Sunday, August 26, 2012

Slender Man Video Game 'Slender' is Wonderfully Scary

A few weeks ago I came across a shareware Slender Man game called "Slender" by Parsec Productions.

"Slender is a short, experimental horror game in which you must travel into a dark woods at night, with a simple goal: find 8 pages that are scattered across the woods. But as you are looking for them, you are being stalked by an entity that grows more persistent and relentless as each page is collected, an entity that you cannot even look at for long, let alone fight. Your only hope is to collect all 8 pages before it catches you..."

"Slender" is one of the most scary video games I have ever seen. I wanted to do my own play-through review, but unfortunately, the computer I work on at the House of Horror is really old and can't support the graphics to play it properly. (It stutters like a mo-fo.) So I watched my SO Shane Strange and our pal Razor play it, and man does this game get to you quick. It's so spooky, I love it!

In this first person game, you are armed with a flashlight and nothing else. The flashlight battery drains as you use it, so there are times when you have to walk around in the dark as it "recharges." While the flashlight is off, it is pitch black outside, so you never know when you'll turn your flashlight back on and Slender Man will be standing right there in front of you. And of course, if you look at it, it catches you and you lose the game. When Slender Man approaches you, the game does the same video and audio distortion that Marble Hornets brought to the Slenderverse, which makes it a startling and heart pounding ending.

In "Slender," you can't fight Slender Man, all you can do is run away from it. This, I think, lends a sense of you playing as yourself, as the common Every Man character that trips over rocks and not the muscle bound, roided out Action Man that can leap over any obstacle. *ahem* Chris Redfield. I'm looking at you...

The fact that you are playing a vulnerable, average person that can't leap out of trees and attack Slender Man like a crazed monkey wielding a knife, makes the game play all the more intense, as it creates not only a sense of vulnerability (which makes things scary), but a feeling of being alone in the dark in middle of the woods, which is scary in real life.

The sound track of  "Slender" has a heart-like drumming bass sound that quickly starts to get under your skin to create suspense and increase the tension you feel while you play. The crunching of shoes on dead leaves and underbrush, chirping crickets, and the dark, impenetrable night when combined with this sound really makes a wonderfully creepy atmosphere that most horror games now lack.

Slender Man's silhouette mimics the tall skinny trees of the forest. As you play the game you'll soon start seeing Slender Man at every turn, and most of the time, its just your eyes playing tricks on you.

While the graphics certainly aren't on the high price scale end of development as far as video games go, I think that the simplicity of the game design really helps to create terror and suspense that is just delicious.

If you like horror and really want to play a game that utilizes atmosphere and aesthetics to scare the crap out of you, you really need to give "Slender" a try.

You can download "Slender" for free at Parsec Just click the link and then click "Game" to reach the download page where there's a Windows and Mac version available for you to download.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Is 'Paranormal Activity 4' Ripping Off 'MarbleHornets?'

I am not a lawyer. This post is not legal advice, just an explanation of the Fair Use Act and Internet Copyright law. Do not use this to help yourself in a case. If you need help hire a lawyer. Kay? Great. Thanks.

The Internet is a tricky thing. Following copyright policies, such as the Fair Use Act, for work that you put up on the Internet is even more complicated than adhering to other copyright laws. So, when a meme goes viral and people start using it to make YouTube videos, can the original creator of the meme sue users for damages, or does the meme belong the Internet?

In an interview with Businessweek, copyright attorney Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project at Stanford Law School stated that "for the originator of a meme, legal protections are slim, and that’s the way it should be. If you’re the first person to do the video S- - - Girls Say, that doesn’t mean someone else can’t use the same idea with girls saying different stuff. Just because you’re the first one to do something doesn’t mean you should be the only one to get to do it.”

So, according to Falzone,  no one can truly claim to own the copyright for Slender Man, or any other meme spawned on the Internet for that matter, because we all own them and can use them in different ways.

