Exclusive Interview: Director Paco Plaza Discusses the Future of the Franchise, Creating a Romantic Horror Film and More for [REC] 3 - Dread Central
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Exclusive Interview: Director Paco Plaza Discusses the Future of the Franchise, Creating a Romantic Horror Film and More for [REC] 3

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Exclusive Interview: Director Paco Plaza Discusses the Future of the Franchise, Creating a Romantic Horror Film and More for [REC] 3They may have started off collaborating together on the first two installments of their hit found footage franchise, but for [REC] 3 and 4 Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza went off to direct separate sequels.

As unconventional as that may be, this is how the duo had decided to round out the story they began in 2008 with the original film.

[REC] 3: Genesis (review) hit most VOD platforms last week and is gearing up for a theatrical engagement in early September, and in honor of the sequel’s release, Dread Central recently had the opportunity to catch up with Plaza to discuss his third [REC] film as well as the film’s tonal departure, creating a romantic story set during a gory viral outbreak and how planning a wedding is almost more difficult than planning for production.

Plaza also briefly chatted about what fans can expect for [REC] 4 and whether or not the fourth film will indeed be the end of the highly successful horror series. Read on for all the highlights from our exclusive interview with Plaza, and look for more on [REC] 3 soon!

Dread Central: How much fun was it to make this movie? It has such a great energy and is so unexpected considering the tone of the first two films- were you concerned at all that the loyal [REC] fans out there might be thrown off by how different this movie feels?

Paco Plaza: Not at all really; I went into this film knowing that I had a responsibility to the fans out there to deliver a great movie, and I think we did just that. I definitely made this movie for the fans and myself in some ways because I am such a fan of movies in general; I wanted to see this world brought to life in a very different way than it had in past films. But it was a lot of fun making this movie, and I think had we done the same thing again in part three, fans would have really been disappointed.

My co-writer (Luiso Berdejo) and I go to the movies a lot together, and that feeling of surprise is becoming more and more rare at the theater. These days everything seems to be exactly what I’m expecting so I wanted to get back some of that feeling. We get so much information about a film before we see it in theaters that it is very rare to see something that is unexpected.

The second thing was that we really wanted to make [REC] 3 a romantic film, to tell a love story about a bride and her knight in shining armor, and since that felt a little more traditional, stepping away from found footage felt very natural to me. I knew making this movie outside of the box was going to be risky, but thankfully I had a lot of great producers who gave me the freedom to make the movie I wanted, which was wonderful.

Dread Central: Can you talk more about your cast, particularly Leticia (Dolera) and Diego (Martin), who really carry this whole movie from start to finish? I was not expecting to watch a [REC] movie where I was really pulling for the characters to survive the way I did with this. It’s definitely a testament to their performances; they were both fantastic.

Paco Plaza: It was my dream to work with both of them for a long time; I always had them in mind for these roles because I really wanted to work with them on this movie so we wrote these parts for them specifically. I just thought they both had so much they could offer to this story, and they deliver some incredible performances. Their work exceeded my expectations time and time again.

And for me, they had to be believable and engaging or [REC] 3 would have failed- you have to believe that Clara would be the kind of person that would pick up a chainsaw on her wedding day to save her new husband, and Leticia has that and more; she’s so delicate but tough at the same time, too. I didn’t even get to do much prep time with either of them beforehand either so that chemistry onscreen is all them.

SPOILER ALERT
There’s this one scene where Koldo has to cut off Clara’s arm, and sure, it’s a really great extreme moment of violence, but there’s something so romantic about that scene, too, and that’s the balance we needed for this movie. We needed people to believe they were deeply in love, even while they were losing limbs.
End SPOILER ALERT

Dread Central: Can you talk about some of the religious imagery that you used in [REC] 3; does it have any meaning in regard to this world or the stories from this series?

Paco Plaza: You know, that’s not something I really thought about too much; it’s a question I get asked a lot outside of Spain. I guess it’s so deeply rooted in our culture that it just feels very natural and what we included in this felt natural to this story, but none of it really has much meaning outside of its religious meanings.

Dread Central: Even though the first two films were certainly ambitious, I feel like [REC] 3 raised the bar even higher in terms of ambition considering the amount of cast you had to deal with, effects and basically planning a wedding. Did you ever wonder if you had bit off more than you could chew on this movie?

Paco Plaza: I have to say this- planning a movie is difficult, but planning a wedding is so much worse! It was really hard, and we had to do a lot of prep work- creating ‘families’ and basically, a wedding. We needed everything for a wedding so that was a lot of extra prep beyond the usual; I do think it was worth it, though, because the wedding stuff all turned out so great. People were just having so much fun they kept partying all night even after we finished shooting.

It was tough but made for some really special moments for me as well as everyone else working on set and throughout production.

Dread Central: I’m sure you can’t reveal too much, but can you tell us what the status for [REC] 4: Apocalypse is currently?

Paco Plaza: Well, I can’t say much because I don’t want to get in trouble with Jaume, but part four will be traditionally shot as well. We’ve opened that up with this film so we’re continuing that way, and I believe production will begin late this year or in early 2013. But that story does happen at the same time as the other films and will interconnect them in some surprising ways, I think. But that’s all I can say or I’m in big trouble (laughs).

