Have you seen Rec? the 2007 Spanish found footage virus zombie extravaganza which was applauded by fans and critics alike for it’s literal edge of your seat thrills and terrors. That movie spawned an equally good sequel, Rec 2, which expanded on the original concept and added layers of information to round out the story to a more satisfying whole. Rec was remade for American audiences as Quarantine which was also beloved by the horror masses and had, in my opinion, an even clearer and tighter plot and through line which made it even easier for the film to draw you in and give you nightmares.
Rec 3 is nothing like those movies. It has none of the nasty, knife-edge, jump at shadows feel of the first films and in fact, it’s connection to them is tenuous at best. It has a different cast, a different writer and a different tone. The only real similarity here is the title.
And while this would usually be enough to make me, in my admiration of the first films, turn away, I have to say, I loved this movie!
I understand the disappointment of fans who wanted more of the original story/direction/style, I sympathise with their protestations that this is not what they had expected or desired; but that does not make this anything less than a fun, scary, gory, cheeky, romantic (yep, that’s right) thrill ride.
The storyline, slim as it is, concerns the wedding and reception of our two fresh faced leads – Leticia Dolera as Clara and Diego Martin as Koldo. During the celebrations an infected uncle starts biting the party guests and so it goes, everyone infecting everyone else like wildfire while the two newlyweds are separated by a twist of fate and spend most of the movie trying to find each other. The two intrepid bands of survivors that each separate newlywed joins (including the children’s entertainer – NOT Spongebob, in a running gag that made me laugh out loud) attempt to make it out alive.
There is so much to enjoy here, from the truly splendid performances from all involved but particularly the two leads, to the splashy gore; from the gorgeous set design to the bravery of the film-makers to subvert everything the first two films had us expecting; from the genuinely heart felt moments between the couple to the kick-ass bride, all ripped dress and attitude.
With real humor, real horror and real heart, this was the film I wanted Cabin in the Woods to be and could’ve been if it’d just had the balls to push a little further.
I have friend’s who are put off by foreign horror movies as they feel that ‘reading’ the dialogue interrupts the flow of the movie and horrors are so dependent on atmosphere this could prove damaging.
Trust me guys, this movie is worth the subtitles.