Here we go for the 3 film in the REC series. REC 1 was an amazing takew on the zombie horror movies, where the zombies weren't zombies at all but people infected with a virus caused by demonic possession. It was a fresh take on the found footage horror genre and worked very well. An American version called "Quarentine" was made which followed REC 1 pretty much shot for shot except that it dealt with the virus as rabies.
This time the action takes place away from the original building and in broad daylight. The setting is a wedding and everything about the wedding is being filmed by a professional camera man and a you guy with a handycam, Most of the opening footage shown is from the handycam perspective. The wedding is moving along pretty smoothly until it is made clear that one of the uncles was bitten by a dog at the clinc. As things go from bad to worse the handycam gets smashed and we are put into full Hollywood production mode.
This is where I felt the movie lost a lot of the feeling of the earlier two. Once it goes from handcam found footage to Hollywood style filming it starts to go wrong, but that is the least of the film's problems. It's major problem is the script. The dialogue is horrible and a lot of the lines are repeated over and over again, which makes it seem very amateurishly written. The writing also affects the premise, which goes from pretty cool to bad fast. It almost at times in some scenes feels like a paraody, especially when two of the characters put on suits of armor. Really guys, armor?
Paco Plaza is back in the director's seat with this film and I felt that he dropped the ball with this one. The original was so fresh and so well done, and the second one kept the audience into the movie, but the 3rd one was not teh charm it was supposed to be. I felt that by moving away from the recorded footage and going with a more mainstream look killed the feel of the series. He used a lot of cliched angles and shooting styles for this type of movie and everything just felt contrived. I really wanted to like this movie, and from his awesome opening I was right there cheering, but as it progressed he just didn't keep the flow going well enough to make me care what was going to happen. Don't get me wrong, the Hollywood style filming looked very pretty, but that's about it. He does have a 4th movie coming out to finish the REC series and I hope that he picks one style and sticks with it. Paco Plaza is a talented director but I feel his talents were wasted on this film.
Paco also was one of the writers of the movie. I hope he didn't write too much of the dialogue because it was terrible. The characters were laid out well at the beginning but once it switched to the full blown filming style they almost became different characters. The pacing of the script also seemed off in places. It would build some momentum and the lose it, go back to building the momentum again only to have it bottom out. Hopefully with the next film the script will be tighter and a little more coherent.
The movie stars Leticia Dolera as Clara. She made a name for herself in the Spanish show "Al salir de clase". She does a good job playing Clara though you really don't see her much until the 2nd half of the movie. When she is on screen she is a very strong character and one that holds up well under the very bad and stressfull conditions. Leticia's character goes through the full gambit of emotions and she pulls them off without a hitch.
Diego Martin plays Clara's newlywed husband Koldo. Martin is big on Spanish television as well and also performs well on screen in REC 3. Though it was hard to take him seriously at times when he was wearing a suit of armor. He is a good actor and does a good job with what he is given. He is a man who just wants to find his new bride and make sure she is safe so they can live happily ever after.
I have to say all the actors did a great job with the movie. They made the characters as believable as they could considering the poor source material they had to work with. Out of all of them I think my favorite character was Atun the camera man played by Borja Glez. Santaolalla. This is first acting gig and he was great in it. It was fun watching him when he was on screen, though he didn't get a lot of screen time, he made the most of what he had.
The main focus of the story is not the killing or the zombie style people but a love story between a man and a woman who just wanted to be married and live their lives together, happily. When both meet up again at the end their love still blooms and will never die, two soulmates lost in a world of death and destruction. There is a Biblical overtone to this movie concerning the coming of the Apocalypse which I thought worked well into the storyline. Even though I didn't really enjoy this movie like I thought I was going to I do want to see the final one in the series to see where they finally take it.
After all is said and done I give this movie 2.5 stars out of 5. It has great make up effects though a little too much digital blood in some scenes was used and a very strong opening sequence. Where I took off the 2.5 stars was for poor directing choices and very sloppy writing. It just didn't captivate me like the originals did. Hopefully the next film will rise about this one. Not a total waste of time but nothing I would rush out and see. Till next time my friends.