Take Slender Man For Example:

The character was created on the Something Awful forums by a single user, in June 2009, and soon the pictures and the concept of Slender Man went viral. By the end of the month, "Marble Hornets" had made its first Slender Man video and put it up on its YouTube channel.

Three years later and now movies are being made that are using images based on Slender Man and plot lines that are "inspired by" his myths such as "Entity."

With the appearance of two Slender Man games and several Slender Man Youtube series, the question of copyright and trademarks have begun to bubble up to the surface of the Internet.

Can two different video games use the same character design and same basic game mechanics and not infringe on each other's copyrights? Can movies and Youtube series use Slender Man and not worry about breaking copyright law?

Like the concept of Bigfoot, the urban legend of Slender Man itself is not copyrighted. However, the way certain elements, such as symbols or icons used in each work about Slender Man, are protected by copyright law.

The "Entity" version of Slender Man has long fingers that end in wicked sharp nails and could be considered claws. The original version of Slender Man had tentacles. In "Marble Hornets" Slender Man aka the Operator, has hands and really long arms. So, they are all a little different in character design, and both the Entity and the Operator would be considered derivative works of the original version of Slender Man.

The "Entity" kidnaps children, just like the original version and MH's Operator. However, since it's just a similar theme and they all seem to kidnap people in different ways, it's not a copyright infringement issue.

Technically the scene at 0:35 on the "Entity" trailer with the pictures on the walls was inspired by Alex's room on "Marble Hornets," so that in and of itself isn't copyright infringement, even though it appears to the average viewer that it is ripping off the Youtube series.

Making your own version of a work is not considered an infringement of a copyright. This means that people can make copycats of "Marble Hornets," such as "Paranormal Activity 4" and "Entity," as long as they don't use the same icons that were created for the YouTube series. This is because the movies were made in order to be sold for a profit, and the icons and symbols used in "Marble Hornets" are a part of its brand image.

This is the actual cover box design for the "Marble Hornets" DVD. 
The X-ed out circle symbol  is clearly used as a part of the product's identity.

The only way to legally use the icons is to change the way they are drawn or how the icon is perceived by the audience. Which, at least according to what is presented to us on the trailer, "Entity" does not do, as they are used to signal the arrival of the Entity, just as "Marble Hornets" uses it to mark an area where Slender Man, aka the Operator, is visiting.

According to Stanford University, if the icons taken from "Marble Hornets" have been transformed by adding new expression or meaning, or value was added to it by making new aesthetics, then they are not considered to be copyright infringement.

But, if it is used with the same purpose, in the same way, such as to signify or herald the arrival of the Entity aka Slender Man aka the Operator, it infringes on MH's copyright.  So, while the symbol is drawn in blood on the windows, floors and walls, and not in pencil or scratched onto a surface with a rock, it is still used to mark the arrival of the Entity. Since the icon is still used in the same way, it could be considered copyright infringement (see the last entry under "Parody") in civil court. The use of the X-ed out circle symbol in "Entity" is also considered copyright infringement according to information on Chilling Effects, as it is a readily identifiable symbol of "Marble Hornets."

Unfortunately, unless the X-ed out circle symbol itself is trademarked by "Marble Hornets," it can't be fully protected by the law. If it were, and the X-ed out symbol was used in a movie that is a derivative of MH, such as "Entity," it'd be the same as making a Transformer's "mockbuster" and using the same exact icons that represent the Autobots and Deceptacons on your robot characters. And that's a no-no. It infringes upon the trademark and it shouldn't be done or you may find yourself being sued.

As far as I know, "Marble Hornets" hasn't filed for copyright of it's materials, and they haven't trademarked any of the symbols that they used, so it doesn't seem as though they are really worried about this. Some owners of copyrighted materials will turn a blind eye to such things and thus far, most of the confusion about the legality  of two different Slender Man video games, and movies that appear to be ripping off "Marble Hornets," has come from loyal fans and forums such as

But, Cassie, what about "Paranormal Activity 4?" It's ripping off "Marble Hornets too!"

