I haven’t taken Spanish in quite a few years, but I’m sure you guys were also able to figure out that “Génesis” translates roughly to”genesis”, so this movie will clearly be about Peter Gabriel. HA HA HA, I’M KIDDING GUYS! It’s about Phil Collins. HA HA HA, I FOOLED YOU AGAIN! I really dig the [REC], along with a lot of other people. The first two films are not only considered good contemporary examples of the found footage format, but also made two really creepy, and also fun and entertaining horror movies. Despite the success of the franchise, the two filmmakers, Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza, went their separate ways, and Plaza was the one who took the reins for this installment. I was looking forward to seeing this movie, and despite it being available on the internet, I decided to wait to see it in theaters. I went to a midnight screening, despite the fact that I was going to have to wake up early to go to a horror movie convention. Once I got to the convention, I got to the screening room to see a movie I was interested in, but due to technical errors, that movie was canceled and [REC]³ was shown in its place. If being able to sit through this movie willingly two times, 14 hours apart isn’t a credit to how fun this movie is, then I don’t know what to tell you, and I don’t think I want to tell you, because you’re probably a cranky dummy.
Here’s your official wedding videographer, Peter Jackson, as played by Guillermo del Toro.
It’s wedding day for Clara (Leticia Dolera) and Koldo (Diego Martín), and we get to see the videos being shot by relatives and the official wedding videographer. Everything seems normal, except for the fact that Koldo’s uncle has been bitten by a dog. If you remember anything about the previous movies, you’ll remember that this was exactly how the previous infection started, so it’s only a matter of time before Koldo’s uncle turns into a raging, blood-puking maniac who is attacking all the other guests at the wedding reception. The footage shows Koldo escaping to the kitchen with a few other wedding guests, but Koldo gets really angry that the videographer continues to film everything. Koldo gets so mad, in fact, that he takes the camera, throws it on the ground, and destroys it. That’s when the title comes onto the screen and the movie moves forward, no longer in the found footage style. WAIT, WHAT?! HOW CAN THIS BE! All the [REC] movies have been found footage! What’s happening?! CRAZY SHIT IS HAPPENING, THAT’S WHAT!
Leticia Dolera is part Zooey Deschanel, part Marley Shelton, all awesome.
Klodo is able to explore the grounds of the wedding long enough to find other survivors, and when he questions whether or not Clara has survived, that’s when he hears her voice over the PA system and he then sets on a mission to find her. That’s when the story jumps over to Clara and what she’s up to, which is hanging out with a priest. She is also able to find more survivors, and right when you think these survivors are going to get attacked by the infected wedding guests, the priest starts reciting biblical mumbo-jumbo which halts the infected in their tracks. You’ve seen [REC] 2, haven’t you? That was when we learned that the infection was demonic in nature, so that Biblical stuff kind of makes sense. Through a series of near-misses and close calls with both the infected and with Koldo, Clara finds herself in a series of underground tunnels, she’s about to give up on ever finding her husband, but that’s when she hears the music he turned up in the ballroom, and she knows he’s alive. Realizing her absolute devotion to Koldo, so Clara grabs a nearby chainsaw, cuts her dress short enough to run around more quickly, and she heads out to face the infected to find him. I’m going to leave it there, as most of the fun stuff in the movie happens after this point, and since I had a lot of fun being surprised, I think you guys have earned that surprise as well.
What do you do when your characters reach that “Why the fuck are you filming while we’re dying?!” moment in your found footage movie? HAVE THOSE CHARACTERS BREAK THE FUCKING CAMERA.
What the fuck does Paco Plaza owe you? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, THAT’S WHAT! There are so many people who are getting pissed off because of this movie and complaining about how different it was from the first two films. If you don’t like this movie, that’s TOTALLY fine. In fact, feel free to hate it. However, if you’re going to bitch and moan about how different in tone this film is from the first two, then you can fuck right off. This movie isn’t the case of a filmmaker making something people loved and then someone else stepping in and fucking it up with completely different ideas (I’m looking at YOU, Rob Zombie), Paco Plaza helped write and direct both previous movies, so it’s not like this shit is coming out of the blue. Yes, I understand that it was through both Paco Plaza AND Jaume Balagueró that wrote and directed the first two movies, but clearly there are reasons why Paco Plaza made a sequel and Balagueró didn’t. And to be honest, I agree with a lot of you who are angry, I also thought the first two movies were really scary and this one wasn’t at all scary, but to act like there weren’t glimpses of the silliness of the franchise in the other two movies, go back and watch it again and try not to laugh. Even if those laughs came from over-the-top startling scares, they made it pretty clear that these filmmakers had a sense of humor and didn’t take the subject matter as seriously as you cranky people are. Something that was great about the movie was that there was even a scene that came across as a giant “FUCK YOU AND YOUR ASSUMPTIONS” from Plaza, which was when Koldo broke the videographer’s camera, and thus ending the found footage style, which made the [REC] movies so popular. Plaza might as well have said, “If you came expecting something we’ve already done, then leave now,” because even by including a title card popping up in the movie, he was breaking expectations.
Worth being a zombie who gets chainsawed to death just to see Leticia Dolera’s bare leg? YUP. I’d prefer if it was a bear leg, though.
With all of that in mind, and being able to approach this movie as a horror-themed movie instead of a movie that I thought would scare me, I feel as though Paco Plaza did a great job. I was very entertained, start to finish, and the movie ended just quickly enough so that the jokes didn’t become stale or boring. As if the over-the-top special effects and gore weren’t enough of a reason to enjoy this movie, [REC]³ did something that most horror movies don’t do for me, which is create charming, sweet characters that you actually want good things to happen to. It would have been easy to, like in the previous movies, create characters that simply serve as plot devices to move this story forward, but in those few scenes where you see Leticia Dolera and Diego Martín and their relationship on their happiest day, it’s hard not to root for them to win, or at the very least, survive long enough to find one another. I’m not sure if this is a credit to the two actors and their talent independent of one another or if it was their chemistry together that sold the movie, but they really pulled it off. There’s no debate over whether or not this movie was a gamble, because changing the style and destroying preconceived notions was a big risk, but in this instance, I think it definitely paid off. Again, it didn’t have any scares that you might be expecting, but I was entertained throughout and can’t wait to see the next installment.
Wolfman Moon Scale