*. The terror in Rec and Rec 2 was produced by the very limitations those two movies set themselves: their characters trapped in a dark old building full of narrow passageways and presented from the point of view of a very shaky “shaky cam.”
*. We’re in a different world here, though the story is tied together nicely as the events are presented as taking place simultaneously with the others so that it works as one of the synoptic Rec gospels.
*. Gone is the shaky cam that defined the first two movies, and I can’t say I miss it. Though they did come up with a perfect way to introduce it here and I think they could have made use of it effectively. I felt sorry to see Atún leave us just because he was too big to fit in the crawlspace. His dedication to a cinéma vérité style (going for just a touch of Renoir with his al fresco footage) was sorely missed.
*. Also gone is that haunted Barcelona tenement. Now we’re attending a wedding reception at a luxurious event destination, among a horde of beautiful young people. Terror will have to be produced in other (which in this case turns out to mean “more conventional”) ways.
*. It’s the end of the shaky cam that tells us how much has changed. And when does that happen? Twenty minutes in.
*. What is the record for the most screen time passing before the title comes on? Or the most screen time relative to the film’s length? The title here comes up at 21:47, and it absolutely blindsided me. I mean, at that point why even bother?
*. Another thing that’s new is the sense of humour and genre parody. This wasn’t at all present in the first two films, but it is something that tends to come with the territory when making horror sequels (think Evil Dead, Cabin Fever, etc.). In fact, I think this movie could have been even funnier if they’d let it go in that direction more.
*. For one thing, they seemed to introduce a bunch of characters that they then didn’t do much with later. In particular, I thought a lot more could have been done with the SpongeBob character. The comic possibilities there were endless.
*. Bridezilla and St. George. More could have been done with this as well. Clara transitions too violently from being a princess in need of rescuing to becoming a kick-ass chick pissed at how her big day has been ruined. But instead of being a strength, I thought the romantic elements in the story were overplayed, which shouldn’t have been possible.
*. At 80 minutes this movie isn’t long (the documentary on the making of the movie included with the DVD is nearly half an hour longer!) and it leaves a lot on the table. The deleted scenes show even more time given over to introducing the characters but that’s not what’s missing. What’s missing is something to do with them once all hell breaks loose.
*. I also thought the business of the reflections of the zombies showing them in their demonic state (in the form of the zombie leader Nina Medeiros) was a concept that more could have been done with. As it is, it’s only utilized a couple of times and not explained. And yes, I’m aware of the fact that I’ve said “more could have been done with this” several times now.
*. It’s too bad they cut some of the talk inside the chapel, as it explains the otherwise baffling coach scene Koldo watches on the security cam.
*. I don’t know why the priest quoting the Bible is so effective here when nothing the priest did worked worth a damn in Rec 2.
*. OK, Koldo couldn’t find anything in a kitchen that size that would function as a screwdriver? Like, I don’t know, perhaps a knife? That’s pathetic.
*. The same uncomfortable mix of material and spiritual causes for the virus as in the first two films. I can’t understand it. And the priest’s lame explanation of the “Genesis” story went way over my head. I think it was just so much religious twaddle they threw in the mix.
*. So does the Medeiros demon possess everybody who is infected, everywhere? Independently? That’s quite a demon. If she takes over the world she’s the puppet master for 7 billion people? And then what? What’s her goal? These are the questions you have to ask because zombification is not a virus but something directed by an evil intelligence. And there are no good answers.
*. Though I have nothing against getting rid of the shaky cam, it seems to me the second half of the movie really drags. I think this is a script problem though, and has little to do with the style of the filmmaking.
*. In the documentary Rec 3: Genesis: Preparing a Bloody Wedding director Paco Plaza talks about discovering the tunnel location and changing the script to work it in. What did he like about it? “We thought it was perfect because it was like a new screen in a videogame. It’s like when you change levels.” I think a comment like that gives some insight into where a whole generation of directors’ heads are at.
*. Also like a videogame, the final gunning down of Clara and Koldo was done completely with CGI. No squibs! I felt like this marked some kind of watershed. We are in a videogame world now.
*. It’s well done, but . . . I can’t help thinking that the Rec franchise backstory pulls it down. It probably would have been better as a stand-alone zombie or virus-outbreak movie instead of being a sequel to a pair of very different movies that it drags behind it like . . . the tin cans tied to a newlywed couple’s car.