I would argue that back in 2007 directors Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza had no idea that their small film about a television reporter and a cameraman who enter into an apartment building only to be confronted with zombie-like humans would be beget a franchise.
[Rec], the small film with a budget of just over $2 million went on to gross $35 million at the box office which all but assured sequel consideration. That came in the form of [Rec]2 which premiered to mixed appreciation in 2009. The second film continued the original story inside the apartment complex, but added layers to the already entertaining franchise mixing in the notion of demonic possession to what was considered a classic zombie story.
In the third film of what is now rumored to be a four film set, director Paco Plaza goes solo behind the camera with [Rec]3: Genesis. Plaza (who is also accredited with the screenplay) takes the story outside of the apartment complex and throws the action smack-dab in the middle of a wedding reception and the ensuing party.
The story opens with the requisite introduction to the characters. The bride and groom, Carla and Koldo are played by Leticia Dolera and Diego Martin and handheld cameras and videographers capture their readiness for the big event.
However, an attending uncle who dons a wound on his hand that he claims to be from dog bite will be the source of the evening’s forthcoming violence. As the music plays the wedding gets into full swing, the infected uncle bites another guest and goes on a mini-rampage that opens the carnage and turns the wedding dresses and tuxes into blood soaked fabric skins.
In the chaos, Koldo and Carla are separated and most of the brisk 80-minute running time will have both surviving parties attempting to reunite on this special occasion.
There is a lot about [Rec]3: Genesis that separates itself from its predecessors. Most of the film is captured on steady cam so the shaky camera action of the first two films is thankfully replaced with a more calming fixed vantage point. And where the previous [Rec] films had a dark and dreary setting, [Rec]3: Genesis is gorgeously shot, brightly lit and is full of more humor than the first two films combined.
The source of the outbreak is made no clearer in Genesis. Although we do have a better understanding that demonic possession and religious overtones have much to do with the developments. We do learn that the infected can’t enter Holy ground and that their reflections in a mirror reveal a different appearance altogether.
No matter the source of the outbreak, the result is the same – lots of gory goodness and a blood soaked theatre screen. Leticia Dolera is absolutely stunning as bride Carla and her moments fighting off rabid wedding guests while donning a chainsaw was clearly the highlight of the exciting thrill ride.
Those expecting a film more in line with the series’ format might be disappointed with the tone, mood and overall over-the-topness of [Rec]3: Genesis, but audiences should take the film on its own merits and sit back and enjoy a film that exceeds the limits of the undead genre.
[Rec]3: Genesis might not have the scares of the original or the mythos of the sequel, but it opens things up in spectacular fashion and lays the red carpet for [Rec]4: Apocalypse due out later