Director: Paco Plaza (2012)
Starring: Leticia Dolera, Diego Martin, John Sponge
Find it: IMDB
'And now', as Monty Python would put it, 'for something completely different.' It's no exaggeration when I say that [REC] is possibly my favourite found footage horror movie of all time. Although, seeing as I hate most of the others, that's not saying much. It's also one of my favourite zombie films of all time. The sequel, whilst mostly more of the same, is very good too. Given the bombshell which [REC] 2 left us with, this prequel drops the ball enormously. In fact, it's almost the most disappointing threequel of 2012.
[REC] Genesis doesn't have Tom Hardy doing an accent that I literally laughed at every time he came on-screen. It doesn't have a man's spine being repaired with rope and a hole. It doesn't even have a completely predictable ending which is telegraphed miles in advance. No, it has a man called John Sponge (who is actually dressed as a sponge) and a protagonist doing his best Inigo Montoya impression. For the purposes of this prequel, [REC] Genesis is transformed into a comedy-horror hybrid, whether the cap fits or not. Not once is Genesis as scary or even mildly unsettling as its predecessors. I love comedy horror (it's perhaps my favourite brand of horror) but only when it makes sense. Granted, this review is but a smokescreen for my unpopular opinions regarding The Dark Knight Rises, but I was still quite disappointed.
Were it not for the [REC] brand, I would have loved Genesis. It's cruel, insanely gory, stupid and there are even chainsaws. It's not even a bad movie. There are some funky Spanish songs accompanying the violence, and the central romance is genuinely quite sweet. All in all, it sounds like a recipe for a horror movie I'm guaranteed to love. But I watched [REC] Genesis hoping to see a [REC] film. If I wanted to see a silly knockoff, I'd watch Quarantine 2 again*. Who knew that, outside of the infamous Barcelona apartment block, there was a goofy horror comedy going on. Talk about that reporter lady being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Those less enamoured with the franchise as I might enjoy Genesis. It's better than a lot of new zombie horror releases out there, and even manages to be quite inventive at times. But as a successor (or precursor) to two of the best horror movies of recent years, it's bloody useless.
* I wouldn't. Nothing could ever make me watch Quarantine 2 again.