Yes it is, but not in the same way.

Is the material found in the "Paranormal Activity 4" trailer copyright infringement?

Unfortunately, no, it is not. No one has a copyright on static appearing in film. And really, filmmakers should be able to utilize that special effect in their movies without much hassle on their part, as movies have utilized static to signal the arrival of ghosts or other paranormal entities for many years now.

While it is a bit disconcerting to see the director try so damned hard to emulate a fantastic work of horror and just not deliver it well at all, it is not infringing on any copyright laws, nor "ripping them off," it just means that they lack imagination and can't figure out a way to make the concept entirely their own.

The emulation or homage to "Marble Hornets" in "Paranormal Activity 4" is quite apparent from the camera angles, the presence standing ominously outside that can be seen from the window, and when the demon appears in the room behind the girl without making a sound, just like how the Operator from "Marble Hornets" moves silently when it is stalking its prey. The static that signals the demon's approach to the camera at the end is just pixelated video feed that isn't accompanied by that god awful noise that occurs when the Operator is near the main characters in "Marble Hornets," so it's not blatantly mimicking the series either.

Besides, I highly doubt that a Paranormal Activity movie will be able to pull off the kind of suspense and horror that "Marble Hornets" has managed to perfect. (Which is just sad, considering the huge difference in their production budgets.)The entire thing lacks the finesse and subtlety that MH manages to use to great dramatic effect to create suspense, paranoia and dread in the viewer.

The biggest difference between "Entity" and "Paranormal Activity 4" is the first copies icons and uses images from "Marble Hornets" that are readily identifiable and represent it's "heart" or a symbol that is recognizable by people familiar with the product, which is considered a violation of copyright laws, whereas "Paranormal Activity 4" does not.

The same holds true to the video games that are being made about Slender Man. As long as the games use different mechanics to signal Slendy's approach, as well as implementing new and unique ways to play a game featuring what is considered to be a "stock character" on the Internet (i.e. a meme), then it isn't copyright infringement.

"Slender" uses page collection as the main goal of the game. The Slender Man mod for Valve's source engine, "Slender: Source," uses creepy doll collection to win the game. Because the game mechanics are different, each derivative work is not considered to infringe on any copyrights owned by the creators of the video games.

While no one can copyright Slender Man or it's derivatives (it's far too late for that),  it does give us all a lot to think about. Following Internet copyright laws does not mean that you can't make a "mockbuster" or imitate other people's work. You can, and doing so is covered by the Fair Use Act. However, you can't cut and paste icons that are readily associated with another person's work or use scripts or written texts word-for-word and act like you made them yourself. That's ripping them off (also called plagiarism), which is an infringement of copyright laws, and that's just wrong.

Internet laws are constantly changing and attempting to catch up to the nebulous and ever changing environment that creates the memes of the Internets. So, in order to avoid copyright infringement: give credit where credit is due, always attribute a source, and try to make your own spin on things that you post online. And if you can't, well, just say that it's a parody. Heh.

Or you can add a copyright symbol followed by the year and your name somewhere on the work itself, like this:
Copyright © 2012 by Cassie Carnage

Ha! I just copyrighted this post! Take that Internets!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Top 3 Slender Man Series on Youtube

There are three big  Slender Man series on Youtube: "EverymanHYBRID," "TribeTwelve" and "Marble Hornets." Each series manages to terrify the audience in its own unique way, and each has added a little bit more to the Slender Man mythos to establish a horror setting that I like to call the Slenderverse.

3. EverymanHYBRID

"EverymanHYBRID" is a Youtube series that began on March 21, 2010. It's about three dudes that started a cheap fitness video series;  Jeff, the lanky camera man who mumbles; Vincent, the rational, charismatic Face of the group; spunky Evan, who can't remember what a thumb drive is and is always ready for a fight.

