It’s been 3 years since the release of part 2 in this horror saga and with a tonal shift and the movie takin place before part 1, will this be a worthy entry into this still relatively unknown franchise?
Well, for those anxious to know, this will definitely be the part that fans will be talking about the most in terms of content. In a true 180 degree turn from it’s previous 2 movies, Director Paco Plaza who co-directed the first 2 movies with Jaume Balaguero has decided to make a few adjustments.
Rec³ takes it’s time to settle in, whether you’re an academic on the first two movies or a newcomer, you won’t have any trouble getting sucked into the story. That story takes place at a wedding, Koldo (Diego Martin) and Clara’s (Leticia Dolera) wedding to be precise, surrounded by people with camera’s filming the proceedings Mr. Plaza has created a smart set-up for the usage of handy-cams, only he doesn’t use it. That’s right, after the lengthy 20 minute set-up at the wedding, the guy carrying the camera get’s trampled in the mayhem and the camera is broken. From there on out we get our titlescreen and we move on to the first Rec movie that’s being filmed cinematically instead of via the handy-cams.
I must say, that change was a welcome one, as I think that the amount of handheld footage movies coming out are starting to wear thin in their creativity. Even with the change of camera, Rec³ still feels like a Rec movie because of the clever usage of the same sound samples and visual style.
So far, so good, as we move on to the latter 57 minutes that make up this entire 77 minute movie.
Bits and pieces connecting this movie to the proceedings from part 1 and 2 are thrown in throughout, most notably we get to see a tv in the background showing us the newsreport about the Barcelona building being contaminated. This in itself means that the story we see is taking place in the same timeframe as the proceedings in Rec 1.
The Medeiros girl, who is made out to be the source of all the mayhem in part 1 and 2 is seen in here as well.
Without spoiling anything, The way she’s depicted in here makes you reassess the way you approach the source material. And that’s not the last thing that’s somewhat different, the main problem I had with this movie was the complete shift in tone.
Where Rec 1 had us engaged in an entirely new story only to have Rec 2 emphasize the terror of part 1, this movie decides to take a comedic approach, handling the religious aspects that made the first two parts so damn terrifying as a source for comedy. And that’s not at all appropriate for this horror anthology.
Even though it could be considered as a fewminor downsides to an otherwise able movie, the comedy that’s depicted will definitely make you go ‘Are you fucking kidding me’, Because, and minor spoilers will be told from here on, a guy running around in knights armor that he thinks is divine protection (but doesn’t work against the possessed at all), some great kills that have a comedic joke or sound preceding it, and insanely high jumping infected, just doesn’t make this movie scary.
If you love the Rec Franchise you could consider this to be a case of the X-Files.
That show always had you waiting for the stuff that pushed the main anthology story forward, and it’s the same with this. With the initial scares out of the way because everybody knows what to expect by now, it’s relying on jump scares and your soft spot for the franchise.
I was dying to find out more about the cause of the outbreak (which is still hinted to be caused by a rabid dog bite) and the whole religious aspect that surroundst these movies. Yet, with the exception of a priest on the premises, there’s not much to expand the story with.
Moving on from that definite downer, we get another highpoint in the movie, which is Clara.
The Rec series always had a strong focus on the female characters and Rec³ is no different.
Leticia Dolera (seen here on the right) delivers a stunning performance as a newlywed woman who will do everything to find her husband again. Yes, it doesn’t manage to steer clear entirely from some horror clichés, but she’ll be the thing that will stand out the most for you, once you finish it.
When those 77 minutes have passed, you’ll be left with mixed feelings for sure. As a stand-alone movie it’s more than passable, but when you start comparing it to the anthology that has come before it, that’s when the first signs of doubt start showing up. In some ways, this is still an indispensable addition to the story. We finally get to witness scenes in daylight, and we are removed from the setting that we have grown to know and love in the first 2 movies.
As mentioned, the comedy used in this, as well as the lighthearted take on the religious aspects definitely make you frown. But when the movie finally reaches its climax, you’ll still be clamoring for more Rec.
And as luck would have it, that’s exactly what you’ll get. Rec 4: Apocalypse is already scripted and awaiting a date for principal photography. This time directed by the other half of the duo: Jaume Balaguero.
So, we’ve come to the end of quite a lengthy review, and it’s time to grade this beast.
It’s heritage is at times it’s savior and killer as Rec³ will have you guys divided for sure!