Review: [REC] 3: GENESIS

SPOILERS!!! Phil Collins lives.


Directed by: Paco Plaza

Stars: Leticia Dolera, Diego Martin, and Javier Botet

MPAA Rating: R


 When it comes to found footage horror films, it would be challenging to find a better example of the subgenre done correctly than the first two [REC] films. Critics and audiences have celebrated the films’ stories, characters, and scares for years now. Everyone’s been hungry for more, and the filmmakers have politely obliged by delivering the third installment, [REC] 3: GENESIS. How does it stack up against the other two?

[REC] 3: GENESIS cordially invites you to attend the wedding of Clara and Koldo, as documented on camera by a cousin and a professional wedding videographer. During the reception, an uncle suffering from an animal bite proceeds to feed upon other wedding guests, spreading the evil, destructive force from the first two films. As the movie transitions from the found footage style to the traditional cinematic form, the story also changes focus from simply documenting an awful event to the struggles of Clara and Koldo as they desperately attempt to find one another amidst the chaos and horror.

Fans of the [REC] series will notice a drastic change in tone with this entry. Gone are the dark, claustrophobic chills and intense scares. In their place, we are given a less scary and more generic type of film, complete with zombie-type clichés and a lot of campiness. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is disappointing after the abundance of creativity and originality on display in it’s predecessors. The one area where the film really shines is the relationship between Clara and Koldo. These are two very likeable and engaging personalities. The desire to see them reunited is the strong current that helps keep the audience with the film through to the end.

Technically, [REC] 3: GENESIS is a well-made film. The script is competent, if cliché-ridden. The directing is mostly well-done. There are a few visual reveals that are fun to witness. The acting is very solid, especially the two leads played by Leticia Dolera and Diego Martin. The special effects are top-notch. There is an abundance of blood and gore in this film, and it is all very effective and convincing throughout.

In summation, [REC] 3: GENESIS is a pretty fun yet surprisingly tame affair. It eschews the style, tone, and atmosphere established in the previous two films for a more commonplace, standard horror experience, and rarely to it’s benefit. So, if you’re looking for a genuinely tense and scary experience the likes of [REC] and [REC] 2, you may want to steer clear of this one. However, if you just want to kill an hour and fifteen minutes with a fun and gory movie, nothing should stop you from checking this out.

[REC] 3: GENESIS is now available via Video on Demand, iTunes, and Amazon. It will be available in limited theatrical release starting September 7, 2012. It can be very, VERY mildly recommended by this critic.

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