[Rec] Genesis Blu-ray/DVD

Sunday, 02 September 2012 14:07 Written by 

[Rec]3 Genesis out now on Blu-ray and DVDAlso known as “[Rec]3 Genesis”, this second sequel to the hit Spanish, found-footage zombie-scarer tries something new in a bid to stop the rot setting in. Set at the same point in time as the other films, it relocates the action to a luxurious wedding reception. Starting out as a mock wedding video, the action switches to a more regular, cinematic style as an infected family member turns and sets about contaminating and eating the other guests.

As the zombie hordes multiply, two figures stand out, resourcefully and defiantly fending off the undead in a bid to be reunited. They are groom Koldo (Diego Martín), and panda-eyed bride Clara (Leticia Dolera – Mad Dogs). The newlyweds have some help from a priest who might be able to influence the zombies, and whatever makeshift weaponry  they can pick up in the sizeable venue and grounds. Meanwhile, the authorities are closing in on the source of the infection.

“[Rec]3” is quite a different film to the first two installments. It is less of a suspenseful, claustrophobic shocker, and more of an action-adventure with horror overtones. The wedding reception location is lavish, expansive and as such is both a help and a hindrance to the film. It looks fantastic, especially when the movie shifts in style, but it also removes most of the tension.

The budget has plainly been boosted substantially this time around, resulting in a much bigger cast, dozens if not hundreds of extras, quality special effects and as many camera cranes, Steadicams and dollies as they need to get smooth, sweeping shots. Thankfully, the film does not go off the rails with all these toys, but uses them effectively to provide a new feel and arena for the franchise whilst maintaining a tight focus on the action.

There are plenty of memorable moments, including the brutal dispatching of a zombie with a handheld kitchen blender, some quality slicing and dicing when Clara picks up a chainsaw and wields it like a pro, Koldo stomping around in a medieval suit of armour, and the unexpected and horrific return of dreaded series icon, Niña Medeiros.

Gorehounds are spoilt rotten with ghoulish prosthetics, superb CGI-enhanced death and destruction, and enough blood to fill an Olympic swimming pool.

The movie does suffer from not quite knowing what its focus should be, and I think some more humour in the style of “Zombieland” would have given it a bit more energy and texture. What comedy there is tends to fall a bit flat, such as the inclusion of a costume-wearing children’s entertainer called John Sponge rather than SpongeBob SquarePants for fear of litigation. The gag is repeated several times and is not funny the first time around.

Despite the general lack of suspense, there are some cracking set pieces towards the end of the film, and the very end is an unmitigated success - bloody, moody and appropriate. I keenly await news of the fourth and supposedly final part of the saga, “[Rec]4 Apocalypse”. If the production budget is ramped up again by the same margin, who knows how the struggling Spanish economy will fund it!

Special features on both release formats include:

  • [Rec] Genesis – Preparing a Bloody Wedding (a making-of)
  • Out-takes
  • Deleted scenes
  • Trailers for other movies

As with “[Rec]2”, the making of is a feature-length and highly detailed examination of the movie’s production, taking in every aspect from costume design, special effects, casting, location scouting, music and sound effects.  The section on zombie noises is my highlight; as the makers say, nobody knows what a zombie would sound like, so they came up with a mixture of human, animal and other sounds blended together, unique to each character. Watching the undead rehearse in their regular clothing, sans makeup is a quite a sight!

The Blu-ray version reviewed really comes into its own once the footage switches to non-camcorder mode, though even before that the HD, handheld sequences look pretty sharp. The high fidelity sound is quite superb, seemingly bringing the ravenous, feral zombies right into your living room!

“[Rec] Genesis” (2012) is out now, courtesy of Entertainment One. The main feature has a running time of 80 minutes approx, carries an ‘18’ certificate and retails for £15.99 on DVD, £19.99 on Blu-ray, or less from www.culttvstore.com

Last modified on Sunday, 02 September 2012 14:12

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