Family weddings, eh? You always have that one embarrassing uncle who drinks too much, throws up and then starts munching on the other guests. Oh, hang on a minute…
In a stark departure from the first two movies in the series, Genesis moves the action to a wedding where, after the nuptials have been completed, everyone moves onto the reception. The handheld camera format that you expect from this franchise ends after the party erupts into chaos, being overrun with blood thirsty ghouls, making way for a more common cinematography technique instead.
The main story involves the bride Clara (Dolera) and groom Koldo (Martin) getting separated and trying to find each other again, whilst trying to avoid getting bitten at the same time. But far from being a helpless heroine, Clara finds a way to overcome her fears and fight her way back towards her husband. Equally, Koldo battles his way through the undead hordes to save his wife. Friends and family members are being turned by the dozen and there are some suitably nasty moments of dismemberment and gore, but something feels different here. It doesn’t truly feel like a REC movie, probably due to the different camera style. There are attempts at dark humour, some of which work well, including the poster moments involving Clara and a chainsaw and Koldo becoming a literal knight in shining armour.
However, whereas the original films felt understandably claustrophobic, the transition of this entry to a larger arena seems to make this movie a big game of hide and seek. The darkness of the apartment block has made way for brightly lit corridors and an underused reception room which is illuminated by the usual DJ lighting. Even an underground access tunnel could have been put to better use. Considering the fact that we are supposed to feel a real connection to the newlyweds, it seems strange that there is little in the way of tension or suspense regarding their quest to find each other. When you remember the breathless feeling you had when watching the original film, and that this is written and directed by one of the creators, this feels more like a sequel in name only.
There is some heartbreak involved, but even this seems to have been added in an almost throwaway fashion. You’ll see a lot of worse zombie films than this, but for such a well-loved series, this feels like a misstep.