Directed by Paco Plaza. Starring Leticia Dolera ("Clara"), Diego Martín ("Koldo"), Àlex Monner ("Adrian"), and Ismael Martínez ("Rafa"). Rated R. Body Count: Exact number unknown; 15 on-screen kills, a suicide, dozens of wedding guests, and a bus full of children.
Source: Region 1 DVD (Sony Pictures)
Running time: 01:20:14
The film is set at a wedding and the subsequent after-party. The footage we see is shot by various people who are attending the wedding, and the multiple cameras are justified by the fact that the couple who's getting married really went out of their way to have the most extravagant and memorable wedding as possible, which meant hiring a legit camera man who keeps beating you over the head with the term "Cinema Veritee" and having random relatives walk around with digital camcorders. We as viewers are aware of an impending outbreak of demons/zombies, so it's just a matter of waiting. That said, the first twenty minutes of [REC] 3 is an obnoxious wedding video that belongs to people you don't know. From there, someone suddenly becomes infected/possessed/whatever and all Hell breaks loose. It's at this point that the a certain signature of the [REC] series is dropped and, ironically, shit gets "real". The sudden change I'm alluding to is jarring at first but ultimately kind of brilliant in how it's executed.
Once the initial zombie/demon outbreak ensues, it triggers a chain reaction of bloodshed and more outbreaks. During the chaos, the bride and groom (Clara and Koldo respectively) are split up into different groups who proceed to fight for their lives amidst the demonic massacre. The two leads are subsequently driven not just by survival but by their need to find each other, which adds an emotional element to the film. On top of that, Clara is pregnant and was on the verge of breaking the news to her husband before the shit hit the fan.
Something I wasn't expecting with [REC] 3 was the humor. I like horror-comedies as much as anyone else, but the horror and comedy in this movie aren't balanced well. The jokes and self-referential humor are good for a laugh but get really old after a while. At one point there's a guy running around in a bootleg SpongeBob costume, and there are also characters who wear suits of armor and arm themselves with medieval weaponry; as random as they sound, they're all justified and make sense, but it doesn't change the fact that they're not very funny and lessen the emotional impact of the film's more serious moments.
For the most part, I quite enjoyed [REC] 3. I like the previous films as well, especially the first, but I'm not one of those horror fans who salivates for them and I don't hold them in a particularly high regard. The change in visuals and style don't bother me at all, and neither do the inconsistencies of the zombie/demon elements, but those things could be distracting for some people because of reasons I touched on earlier. Like most other people who have seen and reviewed this, I think it's pretty good for what it is but it's hard to accept it as a [REC] movie per se. Lead actress Leticia Dolera is great and has an amazing face and big eyes that allow for plenty of good reaction shots. The imagery throughout is great as well, and the shots of Clara in her torn up wedding dress and carrying a chainsaw have the potential to be iconic (if they were in a different movie), and one thing you can never take away from this film is that it delivers over-the-top gore in spades.