Trifecta of Horror: REC 3: Genesis (2012), The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007) and Detention (2012)

REC 3: Genesis

Paco Plaza brings us this shlocky sideways sequel to REC and REC 2, which he also co-directed. A wedding reception is cut short when one of the guests begins to chomp down on the faces of those present. Quicker than you can say ‘who wants to do the birdie song?!’, heads are tossed instead of bouquets and the bridesmaids have stopped worrying about the fact they’ll never be a bride.

Set at roughly the same time as the first two, REC 3: Genesis marks quite a departure for the series. Yes, there is the overly familiar embrace of found footage, but REC 3‘s storyline means it has to find a way to tell its two strands and, rather than follow the previous entry, Plaza decides to go for full on glossy camera angles, orchestral soundtrack and, surprisingly, laughs.

Less serious than its siblings, 3 is the prank pulling younger brother. This a film that pokes fun at the original REC‘s conceit, with the groom becoming a literal knight in shining armour, accusations of morbidity being thrown at those who attempt to tape everything that’s happening and a man dressed as Spongebob Squarepants refusing to take off his in-cumbersome costume because he’s naked underneath.

Despite a few nods and winks to previous events, REC 3 works well as a stand alone movie. However, it doesn’t really add anything to the series as a whole and so, as a result suffers from not being a very good sequel. Worth a watch if someone has borrowed your copy of Brain Dead.

The Poughkeepsie Tapes

Filmed as a fake documentary, Poughkeepsie details the investigation of a series of tapes showing the torture and murder of numerous men and women. As well as ‘interviews’ with the police and victim’s family members, we’re also privy to seemingly never-ending clips from the murderer’s film collection.

It could be argued that the film exposes the voyeuristic, somewhat sadistic nature of documentaries. The kind that talk about the cruelty of stomping on puppies’ heads, before showing you copious reels of footage supposedly to underline the dichotomy of man… On the other hand, coming out after Saw and Hostel, Poughkeepsie wears its torture-porn heart firmly on its sleeve. So much so, director John Erick Dowdle lifts ideas wholesale from the aforementiond films and, amidst the misanthropic adventures of of our antagonist, it’s hard to shake the feeling you’ve seen this all before. In fact it should be noted that Dowdle’s next film was Quarantine, a frame for frame remake of REC.

Poughkeepsie has very little to recommend itself. In summary, it’s a grubby, nasty misogynistic film that leaves you with that cold empty feeling of having woken up next to a dead loved one.

Detention

Joseph Kahn comes out with all guns blazing in this satirical look at all things teen-moviewise. Encompassing horror, comedy, sci-fi and all things in between, Detention is a mess of a film. It’s a scattergun approach to film-making with shit used for ammunition.

Like watching an epside of Spaced on fast forward, everything and everyone rushes around seemingly desparate to get to the end. The plot deliberately doesn’t make a blind bit of sense and visuals fly across the screen with the frequency of ticker tape trading. Jokes are signposted and explained to allow you, the audience, to get them. The whole time you can’t stop imagining Kahn slapped himself on the back every single night before going to bed
whilst filming this.

Yes, this is sure to be a cult hit now it’s out on DVD/Blu-Ray. However, there’s also a cult of people who like to watch hamsters being stepped on and we’re not going to give that any more credit than this neon vomit of a film.

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