REVIEW: [REC] 4 Apocalypse (2014) – ManlyMovie

REVIEW: [REC] 4 Apocalypse (2014)


Runtime: 96 Mins
Rated: R
What To Expect: Better than the third, weaker than the first two, Spanish subs

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen any of these [REC] movies.  There were three before this.  ‘Found footage’ deals about a 28 Days Later-style zombie breakout in Spain.  The first two movies were more than watchable despite the camera gimmick, mostly because it was honest-to-goodness horror with good effects and atmosphere.  The third was, in a word, shit.  It was panned by critics and fans alike because it ventured into comedy territory.  People wanted a real threequel.  Well, for better or worse, this is it.  Depends on how you look at it, it’s worse than the first two but better than the third.

A team of scientists with an armed escort take survivors from the original contaminated building to an off-shore cargo ship, including obviously, the capriciously sexy lead, Angela (Manuela Velasco).  They want to find an antidote to the viral zombie outbreak, presumably using the survivors as guinnea pigs.  I was annoyed at the start of this film, they don’t tell you much about why they’re on a boat, since some news reports say they outbreak has been contained.  It’s almost like they wanted to rip off one of those newer Resident Evil games (Revelations?), simply because it looked cool on a creepy boat.  Well, wouldn’t you know it, within the cramped steel hallways of a large vessel, there’s another outbreak…

I will give this film immediate props for abandoning that found footage crap.  They’ve ditched the steadycam/Blair Witch angle and gone with old fashioned movie filming.  That’s a relief, even at the expense of seat punching shaking cam, which is all over the action scenes and quite frankly an insult to all watching.  The film copies everything from the original Resident Evil game (not a bad thing) to Aliens, to The Thing.  And ripping off The Thing in particular is the movie’s undoing.  Crappy intrigue closes the movie and series.  Something more straightforward would have sufficed.

Looking around, man, this movie is being mauled.  They avoided using a cast full of annoying teens and the old camera gimmick, which helps.  It’s not as bad as they say, but it is let down by lazy closure.  Zombie fanboys might want to pick it up all the same.