[REC] 3: Genesis | Movie review
The third installment of the Spanish found-footage franchise runs out of videotape.
Found-footage horror doesn’t exactly invite follow-ups. It’s hard enough to sustain the idea of someone keeping a camera running while throats are slashed and eyes gouged for a single film; repeating the notion courts absurdity. So it’s inevitable, if not precisely wise, that Paco Plaza jettisons the camcorder concept 20 minutes into round three of his Spanish-language gorefest. (The first film in the series was remade in the U.S. as 2008’s Quarantine.) Set at the same time as the apartment-complex action of [REC] and its first sequel, número tres takes place at a wedding, where a dog bite to the hand of the groom’s veterinarian uncle turns the off-site reception into a charnel hall. Per [REC] 2’s gonzo rewrite (in the original, a virus sparked the epidemic), the apparent infection turns out to be a case of communicable demonic possession, with the devil’s minions held at bay by the celebrant’s reading of random Bible verse—a strong indicator of this go-round’s goofier tone. But though a corpulent wedding videographer references Dziga Vertov and cinéma vérité, the shift to a conventional cinematic style robs the shoestring franchise of its only distinguishing feature, making this installment just a rote, shabby-looking run through the crowded streets of Zombietown. A fourth [REC] is already on the way, but perhaps it’s not too late to press stop. (Available on VOD Fri 3; see magsneaks.com for details.)