According to the Slender Man Wiki, they originally intended to create a fake Slender Man and put it in their videos, but after Episode 6, the real one shows up at Evan's house and starts stalking them. Slender Man (or one of its agents) has left behind a trail of clues for them to follow as it torments them. Soon after the guys start investigating and trying to figure out a way to stop Slender Man, other types of creepypasta creatures,  such as the Rake, begin to crawl out of the woodwork.

I like to think of "EverymanHYBRID" as the Scooby Doo of the Slenderverse, as the guys investigate not only Slender Man but other monsters from the Internet as well, which creates complex set of side stories and subplots for the series. The subplots revolve around strange supernatural activity experienced by family members and friends of the main cast. These episodes are more like stand alone story arcs, much like a TV series will have a main plot (or metaplot) and episodes that aren't related to it that serve to develop the character's private lives and backgrounds.

"EverymanHYBRID" is an alternate reality game that's very audience oriented. The "EverymanHYBRID" wiki  has a suggested viewing list that contains response videos and pictures of  items that people have found. The main "EverymanHYBRID" channel does not have these extras listed, which is unfortunate, because without the additional clues and video responses to fill in the gaps of information present in the main videos of the series, things get confusing rather quickly.

Overall, "EverymanHYBRID" isn't very subtle and at times it has a problem with creating a suspenseful atmosphere. My biggest complaint is that it has an extremely slow start, and it really doesn't start to feel like a horror series until the video "Ashen Waste."  The video "Alex" is when it really starts to get good, as it is far more subtle and leads to more scares and highly suspenseful sequences than the previous videos in the series. Ironically, this is also a side story episode and not a part of the main plot.

Also, I should warn you, the boys in the videos drop F-bombs like you wouldn't believe-- making it unsuitable for kids, and in some instances, not safe for work.

2. TribeTwelve

The "TribeTwelve" channel originally was a Youtube page for Noah Maxwell's college project on the Twelve Tribes of Israel, but the project was suddenly cancelled by his teacher and he had to scrap it.

When Maxwell's closest friend and cousin Milo commits suicide, he decides to turn his Youtube page into a memorial and post videos of Milo's last visit with him. Soon afterward, he realizes that the videos of their time together reveal that something sinister was following Milo. Now it's after him.

The "TribeTwelve" Slender Man series began June 4, 2010, several months after "EverymanHYBRID" started being posted on Youtube.
"TribeTwelve" has some videos that are set up similar to "Marble Hornets," with text introducing the video to create suspense and tension in the viewer. The video is also in the found footage format, with the camera filming from the point-of-view of the main character.

There are some similarities to "Marble Hornets" and "EverymanHYBRID" to be found in "TribeTwelve," such as mysterious packages, letters and messages left on the Internet or mailed to the main character, and specific haunted locations in the woods. "TribeTwelve" also borrows a lot of visual and audio cues from "Marble Hornets," but it clearly uses its own visual aesthetic for the distorted imagery that occurs when Slender Man gets near a camera.

This series uses an Internet meme about an urban legend called  "Der Grossman;" a German fairy tale about a tall man that lived in the forest and hunts children. The video "My Grandfather Karl" tells the tale in German and provides a genuine feel to the "TribeTwelve" series that rather I quite enjoyed.

I should warn you, the main character of "TribeTwelve" loves to drop the F-bombs, but not as often as his foul mouthed counterparts in "EverymanHYBRID."

1. Marble Hornets

Jay's friend Alex was working on a movie called "Marble Hornets." After two months of filming, Alex abruptly dropped the project and moved out of state. Jay hated to see all of his friend's work go to waste, so he convinced Alex to give him the tapes. When he started watching them, he discovered that Slender Man (aka The Operator) was stalking Alex and had broken into his house on several occasions. Jay started the "Marble Hornets" channel and began posting the videos of the strange occurrences that Alex video taped.

