Set a few hours before the original ‘[Rec]’ (2007), Paco Plaza’s prequel to the two films he and Jaume Balagueró co-directed is an uneven solo effort that mostly plays its gruesome zombie mayhem for laughs. The wedding of Clara (Leticia Dolera) and Koldo (Diego Martin) turns into a deadly affair when the groom’s uncle plunges off a balcony, bites a chunk out of a fellow guest’s face and turns their post-nuptial celebrations into The Reception from Hell.
What starts out as an amateur wobbly-cam wedding video soon abandons its ‘found footage’ origins in favour of a frantic but fluid slice of horror filmmaking. The newlyweds are quickly separated and struggle to survive and find each other again with the help or hindrance of various guests: professional cameraman Atùn (Borja Glez), hapless children’s entertainer John the Sponge, Koldo’s selfish friend, Rafa, and a fatalistic priest. For all its gleeful limb-severing, offal-scoffing and chainsaw-wielding, this disco mirrorball of a movie scatters ideas in all directions, rather than focusing the spotlight on what counts – the scares.