Openning with the now all too familiar found footage formula of the [REC] series [REC] 3: Genesis starts out as the wedding video of blissfully happy couple Clara and Koldo (played brilliantly by Leticia Dolera and Diego Martín) shot on the day of their nuptials by relatives on hand held cameras and by a professional videographer.
Whisking us through the wedding and the riotous reception we are introduced to their families and friends all having a wonderfully day laughing and joking and celebrating their love without a care in the world.
As you could have guessed however things take a turn for the terrifying when one uncle who had been bitten by a dog who seemingly came back to life throws himself off a balcony and then attacks another guest ripping into her neck with his teeth.
As windows smash and the hall is besieged by a band of blood crazed zombies the bride and groom get separated in the panic leading to the pair spending the rest of the film desperately trying to reunite while also desperately trying to stay alive.
It is here 20 minutes in that Paco Plaza the writer and director of this and the rest of the [REC] series slots in a stylistic twist that innovates and invigorates the series as Koldo grabs the hand held camera filming him and smashes it on the floor. Cutting to a shot of the camera lying broken on the floor the titles appear and the film shifts into a straight shot conventional movie.
Dumping the hand held documentary realism that has not only been [REC]’s trademark but has also now irksomely infected all areas of horror cinema is a controversial card to play for Plaza revitalising [REC] and taking it in a new direction while perhaps simultaneously undoing the entire concept the cycle was built on.
Stylistically and narratively [REC] 3: Genesis is much freer than the other two in the series. With any and all shots available to him Plaza gives us a visually epic movie shooting the brilliant location from all angles while still keeping the tension and terror high as the possessed party goers attack from all angles.
Splitting the story between newlywed husband and wife we watch each as they attempt to find the other across the chaos picking up and loosing relatives and guest along the way leading to a combination of drama and humour which is perfectly balanced on either side.
This comedic element that was never present in the [REC] series before is a welcome addition making [REC] 3: Genesis a much more entertaining and enjoyable horror. Blood and guts are spilled in sensation ways with some inventive weapons with the chainsaw wielding Clara giving Kill Bill’s Bride a run for her money on the ass-kicking lady list.
Combing elements of Evil Dead and Brain Dead, the movies most obvious influence in its style, themes and murderously possessed maniacs is Demons which is by no means a bad thing at all.
[REC] 3: Genesis is not all laughs however and the excellent actors and well written script make sure then tragic element is played out as well as the laughs keeping the audience well aware at all times of the real lives lost and horror happening.
Set concurrently to the events unfolding in the infected apartment block where Ángela Vidal is filming in the first 2 films ironically given its title [REC] 3: Genesis does little to expand on the how and why’s behind the evil reanimated entities running rampage across Barcelona if anything confusing things further.
Ideas that both religion and disease are to blame are put forward with the film almost uninterested in explaining or deconstructing the mythos which made the monsters and this plus the abandonment of the found footage style which came to defined [REC] means [REC] 3: Genesis is a threequel with very little to link it with the rest in the cycle.
With a fourth film already planned allegedly entitled [REC] 4: Apocalypse with Manuela Velasco reprising her role as Angela Vidal it is interesting to speculate where the series will head next.
Regardless of whether [REC] 3: Genesis shows us a glimpse of the future for the [REC] films or is simple an entertaining interlude in the series Plaza manages to entertain, excite and alarm in equal measure making a holy union of horror and humour that you are sure to fall in love with.