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[Interview] Paco Plaza Talks About Surprising The Audience And Subverting Found Footage In ‘[REC] 3: Genesis’

Magnet Releasing just released [REC] 3: Genesis on VOD Today, August 2nd and will release it in select theaters on Friday, September 7. While Paco Plaza and Jaume Balagueró co-directed the first two installments, they decided to split up parts 3 and 4, with Plaza taking Genesis and Balagueró tackling the upcoming [REC] 4: Apocalypse.

I recently hopped on the phone with Plaza and we talked about his compassionate protagonists, his more conventional shooting style in [REC] 3: Genesis and what might become of [REC] 4: Apocalypse.

Koldo and Clara are about to celebrate the most important day of their lives: their wedding. Everything appears to be running smoothly and the bride, the groom and their families are enjoying a wonderful day in the countryside until some of the guests start showing signs of a strange illness. Before they know what’s happening, the bride and groom find themselves in the middle of a hellish ordeal, as an uncontrollable torrent of violence is unleashed on the wedding. What started off as an idyllic day quickly descends into a nightmare of the worst kind…

Get more on the official Facebook and head inside for the interview!

So this film is quite a bit different than the first two? What was your aim with that?

I think we wanted to get some fresh air. Not only for us as filmmakers, but especially for the audience. We didn’t want to go down the same path again. We didn’t want to make the same film all over again. I think it would be more interesting to stay home and watch the DVD. We wanted to deliver something different, unexpected and surprising. Not what you had in mind. I think it happens too often that people go to the theater just to make sure that the film is exactly what they had in mind from the trailer. There’s so much information you can find out online about practically any film. So to go to a theater and be surprised by a film now is a challenge. To deliver a film that is a member of the [REC] family that is shot differently, has a lot of humor and is romantic was interesting.

You do create these two characters, Koldo and Clara, that you really want to see reunited. Can you talk a little bit about creating their chemistry?

It wasn’t something we had planned from the beginning. But we fell in love with the characters and we wanted to see them succeed and survive. It’s impossible not to want them to survive. For us it was important to create these characters that portrayed goodness and love and you want them to make it together.

25 minutes or so into the movie, there’s a very pronounced moment where you dismantle the POV camera and it’s no longer a found footage film. Was that a conscious statement about the genre?

It’s not that I wanted to make a statement. I think we had some great found footage films in the past few years. Paranormal Activity 3 is an amazing film. It’s not like I’m saying, “found footage is over.” It’s from the spirit of wanting to surprise the audience and deliver something different. We have had two films with characters saying, “we have to keep recording because people deserve to know the truth.” And for us, it was cool to have a character from the film itself to say, “that’s nonsense” and break the camera. It sets the film free. We loved that, but it wasn’t something that comes from the outside. It’s like a rebellion, a mutiny from the character. And I love that. That spirit of breaking the rules, I love it.

[REC] Apocalypse is coming up, which you’re producing and not directing. Can you tell us a little about that?

I can’t go too deep into details. I won’t spoil it. It’s true that it takes place after [REC] 2 and that it’s shot traditionally. It won’t be found footage, it’s a cinematic narrative. It’s a conventional film. But I really don’t want to get in trouble with Jaume [the director] so I can’t say much more.

You have this kick*ss heroine in [REC] 3, and there are some iconic moments, some kick*ss moments with the chainsaw. I almost saw a Kill Bill meets Oldboy bent in there.

It’s really cool what you just said. I will use that in another interview, I’m sure! Kill Bill meets Oldboy, I love it! It’s difficult to think of something more dangerous than a woman whose wedding is spoiled. You can really see a beast unleashed. It was very interesting to take this icon of beauty and purity that is the wife, and then splatter her with blood and give her a chainsaw and say, “okay, let’s kill some zombies.” It was kind of being naughty with the iconography of the wedding. It was irresistible to me.



  • Nothing333

    I finally caught this the other day and boy was I disappointed. It was so generic and non Rec worthy. It wasn’t the worst thing I’ve seen it was just so predictable and cheesy. It seems the film was written as a vehicle to display the lead actress’ mascara smeared raccoon eyes.

  • sinnerinvegas

    The movie is available on VOD today, they bumped it up one day.

  • djblack1313

    i enjoyed this movie. i DO agree w/ Nothing333 that it’s a tad generic and nothing we haven’t seen a million times before. what i loved about the movie were the 2 leads. i desperately wanted them to reunite and survive. i’m very excited for REC APOCALYPSE.

  • DeathSeeker180

    I, for one, loved this movie. And great interview.

  • mairsil

    I wish these people would realize that the audience DOESN’T want something different. If they want to do something different, make a different film; don’t ruin a good franchise by making it into something else. I watched this tonight because I wanted a found-footage film and got screwed (I avoided all coverage of this one to avoid spoilers). Sure, the movie was fine, but like someone else said, it was too generic and completely disconnected from the rest of the series. Now knowing that [REC]4 is not going to be found footage, I probably won’t even bother with it.

  • Rob34

    This movie was awful. As a fan of the first 2 installments i was expecting something along the same lines. Well believe me when i say this – it hardly bore any resemblance to its predecessors. It might as well have been made by a different director. Apart from the very early parts of the movie, it was largely filmed like a normal movie (ie not on handhelds and complete with a musical score!!!!). Now i could forgive the choice to film this in a more conventional way if the film was at least in some way more similar to the others. Gone are all of the scares and gut-wrenching tension. Instead, what you have is a dull run-of-the-mill zombie-flick that is lazy and completely predictable. There is also moments of…wait for it…humor (albeit stupid humor), that feels totally out of place in what is supposed to be a serious event taking place in the movie. I wanted to bang my head against a brick wall when i saw this – why do you need humor, especially DUMB humor??!!!!!???!!! I was and still am, utterly speechless about this aspect of the film. Also, this movie is called “Genesis” and (as i was led to believe from early internet talk about it) i thought that it would deliver some kind of backstory on the outbreak/demonic possession. Well it didn’t. Without spoiling it for people who haven’t seen it but have seen REC and REC2, there was no real explanation for what was going on or how this movie ties in to REC. It might as well have been part of another franchise or a standalone movie, because it is not worthy of having the name REC in its title. The demonic possession/control theme from REC2 was alluded to ONCE, albeit rather vaguely, but it did nothing to further the story and it felt like it was tacked on. It would have made more sense to continue the themes from REC2 (even though this was ‘supposed’ to be a prequel of sorts) and expand upon them, therefore revealing more about the origin of the demon/demons. But sadly, it didn’t. The whole thing was unbelievably disappointing where as the other 2 films were original, inventive, and genuinely terrifying. If you’re looking for a generic hollywood-style zombie-action flick with a couple of misplaced comedic moments, then this will be right up your alley. But if you’re anything like me, and you’re looking for a continuation of the REC series, then do yourself a favor and please STAY AWAY. This IS a REC film, but in name only. I can only guess that this was so bad because all the talent and creativity must belong to the other director of REC/REC2 (REC3 was directed by one half of the team behind the first 2). As the final installment in this franchise, REC 4: Apocalypse, will be directed by the other gentleman, i can only hope and pray that this particular movie will be a worthy end to the REC franchise.

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