So if the events of a movie are occurring at the same time as another movie, does it really make it a sequel? For some reason, that thought popped into my head as I am watching this movie. The third installment in the [REC] franchise definitely went in bit of a different direction than the previous movies, and I am not just talking about the change in shooting style. So while I knew that there was a second movie in the series, I didn’t know about any of the other ones. Then, I happened to come across today’s movie, as well as the 4th one, on Netflix and, well, that was all it took for me to but it. So let’s get right into today’s movie, [REC]3: Genesis.
The plot: At the wedding of Koldo and Clara, Koldo’s cousin Adrian is going around filming the events with his video camera. After asking Koldo if he is nervous, Adrian wanders over to the wedding photographers van and meets Atun, the wedding videographer, who asks if Adrian can get him some shots from inside the church since only family is allowed in right now. Meanwhile, at Clara’s house, Clara’s younger sister Tita is filming what is going on at their house and is asked to go find Clara and when she does, Clara asks her to turn off the camera because she needs to tell her something. Back at the church, Adrian films Koldo talking to his uncle Pepe, and when they ask about his hand, he tells them that a dog at the clinic bit him. After the ceremony, the guests all head over to a mansion where the reception will take place, and Adrian continues filming the people there. Adrian catches Koldo and Clara alone for a minute and Clara tries to tell Koldo something but before she can, the music starts as they are introduced to their guests. Later, Adrian is interviewing SpongeJohn, a children’s entertainer hired to keep the kids entertained when they see Pepe start vomiting. As he stumbles away, they notice some men in hazmat suits at the edge of the mansion grounds and just as a police car pulls up, Atun tells Adrian to head back inside and film the first dance. As he continues filming the events insisde, the guests all notice Pepe sitting on the second floor ledge and try to convince him to come down. When Pepe falls from the ledge onto a table below, his wife goes to check on him and he bites her on the neck, then vomits blood onto a female guest. Suddenly, several infected people break into the mansion and begin attacking several of the guests. As the resto fo the guests start running, Koldo and Clara are separated and Koldo ends up heading to the kitchen with Adrian, Tita, Atun, and a man the call Royalties, due to his being there to note the songs played at weddings for royalties. After locking the door, Koldo sees Atun still filming what is going on and angrily grabs the camera and smashes it (causing the movie to go from found footage to normal cinematics). After looking around, Atun tries to unscrew the sewer grate on the floor but when Royalties tries to rush him, he ends up dropping his pocket tool down the grate. Adrian finds a ventilation shaft they can use to escape but Atun won’t be able to fit so they are forced to leave him. Making their way outside, they see the police car and head for it but find the female guest that Pepe vomited blood on has just killed the officer inside. When she goes to attack Koldo, Adrian pulls her off him and Royalties kills her with a tire iron. He then tries to call for help on the police radio but the officer comes back to life and kills him, while turning the siren on during the struggle. As more infected start showing up due to the siren, Koldo and the others run for it and come to a chapel on the mansion grounds, where they find some other guest safely hidden inside. The survivors tell them that the infected can’t come in because it is on holy ground, and the holy water hurts them. Koldo tells everyone to head to the buses when it is safe and that he has to find Clara when the PA system comes on and Clara is heard calling out to Koldo. She says that she knows Koldo is alive because she can feel him and says she is ok, as she was able to hide with the priest, then tells him that she is pregnant. When the PA cuts out, Koldo asks where she could be and a server tells him that they have to be in the control room. Getting inspiration from a statue of Saint George, Koldo puts on a suit of armor and, along with the server, heads out to find Clara. Meanwhile, Clara is looking through the cameras for any sign of Koldo when the infected start trying to get into the room. The priest says that it is too soon, and starts quoting passages from Genesis but Clara slaps him and they use a fire hose to climb down to the floor below, not noticing Koldo on the ground below heading towards them. On the second floor, they find Rafa and