A couple's wedding day turns into a horrific events as some of the guests start showing signs of a strange illness.
What in Gods name was Plaza thinking?
Rec 1 and 2 are among the most accomplished horror films of the past decade. Tense, terrifying and filled with invention, originality and a sense of real terror. They have become not only the standard for hand-held horror, but beacons of modern horror in general; spawning a strong American remake, (and its sub-par yet watchable sequel reviewed here), and a ravenous fanbase.
Fans wanted more. More mythos, more story. An expansion of the surprising and disturbing themes explored in the sequel. They could have taken this franchise all the way. It was a prime example of true horrors ability to elicit a primal response in the viewer. So, with a loyal, hungry fanbase and a limitless mythos to explore, what do they do?
They make a comedy.
Thats right. A fucking comedy. REC 3 is about as misjudged as any film I've ever witnessed. To take such a hyper-tense series and reduce it to SHAUN OF THE DEAD-lite comedy is a fucking travesty. Don't get me wrong, I love SHAUN, (who doesn't?), but the REC series is not goofball comedy. It doesn't help that its not even the slightest bit funny. It has a cheesy quality that in other circumstances could possibly be endearing to some, but its bound to leave any and all fans cold, cut up, and more than a little pissed off. REC 3 goes the Zom-Rom-Com route and manages to fuck it up at each and every turn. Its never scary, never funny, never engaging; and the only emotion it elicited from this fan was seething rage. I could barely get through the damn thing.
It opens in familiar style, with hand-held footage setting the scene for the coming carnage,. We get the usual character introductions via shaky camera footage and the leads are vaguely drawn. Any fan of found footage horror knows the drill. Its never much fun. But in this goddam film its excutiating. Theres no sense of atmosphere, and precisly zero building of suspense. And these scenes are perhaps the best scenes in the movie. Its about to get worse, much worse...
So the zombie/demon outbreak hits, and almost immediuatly the camera which is acting as our eyes and ears is smashed. The screen goes dark, and then, out of fucking nowhere REC 3 becomes a standard horror movie, enchewing the hand-held technique completely. Its jarring, its utterly insulting to fans of the series, and it begs the question...why the fuck is it called REC 3!?
As far as this reviewer is concerned, this is not a REC movie. In my mind, there are only two films in the series. Two perfect, vicious and nail-biting nightmares that put the audience through one hell of a fright ride. This old bullshit isn't fit to wipe the feet of the previous films. Its an insult to the REC brand.
Its all the more mind-boggling that its directed and written by the same cat who created the series in the first place! What the hell possessed this promising director to piss in his own well like this? The guy has real skill, and much like I still got love for the likes of John Carpenter and other fallen horror directors, due to their previous works of art, I still have some hope for Plaza. I really cant understand why he went this route. Some may see it as bold, but to me it looks like career and reputation suicide.
I truly hope this was a one-off, deeply misguided fuck up; but with REC 4 already in the bank, Ive afraid the series may be lost forever. At least we have the first two masterpieces. Which, by the way, if you havent seen, you should watch immediately. Avoid this nonsense like your sex-life depends on it, kids.
2 Drunken Demonic Uncles out of 10