[RM contributor Derek Emerildo Nieto offers his thoughts on [REC] 3 Génesis, which screened at this year’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival.]
Jumping out at you in boisterous colour, it’s the prequel [REC] 3!
Wait, what? Colour? Yes. This prequel to the so far, so awesome [REC] series, which exhibited good use of the first-person camera technique and set a fine example of how to use it to good effect in the ever-more-saturated zombie sub-genre, starts off well enough and with the best of intentions, but leaves much wanting in the way of not only a prequel but as a part of the [REC] universe itself. And yeah, baby, it’s all colour, all the time. But is that a good idea? In my opinion, no.
Directed by Paco Plaza, one half of the directorial team that brought you the first two films (co-director Jaume Balagueró will be directing the next installment) and taking place primarily at a wedding, the film surprisingly does little in the way of fleshing out any back story to the series, which is disappointing for a prequel.
Also, while there’s a brief sojourn with first-person camera at the beginning of the film, Génesis quickly switches to a standard film style which not only sadly eliminates the dark creepiness and voyeuristic lens that made the previous [REC] films so engaging, but almost made this third installment feel like it wasn’t part of the series at all. At times I felt like I was watching a decent, reasonably budgeted foreign zombie film, but a fairly standard one, and maybe that’s the best way to take on this entry in the Spanish series. Still, this churro needs some sugaring to satiate my zombie appetite. Even with a bride toting a chainsaw, I am left wanting.
Without the inventiveness and atmosphere of its predecessors, I found this serving to be somewhat bland to my sophisticated undead palette. Let’s hope [REC]4, rumoured to be set back in the apartment building, is a return to the [REC]-rigor mortis form that rabidly drove us oh-so-wild before.
Derek Emerildo Nieto