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John’s Horror Corner: REC 3: Genesis (2012), an extremely fun zombie movie featuring wedding crashing zombies and a dash of humor.

December 17, 2012

MY CALL:  This film was short, sweet and persistently effective, with some of the best blood work, tactfully sharp color-correction and beautiful filming of any zombie film since 28 Days Later.  If you see one zombie movie this decade, make this it!  [A]  HARDLY A SEQUEL:  There are loads of negative reviews out there of this movie. It seems that all such reviews are based on inconsistencies between this and the previous two REC films-especially the zombies’ behavior.  So, folks.  Just stop doing that, get over your judgmental self (not that I’m typically any better), treat this movie as a stand-alone zombie film and enjoy!  IF YOU LIKETHIS WATCH28 Days Later (2002) and The Walking Dead (2010-2013) have both brought new levels of cinematography and pragmatic humanity to zombie cinema.  TRAILERClick here to see my Trailer Talk.

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An infected wedding guest.

In the first five minutes I realized that this film was accomplishing something that very few of the recent horror (or sci-fi-horror) movies managed–to present the characters and get you to like them in a manner such that, were you not told beforehand, you wouldn’t know this was a horror movie until something awful happened.  Chernobyl Diaries (2012) tried, but the premise and setting was too blatant.  But Cloverfield (2008) really succeeded using the same found footage style.  For those of you who dislike found footage horror, this movie shifts to normal filming and presentation after about 20 minutes.  Until which our lead couple is very sweet, credibly humbled, and have an adorably choreographed first dance on their wedding day.

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This first dance really was the cutest thing.  I want to do this when I get married!

After a zombie outbreak initiates with patient zero in during their wedding reception, Koldo (Diego Martin) and Clara (Scream Queen Leticia Dolera; Imago Mortis, Los Últimos Días) are separated and their resolve is tested.  Clara is more than just a pair of big bright eyes and innocence wrapped up in a snug wedding dress.  She turns into a credibly tough chick fighting for her future with Koldo, who I find to be sincere, but a much less effective character (than Clara) until the final scenes.

“Those zombies were NOT invited!”

While having no effect on the “zombie movie dynamic” that we’ve come to expect, REC 3 takes a Biblical approach to its zombiism complete with holy water, flecks of gospel, and occasional imagery.  Combined with the personable introductory scenes of this film, I find this to have a more welcomed and original flavor than most zombie flicks.

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The zombie action is quality, the gore is festive, the survivors’ sense of terror and urgency feels very real, and no one has ever made a chainsaw look so damned sexy as Leticia Dolera!

This also may be the most beautifully shot zombie film I’ve seen since 28 Days Later (2002) and the color-corrected crispness of the blood occasionally borders on artistry.  The blood work was truly fantastic on all levels.  And the ending…GREAT.  The whole film was short, sweet and effective.  Oh, and don’t worry if you haven’t seen the other REC films. This is a solid stand-alone sequel.

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If you see one zombie movie this decade, make this it!

REMAKE SIDEBAR  Paco Plaza wrote (at least in part) and directed all three REC films (2007, 2009, 2012) and wrote both remake Quarantine films (2008, 2011).  While Quarantine 2 was less of a remake, I’m left to wonder if there won’t be a Quarantine 3 to complement REC 3.  Normally I’m all for more iterations and re-imaginings of the same movie.  However, REC 3 was so amazing I fear that no budget could possibly duplicate the perfection I witnessed…and I couldn’t imagine replacing Scream Queen Leticia Dolera with anyone!  She was phenomenal!

Also, get ready for REC 4: Apocalypse [Apocalipsis], which continues where REC 2 left off.

Here’s what they look like in the mirror; their fallen Biblical demon form.

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