Movie Reviews: “[REC]³: Génesis”

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Written & Directed by Paco Plaza.

“Rec 3” is something special. It’s a genre changer for horror films. I find it funny that the series that really championed modern found footage, 1st-person angle shot horror, may be the one to end that trend.

“Rec” was remade in American cinemas as “Quarantine”, which also had its own sequel. “Rec 2” in my opinion is the BEST 1st person docu-shot horror film ever made. It’s brutal, intense and best of all, it makes sense as to why everything is being filmed.

“Rec 3” is self aware. The premise takes place at the wedding of adorable couple Clara and Koldo. The first 15 minutes of the film we are treated to the opening ceremonies of their wedding and the beginnings of a rowdy reception, all shot on hand-held 1st person view cameras. Koldo’s Uncle arrived at the wedding with a wound on his hand (claiming a dog bit it), and during the party he changes into something monstrous. All hell breaks loose as people begin attacking one another and mutating into ferocious demon ghouls.

The groom yells to the camera man “Why are you filming this?!” He then smashes the camera! Haha. It’s as if the film is mocking the absurdity of the genre. Starting 20 minutes in, “Rec 3” is shot conventionally, like a normal film, and it is refreshing!

The rest of the movie is about bride and groom trying to survive and find each other amongst the mess of bodies and rabid relatives. At times it’s goofy, and at times sentimental. I cared about the characters, and I enjoyed the film’s practical gore effects. This felt old school like Dario Argento’s “Demons” from 1985, yet new and exciting.

Paco Plaza has made 3 great “Rec” films and It’ll be interesting to see what he does next with the series. If 3 is the end, then so be it. It will be remembered by me as one of the absolute best and underrated horror trilogies ever made.

3.5 out of 4.0 stars.

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Movie Reviews: “Tesis” (1996)

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Tesis is the Spanish word for thesis. The film follows a woman in college named Angela who is working on a thesis paper about violence and media. Her research leads her to an underground snuff film cult who have been killing women on campus for years. Who can she trust, and will she be next?

This is a well crafted horror/mystery from Director Alejandro Amenábar, and is considered to be one of the most shocking films of the 1990’s. The reputation is well deserved as “Tesis” keeps you on the edge of your seat, as well as squirming in the back of it. (Well not me personally, but I’m sure most people would squirm.)
The more Angela and her friend Chema uncover, the more bizarre the situation gets, and the more you fear for them.

Amenábar also wrote/directed “The Others” with Nicole Kidman, and “Open Your Eyes”, which was later remade as “Vanilla Sky. If “Tesis” were made today it wouldn’t be considered anything special, but because it came out in 1996, I bet it inspired a lot of films that followed. I enjoyed it.

3.0 out of 4.0 stars.