Now, Slender Man is actively hunting Jay while its agent "totheark" delivers disturbing packages and leaves him taunting cryptic video messages on Youtube. Jay always leaves a link to the video responses made by "totheark," which makes it easier to follow the trail of clues left for him. He also goes out of his way to film the packages that are sent to him so that the audience gets a good look at their contents.

The "Marble Hornets" series was first posted June 20, 2009, several months after Slender Man was created on the Something Awful forums. The plot line and found footage format of "Marble Hornets" was inspired by SA user Nashie O, who mentioned that Slender Man needs a movie that is a collection of documents and sightings like "The Blair Witch Project," only better. Clearly, the guys that made this series listened to what the creators of the Internet meme had to say, as it is wonderfully subtle when creating the suspenseful scenes that lead up to the appearance of The Operator.

The Slender Man practical effects in "Marble Hornets" are simple, but very well done. The puppet combined the forced perspective creates a nightmarish monster that can change its height at will.

"Marble Hornets" is the grand daddy of the Slender Man video tropes-- it helped establish that video and audio distortion signals the approach of Slender Man, and it created the idea that Slender Man's victims suffer from coughing fits and severe paranoia. "Mable Hornets" has also established some of the more iconic setting pieces for Slender Man, such as the old factory with rusted out steel fuel tanks and a fort tower in the woods, to create vivid and terrifying imagery that the other Slender Man series and video games are now attempting to duplicate.

"Marble Hornets" also created the idea that Slender Man turns some of its victims into a puppet or herald that works as its agent. The agent in this series wears a simple black and white mask that conceals his identity. Personally, I think that the masked agent is "totheark," however fans like to call him "Masky."

"Marble Hornets" is the scariest low budget horror series I have ever seen. It perfectly sets up the terror early on, and never fails to deliver, making Slender Man a truly terrifying monster to behold. This series scares the bejeezus out of me every time I watch it. It's so good, it gives me goosebumps. I'm not kidding. This series is creepy as hell.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

What is Slender Man?

The creepypasta meme known as Slender Man has only been around on the Internets for 3 years now. It was spawned June 10th, 2009 for a paranormal pictures Photoshop contest on the Something Awful forums. SA forum user Victor Surge was the first person to post Slender Man pictures and coined the term "The Slender Man," which has since turned into just Slender Man.

Here's Victor Surge's first post from June 10, 2009:

"We didn't want to go, we didn't want to kill them, but its persistent silence and outstretched arms horrified and comforted us at the same time..."
1983, photographer unknown, presumed dead.

"One of two recovered photographs from the Stirling City Library blaze. Notable for being taken the day which fourteen children vanished and for what is referred to as "The Slender Man". Deformities cited as film defects by officials. Fire at library occurred one week later. Actual photograph confiscated as evidence."
1986, photographer: Mary Thomas, missing since June 13th, 1986.

Here's Victor Surge's Second Slender Man post dated June 11, 2009.

1994: Wilks Estate. One subject reported nothing out of the ordinary before taking photograph. Lower stairs area was said to be very dark. Subject states that after the camera flash she heard a sound like a watermelon being *unable to understand subject*. 
Subject unable to recall events after manor power failure. Unable to question other two identified subjects. Camera and film acquired from Gloria Cready, current resident of Woodview Mental Hospital and Psychological Rehabilitation Clinic. Film mostly uncontaminated despite mass of blood and human tissue present on camera. No positive ID on anomalous tall and slender subject. Facial blur caused by possible contamination. 
Early digital analysis indicates tall subject may have no eyes. Anomalies, previously thought to be film errors and flash artifacts, now thought to be appendages. 
Final identified subject reported missing along with other thirty-three patients and staff of Woodview Mental Hospital and Psychological Rehabilitation Clinic south wing. 
Further inquiry to cease immediately.(see report No.3339-2)

June 12, 2009, Victor Surge's Third Slender Man post:

Slender Man at Jake's Birthday party.

