Have you heard the one where the (mostly) serious horror series suddenly went sideways and embraces its goofier side? Probably. One could certainly argue that’s the case with the Evil Dead series… or Nightmare on Elm Street… or Halloween… or Friday the 13th… or any number of them really. To quote our beloved Norman Bates – “We all go a little mad sometimes.”
Such is the case with the often-serious and often-religious Spanish [REC] series. I have long felt that these films had a certain kinship with the Evil Dead movies – the humor has always been there if you were open to it, even being pitch-black in the sequel [REC] 2. So when I saw the first exciting trailers for [REC] 3: Genesis… you betcha Army of Darkness came to mind. Turns out, that’s exactly what series co-creators Paco Plaza and Jaume Balagueró were going for.
Did they nail it? Hell yes, they did! [REC] 3: Genesis takes place on the same day as the previous films, but at a different location with only one non-obvious, mutual character (a well-used Javier Botet). A standalone film – Genesis concerns the events of the fateful day and the effect it has on the large, lovely wedding of perfect-couple Clara (Leticia Dolera) and Koldo (Diego Martín). Genesis cleverly ditches the hand-held camera work of its predecessors, in a seriously-fun extended opening-credits scene. We get to know these characters – and like them – before the film even starts. So once it does and the Happy Couple are separated by demonized-zombie-people… it’s quite affecting. I genuinely rooted for Clara and Koldo – I desperately wanted them to find each other, and hooted loudly at every near-miss connection.
Bottom line – this sucker made me laugh until it made me cry. Yes – a nutso film with a chainsaw-wielding, demon-fighting, wide-eyed bride made me cry like the Dickens. Sniffling just now as I think about it, thank you very much. #dontjudgeme
If you saw the film once and were disappointed that the series went a little screwball after the first two… give it a second chance, with an open mind. Think of this as the Army of Darkness to your Evil Dead series. This isn’t a film about plucky reporter Angela Vidal (Manuela Velasco). It’s a comedic love story set in the REC universe – a chance to do something a little bit different with a series that has always embraced a bit of humor and religion. And if that doesn’t satisfy you… wait for REC: Apocalypse. That’s the film you want to see – the 4th (and final) sequel once again concerning Angela and the apartment, and maybe, just maybe… something to tie in here. Either way, I can’t wait to see what these creative maniacs do next.