Natalie, who had disappeared from the reception earlier to have sex, and tell them what is going on. The priest believes that the infected are all being controlled by a single entity and when Rafa and Natalie see some of the infected on the stairs, a mirror above them shows their reflections to be that of Tristana Medeiros. When the infected try to attack them, the priest starts chanting the Lord’s Prayer, stopping the infected in their tracks and allowing Clara, Rafa, and Natalie to escape. Meanwhile, Koldo and the server make it into the mansion but the server is quickly killed. When Koldo reaches the control room, he sees the survivors from the chapel trying to get onto the bus but the infected get on the bus as well and kill them all while in the background, a TV news report talks about an apartment being quarantined. Meanwhile, Clara, Rafa, and Natalie make their way through the mansion and encounter Spongejohn, who gets Rafa to help him open a shutter door. As Clara and Natalie are talking, the lights cut out and when Clara goes to turn them on, one of the infected bursts out from behind some glass and attacks Natalie. The others manage to run and Clara encounters her mother, who has become infected. When Clara’s mother tries to attack her, Spongejohn shoots her, then shoots another infected before he is attacked while Rafa and Clara escape into the sewers. Koldo, not knowing what else to do, heads to the main reception area and turns up the stereo, which starts playing the song that he danced with Clara too. Down in the sewers, Clara hears the song and realizing where Koldo is, grabs a chainsaw and starts heading towards the music but when some infected attack them, she manages to kill them but not before Rafa is bitten and, at his request, she kills him as well. Koldo heads back to the kitchen and finds Atun had slit his own wrists but when the body falls over, Pepe is standing there and tries to attack Koldo but Koldo manages to kill him. Looking down the sewer grate, Koldo sees Clara running by and calls out to her and when she sees him, she climbs up the ladder to him. Koldo tells her to find the screwdriver and she does, fending off the infected that try to climb up after her. When Koldo finally gets the grate unscrewed, Clara climbs up and the two embrace but find themselves surrounded by infected. The two embrace, believing that they are about to die, when suddenly, the priest’s voice comes over the PA system, causing all of the infected to freeze up. Koldo and Clara make their way outside and head towards the front gates when Clara is attacked by Koldo’s grandfather, whose hearing aid was not working. Koldo kills his grandfather then, as her hands starts to turn, he cuts off Clara’s hand in an attempt to keep her from being infected. Reaching the front gate, they find that it has been sealed off and people in hazmat suits and the GEO are outside. When Clara starts vomiting blood, Koldo realizes that she is infected but he picks her up and carries her outside. As he is ordered to put her down, Koldo goes to give Clara one last kiss and she ends up biting and pulling out his tongue before facing the GEO. Both Clara and Koldo are shot down and as they are dying, they reach out and grab each other’s hand.
[REC]3: Genesis received poor marks from the critics, holding a 39% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, many critics felt that the movie offered nothing new to the series, while some also lambasted the switch from the “found footage” style to the more traditional cinematic style. A comic book compilation, titled REC: Historias Ineditas was released as a companion piece, telling 5 different story arcs set in the [REC] universe. The movie was a mild hit at the box office, earning $10.1 million off of a $6.4 million budget.
If this was an ordinary zombie movie, this would be really good but as part of the [REC] series, it is a little disappointing. The acting was ok, although Leticia Dolera (Clara) and Diego Martin (Koldo) were honestly the most boring, stereotypical characters around and did not do much to really stand out except for one or two brief moments. The story itself was weird as it didn’t openly indicate that it was part of the series but had some subtle references. While I did like the part about the dog that bit Pepe in his clinic, making the audience think it might have been Max from the first movie, I thought the whole reflection bit was a bit much. I also didn’t particularly like how they switched from the usual style of footage to normal movie viewing. The special effects were definitely top notch as far as the blood and gore go, and there was definitely plenty of it. Worth a watch for the horror fan but definitely a low point in the series.
Rating: 3 out of 5