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  REC 3: Genesis Blood Wedding
Year: 2012
Director: Paco Plaza
Stars: Leticia Dolera, Diego Martín, Javier Botet, Àlex Monner, Ismael Martínez, Claire Baschet, Carla Nieto, Ana Isabel Velásquez, Mireia Ros, Itziar Castro, Carmen Contreras, Emilio Vencheta, Borja Glez. Santaolalla, Paco Moreno, Blai Llopis, Aitor Legardón
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Sweethearts Clara (Leticia Dolero) and Koldo (Diego Martín) are getting married today, but the former is nervous about her big day because she has discovered something which will have important repercussions on their relationship. Before she gets the chance to tell her fiancé, there's the matter of the ceremony to take care of, and it is being filmed on a video camera by Koldo's cousin Adrián (Àlex Monner), not knowing the bride's family arranged a professional to carry out that duty. No matter, the more the merrier for what is shaping up to be a memorable occasion.

A bunch of zombies showing up will do that. Here was yet another twenty-first century instalment in the world's filmmakers' determination to see all of us eaten by the undead sooner or later, which if you'd watched enough of these things might not sound like much of a proposition, especially as this was a sequel - and the second sequel in its series. It was not best received by the fans of the Spanish franchise, mainly because although it took place at the same time as the opening two entries, it had very little to do with them plotwise, so those hoping for a follow on to the ending of the second were left disappointed.

What had happened behind the scenes was that the creators of the series Paco Plaza and Jaume Balagueró had opted to divide their talents and each write and direct the last films, and REC 3 was Plaza's. On this evidence he was tired of the story constructed before and wished to branch out with something original, or as original as a found footage zombie movie could be, and that's why the adherents of the series took against it: here was something more like a Resident Evil movie, and it even featured - yikes! - jokes. Not that this was a straight comedy, but there was a delirium to setting the looming apocalypse at a wedding that courted laughter, or it did in these hands at any rate.

It was perhaps best to regard REC 3 as a parallel to REC and REC 2, and appreciate it more on the level that Halloween III: Season of the Witch was to the rest of the Halloween films, although granted that was enough reason to make it as unpopular as that folly had been. However, for all the complaints there were a few viewers who begged to differ with the prevailing opinion that this was a misstep, and actually here was a horror movie with energy and cheek, something to be lauded as it didn't go the same old route: besides, if you wanted to see what happened after the previous instalment there was always Balagueró's version of events to come, so best to enjoy this divertissement for what it was.

Plaza set out his methods early on as the ubiquitous cameras that recorded the action were dumped twenty minutes in (though this was an eighty minute movie) so we could see what was going on in more traditional form. Clara and Koldo are separated in the melée as the zombies spread their virus, and much of the rest depicted their endeavours to reunite, a broad strain of diehard romanticism for what could have been at first sight a lot more spoofy. There were echoes of what had come before as the only thing which stops the zombies in their tracks is a recital from the scripture, so it's lucky it was a church wedding with the priest around, but the religious aspects were not laboured any more than if this had been a vampire movie with crosses fending them off. Naturally, that's not all that stops the undead, as removing the head from the shoulders does the trick too, with Dolera transforming into a chainsaw-sporting warrior woman mightily pissed off about the ruination of the festivities. The move towards poignancy was a step too far, but REC 3 was actually pretty good. Music by Mikel Salas.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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Paco Plaza  (1973 - )

Spanish director who made a variety of short films before debuting in 2002 with the horror thriller Second Name. Followed with the period werewolf flick Romasanta, produced by Brian Yuzna. He subsequently teamed up with another Spaniard, Jaume Balaguero, for the successful REC series.

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