[REC] 3: Genesis—the third installment of Paco Plaza and Jaume Balagueró’s REC series—shocked me with a scene not even five seconds long: Approximately 34:45 minutes into the film, Plaza recreates the most famous moment in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.
Clara is a young bride played by Leticia Dolera. To the horror of a hundred sauced and merry guests, her wedding is invaded by the demon possessed undead, contagious sinners damned to insane strength and thoughtless cannibalism by a cruel and angry god.
Separated from her husband amidst the chaos of groping in-laws, the bloody jaws of a raging uncle, the rabid spread of insatiable filial hunger, Clara ends up in the wedding venue’s security room. The security footage on the wall shows zombies are nearby. Quick thinking, she locks a yellow-beige door. But not quick enough: a zombie thrusts its mangled, bloody arm through the door’s top left wooden panel. The camera shows Clara screaming from about the waist up, leaning onto the wall past the door, as the zombie blindly fights for entry in front of her and to our left. The scene lasts a few seconds and then Clara starts to run.
This is the same shot that Kubrick uses in the iconic “Here’s Johnny!” scene in The Shining. But there are differences. Shelley Duvall as Wendy (who, Dolera, with her dyed black hair and pale make-up, looks uncannily similar to), sinks to the floor, cringing, shrieking for the better part of a minute, while Jack Torrance hacks at the top left door panel with his ax. And by the time the mad writer, who works all day and never plays, sticks his head into the splintery doorframe, smiling like a sick kid who’s secretly butchered the family cat, [REC] 3’s Clara has already escaped. But Plaza’s homage, his glimpse of The Shining, redoubles the horror of [REC] 3. In that brief moment—the split second it takes a brain to associate, connote, and reattribute the properties of an old image to one that’s new—I felt the shock and joy of 32 years of filmmaking.
By Kyle Kouri