Victor Surge's Fourth Slender Man post is where the mythos of Slender Man really starts to take shape. Victor then went on to say that Slender Man was inspired by "The Rake" meme. 

Steinmen Woods

Both subjects were hunting in the Steinmen woods four hours before sundown. Surviving subject states that while hunting both men grew uneasy as fog levels rapidly increased. A constant murmuring sound accompanied by a low hum eventually became apparent to the two men an hour after the fog increased. An object falling out of tree stuck one of the men in the left shoulder causing him to discharge his weapon. Object said to be the body of a man of unknown age. It was very precisely dissected, with major internal organs still contained within the rib cage in what looked to be clear bags. Surviving subject placed organ bag within backpack. Attack followed several minutes later after a "low children's laugh, like a giggle". Surviving subject ran until he reached his vehicle. Subject then drove to assumed safety.

Backpack destroyed.

Surviving subject is classified as a B7 witness. B7 witness to be placed in quarantine "Blind Box" until resolution. 

2007:Investigation team discovered twenty-two bodies of both genders and various ages impaled on broken tree branches in a radiating circle pattern with chest mutilation as often noted with Slender Man. Upon confirmation, lead investigator ********* called for an immediate evacuation of investigation team at 1700 hours.

Bodies first discovered at 1100 hours. Deadline for safe evacuation of team with only viewed physical evidence of Slender Man approximately 1730. Lost contact of team at 1725. Safety procedures fell well within established protocols. Reason for abnormality is unknown. Second team recovered camera equipment one week later. Slender Man safety procedures require this incident's physical photographic evidence to be disposed of by no later than 10/20.

I honestly don't get what half this poo poo means. I'm done with this Slender Man stuff. It's starting to make me uneasy. It's like reading the GBS ghost story threads before I go to bed. Why do I have to look at this stuff while it's super late?

Luckily, my friend is coming over.

"My friend is herejus camein barely made up staairs got pictur locked door but it s right there inthe hall dont look at its pictures it dosent want to be known about dont loo"

(The "Don't Look" at the end of the post appears in the video game "Slender" which is based on the posts by Victor Surge and takes some of its ideas from "Marble Hornets" Slender Man videos on YouTube.) 

Soon after these posts on Something Awful forums, Slender Man went viral. By the end of June 2009, the YouTube Channel "Marble Hornets" had appeared. There's even a  Slender Man Wiki now. Check out this newspaper clip from the wiki.

Since its inception, Slender Man has morphed from a child abducting monstrosity, to an alien, almost fae-like entity that steals people and takes them away to its home in the woods. Like the fairy lore of old, Slender Man can warp distances-- such as turning a small home into never ending maze-- and affect the passage of time. It can stretch to reach impossible heights and in some works, it has tentacles that sprout from its back that it uses as extra arms or legs. 

In newer versions of Slender Man it seems to be able to control a person's mind and can teleport to appear in front of people that are running away from it.

In Marble Hornets, the appearance of Slender Man is marked by video and audio distortion. 

The visual aesthetic of Slender Man, with the black suit and long tendril fingers or tentacle arms, has struck a primal chord of fear with many people that has caused it to become one of the scariest urban legends of our time. Now there are people that believe that Slender Man has become a real entity in our world due to the "Tulpa Effect"-- if a group of people believe in something strongly enough, like a god or a monster, the energy from their collective minds, their psychic power, makes it becomes real. Of course, whether or not such a fantastic phenomena is possible is still up for debate. 

All I know for sure is that Slender Man meme is great creepypasta.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

'[REC] 3: Genesis' Review

In "[REC] 3: Genesis," Koldo and Clara are getting married. The celebration of their big day is ruined when the demonic zombie plague begins to spread like wildfire and infects all of their guests and turns them into the ravenous undead.