Dread Central: I know it’s probably premature to ask this, but do you feel like fans will see more [REC] films after part four, or will that really be the end?

Paco Plaza: Well, you know after the first [REC] I said I wouldn’t do a sequel in a hundred years. Then after part 2 I said that I would absolutely not do another sequel, and here we are. You just can’t trust me anymore (laughs) so while I don’t know of any immediate plans past part four, never say never.

Leticia Dolera (Spanish Movie, Semen, A Love Story, “White Glove”) and Diego Martin (Three Meters Above the Sky, “There Is No One Alive”) both star in Paco Plaza’s [REC] 3: Genesis. For more check out the official [REC] 3: Genesis Facebook page.

Exclusive Interview: Director Paco Plaza Discusses the Future of the Franchise, Creating a Romantic Horror Film and More for [REC] 3

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Jesper Kyd Returning to Score Vermintide 2

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From the cover of Kyd's first Vermintide OST

Get your headphones ready, Warhammer fans because State of Decay and Darksiders 2 composer Jesper Kyd is back to score the upcoming Warhammer title Vermintide 2! The game will be coming to PC and consoles early this year.

Kyd was inspired by Norse mythology, utilizing ancient tribal music as well as dark fantastical elements to build upon the acoustic soundscapes he composed for the first Vermintide game. Channeling his own Scandinavian roots, Kyd will blend Viking and Norse-inspired vocals with ritualistic percussion styles to create a unique soundtrack experience.

Three tracks from the score can be heard below.

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Like Me – Will You Like This Dystopian Thriller?

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Starring Addison Timlin, Ian Nelson, Larry Fessenden

Directed by Robert Mockler


While Like Me is not dystopian in the classic science-fiction sense, it does aptly put the downer vibe across. If the present is abysmal, then the future is downright hopeless. We learn this as we follow an unhinged teenage loner called Kiya (Addison Timlin) on a hollow crime spree that she broadcasts on social media. At first the world “likes” her—with the exception of YouTube rival Burt (Ian Nelson), who disdainfully denounces her viral videos—but pride goes before the fall, and Kiya’s descent is spectacular.

If you’ve peeped the trailer for Like Me, then you’re probably expecting a horror movie. I mean, they’ve got the requisite menacing masked baddie and they’ve got genre icon Larry Fessenden in a major role—those are a couple of the key ingredients, right? Yes they are, but this simmering, shimmering stew of Natural Born Killers, Excision and King Kelly, it boils down to a whole lotta nothing. Like Me is sort of a drama, kind of a road trip flick, and almost a thriller. It succeeds at none yet does stand on its own as a compelling collection of cool visuals and pertinent performances. But is that enough?

While Kiya is a compelling character on the surface, there’s barebones beneath. Sure, she’s a Millennial mind-fed on random online clips and snappy soundbites—but what turned her into a psychopath? Was she born that way? Is social media to blame? We’ll never know, because not a hint is given. I don’t mind ambiguity, but even a morsel would have been welcome in this case. As Kiya ramps up her reckless exhibitionistic extremes, the stakes are never raised. In the end, who cares? Maybe that’s the point.

A word of warning: If you plan on watching this movie while chomping snacks…don’t. There is stomach-turning scene after vomit-inducing scene of orgiastic easting, binging, and the inevitable purging. I’m sure it’s all metaphorical mastication, a cutting comment on disposable consumption. I get it. But I don’t wanna look at it, again and again and again. Having said that, Like Me is an experimental film and in its presentation of such grotesquery, it’s quite accomplished. Montages, split-screens and jittered motions are scattered throughout, showing us all sorts of unpleasant things…Kudos to the editor.

I didn’t hate Like Me. But I do think one has to be in the mood for a movie such as this. It’s not an easy or entertaining watch, but it is a peculiar and thought-provoking one. There’s some style and mastery behind the camera, and I am curious to see what first-time writer-director Rob Mockler comes up with next.

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Last Toys on the Left

Funko Giving Jurassic Park the Pop! Treatment as Only They Can

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It is no secret we’re BIG fans of Funko’s Pop! Vinyl line here at DC HQ, and now they’ve announced a new series that has made our hearts just about burst… read on for a look at Pop! Movies: Jurassic Park, heading our way in February. The regular figures are awesome on their own, but wait until you see the exclusives!

From the Funko Blog:
Jurassic Park fans, get excited! To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the iconic film’s appearance on the silver screen, Jurassic Park is coming to Pop!

This series of Pop! features paleontologist Dr. Grant, Jurassic Park CEO John Hammond, mathematician Dr. Malcolm, and embryo-smuggler Dennis Nedry. (Keep an eye out for Dr. Ellie Sattler in Pop! Rides coming soon.)

We couldn’t forget the Jurassic Park dinosaurs! Featured in this line are the great T. rex, Velociraptor, and Dilophsaurus. Look for the Dilophosaurus chase, a rarity of 1-in-6.

Be on the lookout for exclusives. At Target you can find a wounded Dr. Malcolm, and the Dennis Nedry and Dilophosaurus 2-pack is available only at Entertainment Earth.

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