August 11, 2012

[REC]³ Génesis (2012)

"A couple's wedding day turns into a horrific event as some of the guests start showing signs of a strange illness."

Alrighty then, it's the moment you've all been waiting for. Well, it's the moment some of you have been waiting for anyway. I'm finally going to review "[REC]³ Génesis" - otherwise known as "The Crappy Parody End of the [REC] Series".

As you may have already realised, I don't read anyone else's review of a movie before I watch it for myself. Although I do go to the IMDb afterwards, it's not for the reasons that some lazier bloggers do. I look up the names of the cast to make sure that I know how to spell them correctly (especially if they are foreign), and, yes, I happily admit that I will grab a synopsis there rather than writing one myself since I figure, "Why bother to write another synopsis when 99% of the reviews on the IMDb are actually synopses rather than reviews anyway?" I always put the synopsis that I've taken from either the IMDb, Flixster, Amazon or even the blurb on the back of the DVD sleeve in both italics and quotation marks just so everyone knows that I didn't write it. The one thing, I repeat, that I don't do is read any of the real reviews online. Thus, I watched "[REC]³ Génesis" completely oblivious to anything that had been said about it.

My initial thoughts as I made notes on the back of a piece of cardboard torn from an old cat food box (hey, don't judge me, paper is scarce in my house), were "WTF is this?" and "You have to be kidding me! A wedding video!!!" Was this supposed to be an homage to "Cloverfield" in some way? I know now that "Cloverfield" had a going-away party, but it looked like a wedding to me. Since "Cloverfield" (2008) was also a desperate piece of crap, I was getting a very bad feeling about this movie.

As the dialogue continued to be fairly lighthearted, I didn't think too much of it. I was watching Spaniards who are a little bit more carefree by nature so I just accepted it for what it was. I wasn't at all phased by a children's entertainer called "Sponge John", the almost "meta" talk about the cameras, or the ogling of the pretty girls by the cameraman. I was doing a fair amount of ogling myself while I was waiting for the uncle who had been bitten by Max from the first film to succumb to the supernatural-rabies and start biting people which, of course, he did.

But, at around the 22 minute mark, I didn't expect the "[REC]³ Génesis" title to appear before cutting to a broken camera. What was going on? After a few more seconds, I knew that the director, Paco Plaza, had abandoned the "found footage" idea which hadn't worked quite so well in the previous sequel with co-director Jaume Balagueró. Oh, so this was why the camera got broken? How clever! Was it something to do with "Royalties"? Or did I spot something a little bit too clever here?

Unfortunately, everything which followed was even crappier than "[Rec]²". "[REC]³ Génesis" turned into yet another zombie "comedy". I've put the word "comedy" in quotation marks for two reasons; the first of these is that it wasn't funny. In fact, I started to wonder if "[REC]³ Génesis" wasn't just a parody designed to destroy what little credibility the Spanish directors had achieved with their previous films. Did Paco hate Jaume for leaving him to do this project alone?

I won't say that "[REC]³ Génesis" was devoid of all merits. The over-the-top gore scenes were really well done, the acting was okay-ish considering the style of film that it had become, and, of course, Leticia Dolera who played the bride, Clara, was very nice to look at. I did indeed look at her a lot and discovered that she wasn't quite as flawless as I first thought, but I'll come back to that later. I'm sure girls who watch this film would fancy Diego Martín who played the groom, Koldo, so, apparently, there was something for everyone. Everyone that is except the true horror fans.

Not since "Shaun of the Dead" (2004) have I loathed a film so much while watching it. I despise comedies, and, when they don't have a "comedy" ending, i.e. a happy one, then I hate them even more. Yes, that was the second reason why I put "comedy" in quotation marks. A "comedy" doesn't have to be funny to be a "comedy". The recognisable humour or "joke telling" of most is only supposed to be a by-product. I could go into more detail, but I'm sure you don't want to read a 600 page thesis on the subject right now. Suffice it to say that "[REC]³ Génesis" was essentially a "tragedy" treated in an irreverent and lighthearted manner. So, don't call it a comedy! You can call it a worthless piece of shit, if you like, because it was.

As far as the story went, basically, it was just Koldo and Clara getting separated, going through various struggles, and trying to get together again while everyone around them died. Once again, my Classical education caused me to spot the influence of "The Greek Novel" although I don't think even Lucian would have written something this bizarre.

This brings me back to Leticia Dolera. She's beautiful and will be the only reason a lot of mentally pubescent fanboys give this movie more credit than it's due. They will also think that any hot chick with dripping mascara who kills zombies with a chainsaw while a cover version of "Eloise" plays in the background is "kewl" so let's throw in all the clichés, shall we?

I scrutinized every part of Leticia myself because she looked like she had a 20% chance of turning into Shelley Duvall later on in life. One thing which I spotted early on was her hands (yes, technically that's two things and my grammar sucks). I've noticed that nearly all Spanish actresses have short nails and I'm building a little theory about it in my own mind. A lot of actresses bite their nails because of stress, but the Spanish don't seem to have adopted the false painted claws or French manicures of the rest of the world. If you don't believe me, have a look through a few Spanish movies yourself including the previous "[REC]" movies. In "[REC]", Manuela Velasco had short nails and even drew attention to her hands in the dialogue. Leticia Dolera also had a massive mole on her left hand which was covered with make-up at one point but returned later. Continuity error? If a movie has them I will spot them.

Does any of that really have anything to do with "[REC]³ Génesis" as a horror movie though? Maybe not. Sometimes the tangents my mind goes off on when it's trying to escape a truly horrible movie are actually more interesting than the movie itself. If you've already watched "[REC]³ Génesis" then you may now wonder if what happens to Clara near the end wasn't some more self-referential or wish-fulfilment inspired humour. Do Spanish women all have ugly hands? Is this cultural or a motif of some kind? I have no idea, but I'd rather wonder about those things then remember any of this dreadful piece of filmmaking.

I rate "[REC]³ Génesis" as my first ever -1000 out of 10. Way to kill "[REC]", Paco! You totally wrecked it.

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