Now, I am a huge fan of  the [REC] series. I loved the pacing of "[REC]" and "[REC] 2" and the way that the first person point of view of the found footage films created a sense of immediate urgency and danger that it just breathtakingly terrifying. The zombies of [REC] are fast and strong, and the evil that controls them is unstoppable.

The beginning of both films created an atmosphere that provided a great deal of terror and suspense. Heck, even with all of the action and high octane chase scenes, the two movies managed to be subtle about how the zombies were created, and the forces behind the outbreak.

Unfortunately, the third movie of the franchise utterly fails to deliver in just about everything that it attempts to do. "[REC] 3: Genesis" is an utter disappointment for [REC] fans everywhere.

The absence of Jaume Balagueró working on the film as a co-director with Paco Plaza ( as he did in the first two movies) really shows. The overall tone, directorial style and plotline of "[REC] 3: Genesis" is so far removed from the first two installations that I don't even consider it to be a part of the same franchise.

Instead of being subtle and creating suspenseful scenes of dread by slowly building the tension, Plaza panders to the American gore hound audience and uses cheesy gallows humor and over-the-top ultra-violent zombie kills to create a tongue-in cheek, goofy, splatterpunk monstrosity.

For instance:
The weapons of [REC] consist of a fire axe (because the firemen carry one) and police issue pistols to fight off the zombies. These are realistic weapons.

Here's the weapons used in [REC] 3.
Any movie that uses a chainsaw as a weapon is splatterpunk.

Yep. A stick blender (aka food blitzer) and a chainsaw. That's the best that they could do.

"[REC] 3" is so bad, it couldn't even get the zombies right. 

Gone are the horrified hell-cat like growls and natural sounding screams of the zombies; they were replaced with stock monster sounds that have been around for over 50 years. Gone are the blood filled eyes and the incredibly fast, unstoppable killing machines; they were replaced with shuffling, dumb witted zombies with milky white eyes that pause conveniently for their victim while she fumbles to start a chainsaw and use it for a weapon. Gone is the mystery, the suspense, the over all terror that the first two movies provided, that was replaced with zombies that are utterly are ridiculous and not a serious threat in the slightest. 

Ridiculous and unnecessary changes to the zombies in "[REC] 3" include:
  • Once bitten, black veins grow out from the wound and spread across the body as the flesh around the bite turns black. 
  • The transformation from dead to demonic zombie is instantaneous a la "28 Days Later." The wounded don't suffer or become deathly ill with fever before turning into a zombie. 
  • The reflections of the undead are now that of the thin, long limbed half-naked girl from the attic that started the spread of the infection. Yeah. Real subtle there guys.

In the video below, Koldo (Clara's husband) encounters the corpse of Atun, the man he hired to make a professional video of his wedding. (Atun was set up to be one of the main characters whose first person perspective would be used to tell the story of the movie, but this is abandoned the minute Koldo barricades the kitchen staff door and Atun's camera is broken.) Koldo then comes face-to-face with his uncle Victor, who was bitten by a dog and became infected with the demonic zombie plague. Victor is the one who spreads the disease/demon possession to the wedding guests. Unlike the old woman in "[REC]," he isn't fast, doesn't scream like a vicious hell-cat and has a ridiculous smile on his face, like he's a shuffling drunken idiot who fell on his face and his teeth lips bad enough to cause blood to ooze out of his mouth.

Apparently things have changed, because now you can just hide from the demonic zombies in a church, toss holy water on them (this was mentioned by a character but is never used in the movie), or just recite the Bible to get them to leave you alone.

And the virtually unstoppable evil demon that controlled the zombies in the first two movies? Well, now the corpses it possesses and reanimates as voracious zombies are hindered by a mere humble priest reciting the book of Genesis from the bible. (Which, in retrospect, is probably why the full title is "[REC] 3: Genesis." It didn't get it's title due to the fact the world of the demons is beginning,  it had "Genesis" tacked onto the title because that particular book of the Bible is used moronically as a weak plot device.)

