVD release and like we don’t give a fuck; slap this sequel together like we’re in America!”
|"So, we don't really have to do anything and they'll call it a horror film? I'm in."|
The overall shift in tone of the series is not just seen in the bad filmmaking as it jumps to a different horror genre, the bad acting and stupid music but it’s also blatantly obvious as the “rules” established of the outbreak in the first two films are thrown out the window and the infected act more like cliché zombies (even though some can seemingly jump incredible heights) rather than the mysterious demons of what was previously created. But this might—hell, most likely does—has to do with the fact that only half of the writing/directing team from the last two films did this film.
|Also the film gave us a bad joke of a character that parodied SpongeBob...and it was a crime in of|
itself to not make him the film's hero.
Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza were the writers of the last two installments and both men directed the films. This time around, however, Jaume is nowhere to be seen and Paco went about it on his own and crap followed. One must question, considering the evidence, if Paco really wrote or directed anything and if Jaume was the true genius of the duo because when left to his own devices, Paco nearly destroyed the integrity of the series by completely obliterating everything that made the other films unique and then proceeding to pull down his metaphoric pants and taking a steaming metaphoric shit on it all. In some interviews, Plaza claimed that there was nowhere else they could take the "found footage" aspect but if that was true then why not just simple not make another sequel. Why taint the achievements you made with a painfully obvious route of "just for the cash" filmmaking? We have the Paranormal Activity movies for that.
|Those aren't zombies but Paranormal Activity fans trying to get the latest sequel|
where the demon slams the door again. They live for that door slamming.
To call [Rec]³ a disappointment is putting it lightly. I really wanted to enjoy this film and, at first, praised it for brazenly going against the grain of the familiar tone of the series and trying to breathe new life. However, after watching the film and seeing it get worse and worse as the story unfolds and realizing that there would be no intelligent ending and that the engaging tales that were told before me would not be returning I finally gave in and accepted that [Rec]³ just plain sucks. It pains me to know a fourth film is going to be made. One can only hope that with Jaume returning to direct this one (without Plaza so we'll see if the only way they can make good movies is together like they are the "found footage" horror film version of Voltron) that it might bring this series back to what it was and not go back to being a phoned-in horror movie that looks just like all the other crappy horror films that are produced here in America.