Koldo and Clara are about to celebrate the most important day of their lives: their wedding. Everything appears to be running smoothly and the bride and groom and their families are enjoying a wonderful day; that is until some of the guests start showing signs of a strange illness. Before they know what’s happening, the bride and groom find themselves in the middle of a hellish ordeal, as an uncontrollable torrent of violence is unleashed on the wedding.
Amidst the chaos, Koldo and Clara become separated and begin a desperate search for one another. What started off as an idyllic day quickly descends into a nightmare of the worst kind…
Can you imagine what it might be like to watch every friend and family member go cannibal and start ripping each other limb from limb? That is the premise behind the third installment of Paco Plaza and the (REC) trilogy. Plaza and REC is known for hard-hitting, pulse pounding zombie chasing fun. Part three is not going to ruin the franchise, and in some ways might be the best of the bunch. REC purists might want to throw a severed arm at my head for saying that, but the truth is I like part three the best. Despite my fondness for this new sequel (A prequel really), I must admit that there are flaws. We will get to those later.
REC 3 is based around a couple that is having a lavish wedding and a young cousin that is filming it. The bride is named Clara (Dolera) and Koldo (Martin) is the groom.
The first part of the flick is in familiar Found-Footage REC style. The home video camera is perfect for the wedding and herein lays the first problem with the movie in my view. I hate the intro. It is simply too long and makes the film drag a bit. The found footage way of shooting movies is not something I dig at all. It makes me sick and I hate straining to see what is going on. That said, REC has done a better job than most with that problem.
Eventually, an Uncle gets bitten by an infected dog (throwback to the previous films) and the chompfest is on. The wedding is quickly thrown into chaos and the camera cousin is made lunchmeat rather quickly. This allows REC 3 to start being filmed in the traditional manner. For me, that is a wonderful development and it makes the movie so much easier to watch. (As easy as split craniums can be that is)
You do lose a bit of the intensity when using the third person view, but Plaza does it well.
Clara and Koldo are nearly immediately separated and the rest of the film is primarily about their search for one another. The two are forced to fight their way through the evil hordes of flesh eating demons to have any chance at happiness. How is that for a wedding challenge?
There is not much new here, but it is very well done indeed. The stories from the previous films are hinted at, but this is really all about the body count and the two protagonists.
Clara is clearly the star of this show. With her wedding bliss shattered and her dress becoming chainsaw-vogue, Clara is like a crazy assed Wonder Woman running through the zombies and making mincemeat of them. She hunts high and low for her man and seems driven by a primal force. She did not, however, come across as an unstoppable killing machine. She shows genuine emotions and that is what keeps her character interesting. Her scared looks and ferocious moments alike are both cinematically pleasing.
Koldo is not far removed from being a star as well, but he is definitely overshadowed by Clara and her character. The chick is wearing a tattered wedding dress and a red garter. Did he really have a chance at anything else but second banana?
The zombies of course were also high on the list of stardom. They did their fair share of eating, but most wedding guests do. The zombies ate many guests and created all the havoc that one would want at a wedding/zombie party.
Ultimately, the film falls flat on only one point as far as I am concerned. The movie embraces the whole “Shaun of the Dead comedy angle” a bit too much. REC is about pulse pounding fear and not comedic bits in my view. If I had my way, I would have eliminated those and added in more dark. Perhaps that will be a focus in REC 4 when it finally comes out.