Seriously. Uttering the phrase "In the beginning God created heaven and earth," is enough to get the zombies to stop and stand dumbly while jerking spasmodically-- a convenient director's fiat to allow characters to get out of deadly situations that they shouldn't have survived.

Forget about the Catholic Rite of Exorcism prayer; I'm sure that any old Bible passage will do just fine. Just flip the Good Book open to a random page and start reading.

Talk about idiotic. Even worse, the priest is a one-shot side character who provides an info dump that tells the audience the main reason behind the zombie outbreak. I guess the director decided that we're all too dumb to figure out that little mystery on our own.

Aside from useless characters like the priest, the music royalties agent, and "Sponge John" (not Sponge Bob. Yeah, that copyright joke gets old real quick.) the most aggravating thing about "[REC] 3" is the switch from first person found footage to third person cinematic view after the first half hour of the movie; it is jarring and utterly destroys the tension and terror that was created when zombie outbreak began at the wedding.

This change of perspective also eliminates the two main characters who were recording the wedding with video cameras (Atun and Koldo's cousin Adrian). It  not only switches the point of view of the camera footage in the middle of a scene, but the character point of view as well, which is a big no-no in any form of story telling. (It's not to be done because it's confusing.) The end result of the shift in camera perspective is a loss of the sense of immediate danger and ultimately, the loss of the movie's two main characters as the cameramen wind up dying off-screen.

Atun and Adrian were the two most interesting and well rounded characters of the movie. The professional cameraman and the amateur hand-held camera kid bonded early on and were working together to record the wedding. And then, these two charismatic individuals have their camera's taken away from them, and go from main characters to side notes that don't even get their own death scenes. How sad is that?

Overall, most of the characters of "[REC] 3" aren't very interesting. We go from quick witted fire men, police men and a news reporter to a bride and groom who have the reaction time of a Slowpoke.

Yep. They just stand around even though they are in mortal danger, staring blankly at the zombies. After a while I found this particular pacing issue to be exasperatingly stupid, especially when it came to Clara's actions.

Huh? Zombies are chasing us? I think I'll just stand here for about two minutes in the pouring rain to catch my breath before moving on.

The zombies climbing up the ladder after me and are swarming the tunnels below the building? Nope, I'm not going to run, especially not once I get up through the drain hole in the kitchen floor and find my husband. I think we'll just stand here and embrace and kiss each other for a while before moving on. Because clearly, only that one zombie could climb up the ladder and try to grab my leg, the others are too slow and weak to manage to follow me up. (At this point I began yelling at the TV screen telling the idiots to move before they get killed. I mean, come on! Why the hell they were just standing there like morons playing kissy face during a zombie outbreak? That's just stupid!)

Heck,  even the police that cordon off the wedding area just stood there like deer in headlights when they see a zombie. In the first two movies, the moment anyone got near a window, they were shot at, and in some instances, killed. Here, you can not only walk up to the plastic quarantine wall, you can exit it and walk out the tunnel. You can even stand on the other side of the cordon, in front of the police in their tactical gear and hold an infected zombie for a while before they decide to shoot you. Arg!

There are so many things wrong with this movie that I could go on, but when you get right down to it, it's the pacing, point of view shift and the treatment of the zombies that ruined what could have been an interesting addition to the [REC] series.

Overall, "[REC] 3" is a trite, cliched filled train wreck of a horror movie that couldn't manage to capture the same tone of the first two movies even if it tried. It's the "special" younger brother of "Evil Dead 2" who likes to lick windows and can't go anywhere without wearing a helmet because he keeps slamming his head into the wall. Watching it was worse than watching "Quarantine." In fact, "Quarantine" is down right entertaining when compared to "[REC] 3," which is sad because the characters in the American version of "[REC]" are unsympathetic morons.

"[REC] 3: Genesis" isn't worth renting or seeing in the theater, so save your $10 and don't bother watching it. The only thing scary about this horror movie is that it's terrible.