Day 2 – Rec 4 – Apocalypse
Director: Jaume Balagueró.
Starring. Manuela Velasco, Paco Manzanedo, Hector Colome, Ismael Fritschi. Spain. 1h 35m.
After the bizarre comedy train wreck of Rec 3, it seems we’re back to the original plot and start to get some peculiar answers to this watery isolated thriller. This film is set after the events of Rec 2, Angela has been rescued (again) the army have demolished he tenant building and she’s quarantined on soon to be retired fishing boat while she’s tested for a cure to this viral outbreak.
The crew of the vessel have to work alongside medical professionals and the two crews don’t mix so well, Angela’s blood tests come up clear, but she remains under surveillance not only by the medical crew but the fishing boats techie has hacked into the CCTV cameras as he’s a huge fan of Angela so there is a touch of the found footage feel but for a majority of the time it’s just a film.. a horror film. The last survivors from Rec 3 are also on board the ship but after the cooks pet monkey gets infected things start to get messy and the zombie like creatures stalk the ship, but the infected aren’t the biggest problem on the survivors hands, they have to work out where the virus is coming from, at this stage it’s personified as a worm like creature that can be passed from body to body but like The Thing (1982) it’s hard to know who’s infected.
Angela has been involved with darkly religious infection since the first film, having faced some evil monstrous deformities and even becoming one at a certain point, she starts this film off with low level of trust ,all fingers are pointed at her for being the carrier and yet slowly there are signs that she might not be, the film tosses between a whodunit and a the typical zombie/infected trapped on a boat kinda movie, some scenes are reminiscent of Harbinger Down (2015) or even Virus (1999) but with more sophistication and adrenaline powered scenes, it does lack dark religious touch that really set the early films apart from the rest. It’s supposed to be the final chapter, the closing battle between good and evil and yet it fails in that department with a lightly open ending, you either want this to continue or not!?
The original charm of Rec has clearly worn off, and with the change in setting it’s hard to really connect it with those uber violent scenes that creeped out even seasoned fans. It was a sudden shock to the system but a lot of those qualities are missing, instead it’s bulked up with scenes of CGI zombie monkeys and all the typical rotten corpses that Hollywood throws up now and again. Albeit fast paced and gory it’s just not what was formerly admired about rec, still it’s horrific but it’s not frightening, at least I didn’t have to sleep with the lights on this time and it’s a bit of a weak let down to the series.