Review: Rec: Genesis (2012)

A happy couple must battle to enjoy their day when zombies harass a wedding in Paca Plaza's Rec: Genesis

Everything that made Rec, and, to a lesser degree, Rec 2 stand out has been removed from the billing in this outing. Whereas the previous instalments relied on dodgy camera work and an expert build-up of tension Rec: Genesis disposes of the hand-held aspect about ten minutes into proceedings.Whilst the use of such photography has become somewhat a gimmick in cinema, Rec was one of the few films that utilised it well. Whilst the decision to provide a theatrical sequel rather than a realistic one is Rec: Genesis‘s biggest downfall, it’s not its only one.

Here we travel away from the quarantined building where the other films were set and instead visit a seemingly happy wedding. Whilst a legend had been born in Recs 1 and 2, featuring a rather creepily thin being, Rec: Genesis manages to destroy everything that came before it. Here the theory behind the zombie epidemic is skewed. Whereas before victims turned from normal person to scary zombie in a matter of moments, here the initial infectee takes hours to turn and, when he does, manages to convert the entire party in a matter of seconds. Said party then goes on to wander aimlessly looking for people to nibble; gone are the days of scary shouting women coming running from the shadows.

Gone too is the suspense. Where the scares felt genuinely frightening before, here every twist is predictable and often boring. The film attempts to provide some unique memorable scenes (perhaps the ending is the best example), but these are often followed with raised eyebrows and questions as to just why anybody would act in such a way.

Before this begins to feel like a comparative essay between this and the previous films the film itself is questionable in its own right. Often feeling like a quirky British comedy gone wrong the film traverses its genre in an entirely alienating way. When viewed in conjunction with its predecessors the outcome is head-scratchingly odd. Why didn’t the producers simply market this as a completely different movie and drop the Rec tag? Well, the answer is simple – Rec has been hugely successful. The fact that this off-kilter instalment rounds off the franchise is hugely disappointing.

Had Rec: Genesis been its own entity then perhaps it could have had more freedom to play with its more humorous side. Instead we’re treated to an hour and a half of franchise ruining dross that wrecks the work done by the other films in the series.

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