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December 18, 2013

[REC]³ Génesis

by Franz Patrick


[REC]³ Génesis (2012)
★ / ★★★★

It is the wedding day of Clara (Leticia Dolera) and Koldo (Diego Martín), but they are not yet aware that it is going to be the most horrific day of their lives. While waiting for the bride to arrive, Koldo notices his uncle’s hand injury in which the latter claims that he has been bitten by a dog that he thought was dead. He states it is nothing to be alarmed about because he feels absolutely fine, just very excited for the ceremony to begin. During the reception, however, the once energetic uncle begins to show symptoms of a disease: lumbering as if drunk, throwing up blood, and eventually trying to bite fellow guests. Those who are bitten quickly exhibit similar symptoms, thrusting what should be a happy day into complete mayhem.

Based on the screenplay by Paco Plaza and Luiso Berdejo, directed by the former, “[REC]³ Génesis” offers only one surprise during its short but extremely laborious running time. Unlike Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza’s “[REC]” and “[REC]²,” the handheld camera is abandoned when the bloodshed reaches its first gear. This is an interesting choice given that it is the series’ signature, so wonderfully utilized in the first installment as genuine tension and horror is generated in an increasingly impossible situation.

Leaving the first person point of view is the right choice, which might have made a big statement if the film had been any good, because prior to that point, the teenager who holds the camera shakes it so vigorously, at times I wondered if the bright flashing lights in the dance hall had given him a seizure. Aside from the uncle telling Koldo his story about the dog, nothing interesting happens in the first twenty minutes. You can literally walk away from the screen for an extended period of time and not miss a plot point. This absence of an attempt to do anything with the material while the characters celebrate is toxic to the picture. If anything, the writers should have worked harder to try to keep our attention by giving us reasons why we should a give a hoot about the main characters while making us feel uneasy before the inevitable gore appeals to the lowest common denominator.

The sheer laziness of the writers is an affront to the art of making movies even if it is for the sake of creating schlock. The chase scenes being painfully standard makes it worse. When an infected appears on the left, the characters run to the right and vice-versa. It is laughable, lightyears from scary, because it is like watching an old video game where the avatars can only move left, right, up, and down. Come to think of it, I probably would have had more fun playing a video game instead of sitting through the picture. At least I would have had control of the placement of the avatar to avoid being hurt or dying.

Did it ever occur to the makers of the film, especially when the characters are outdoors, that it is an option to perhaps climb a tree and stay quiet until the chaos runs its course? Lastly, the script fails to provide information that moves the series forward. It is more concerned about delivering gore especially when a chainsaw becomes involved. Its sick attention as to how person ought to be cut in half or how someone’s face ought to be bashed in is lamentable. I felt sorry for the filmmakers because their work implies that their imagination is about the size of a grain of sand.

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