[●REC]³ Génesis Review
Sporting a very different feel to the previous nerve-shredding instalments, [●REC]³ Génesis not only takes the action out into the daylight, it abandons the found-footage style altogether to create a satisfying, if not completely memorable, horror that expands the series’ mythology while feeling entirely fresh in its own right. If anything, its one main flaw is moving away from what made the [●REC] franchise so effective: it’s simply not scary. Instead it moves into horror-comedy territory, sometimes straying dangerously close to spoofing its own franchise, and results in a highly entertaining but ultimately hollow threequel.
Opening with a extended prologue set at the wedding and reception of our main protagonists Clara (Leticia Dolera) and Koldo (Diego Martín) and delivered in the found-footage style, [●REC]³ spectacularly explodes into life when Uncle Victor’s (Emilio Mencheta) bitten hand turns out to be something altogether more sinister. In the gore-fuelled chaos that follows, our newlyweds get separated leading Koldo to set out to find Clara no matter the cost. It’s here – after a great gag where Koldo smashes the camera and says what we all think about the whole premise of found-footage – that [●REC]³ becomes a conventional film and pleasingly, it’s gorgeously shot with magnificent widescreen vistas of carnage, supported by a thumping score from Mikel Salas.
But despite the new style, [●REC]³ still manages to fit into the [●REC] franchise with the religious aspects further explored. That being said, given that it takes place at the same time as the previous instalments, newcomers could still follow and horror aficionados not versed with the franchise will find much to enjoy. There’s a greater emphasis on gore – involving all manor of household objects…and a chainsaw – and while the comedy doesn’t always work, it still delivers enough laughs to succeed as a horror-comedy. Best of all though is the superb lead performance from Dolera who is an absolute delight as the bride determined not to let zombies ruin “her special day”. A proper horror heroine, she imbues her role with enough pathos over a relatively short space of time to make the film's climax oddly touching – something we thought we’d never say about the [●REC] franchise back during the nailbitingly tense night vision finale to the original instalment.
On the whole, [●REC]³ Génesis is far from a bad film, but there’s simply just not enough to it. Perhaps Jaume Balagueró will be delivering enough horror in the final instalment - [●REC] Apocalypse – that Paco Plaza felt the need to lighten the load after the trouser-filling previous instalments. This is not a bad thing in itself, it’s just that it has left [●REC]³ feeling a touch slight by comparison. That being said, the very fact that a third film in a franchise can still be bringing fresh ideas to the table is to be applauded and, while it lasts, it certainly delivers enough fun for [●REC] devotees and potential series newcomers alike.