So, let’s get this out of the way first: I am one of the sorry souls who hasn’t seen either of the first two Rec movies. I know, I know. I remember missing the first one, somehow, and then decided not to see the second one until I’d seen the first one…and there you go. Anyway, [Rec] 3: Genesis is a prequel to the first two, so I felt pretty secure heading into the theatre last night to jump on board this particular zombie train.
Receiving its Canadian premiere at Toronto After Dark, [Rec] 3: Genesis kicked off Zombie Appreciation Night at the festival, and there were plenty of the undead on hand to get everyone in the mood for what was bound to be an exciting evening. After some introductions, a posh zombie contest, an undead-filled PSA from the Heart & Stroke Foundation, and a wonderfully tense and somewhat disturbing short, We Ate The Children Last, we at the Bloor Cinema settled in to watch where the [Rec] zombies got their start.
We open on the wedding of Koldo (Diego Martin) and Clara (Leticia Dolera), two young lovers who’ve brought their large group of family and friends together to celebrate their marriage on a beautiful summer day. There are a couple of weird things at the location of the elaborate reception (like a couple of guys in hazmat suits and the arrival of a police car), but for the most part, things go off without a hitch, and the pair head in to join everyone in the celebration. An uncle with a dogbite seems to get a little drunker than anyone else, however, and it’s not long before his actions go beyond the realm of mere alcohol over-indulgence. In a matter of seconds, all hell has broken loose, and people are running in panic for their very lives.
Koldo and Clara find themselves separated from one another, and though neither really knows if the other is alive, it is immediately apparent that neither of them intends to make a run for safety without the other. However, as the undead rapidly begin to outnumber the living, finding one another in the chaos starts to seem an impossible feat. And so the stage is set – zombies everywhere (all dressed in their Sunday best), young love put to the test, and a bride with a chainsaw. Oh, HELL yeah.
I have to admit – I thought they were going to kill me with the shakey-cam at first. I tried just reading the subtitles when possible, but man – I had been dizzy walking in, so it was a struggle for awhile there to stay in my seat and stay engaged. I was really enjoying what I saw, though, so I pushed myself to hang in there, and I am so glad I did. Just when I thought I was going to have to leave, the camera steadied, and the real ride began! Blood everywhere, zombies everywhere, chases, creative kills, applause-worthy moments of sheer joy – this movie has it all! There were several awesome side characters (including one child entertainer named John Sponge – there was a copyright thing), and I had this interesting but incomplete thought at one point – about the priest finally having a rapt audience for her sermon. For me, however, this story was all about Koldo and Clara and their strong love for one another. Both were completely engaging and watchable – and even covered in blood and soaking wet with mascara running down her face, Leticia Dolera looks amazing! The young couple’s struggle to find one another again, against all odds, was probably the most touching thing I’ve seen in a long time. Especially amidst so much bloodspatter.
Check out more on [Rec] 3: Genesis here, and at the following sites: