Today: May 28, 2024

[REC] 4: Apocalypse

[REC] 4: Apocalypse marks the final chapter in the zombie franchise. But what started out in 2007 as a genuinely terrifying found-footage horror soon struggled to keep up that level of pace and terror. Indeed [REC] 3: Genesis was a low-point, only mildly salvaged by the visuals of a bride donning a chainsaw to take revenge on the monsters who ruined her wedding. So it is with some hope that [REC] 4 brings back reporter Angela (Manuela Velasco), the Ellen Ripley of the REC world, to finish what she started.

Opening back in the quarantined building of the first two films a team of special ops, led by Guzman (Paco Manzanedo), plant bombs throughout the building but in the process find and rescue Angela. Waking as someone takes her blood Angela and Guzman soon realise they are on a research ship designed to isolate and kill the demonic viral zombie infection. But with a storm brewing on the horizon things are about to go all Jurassic Park as monsters are unleashed.

Like the third film in the series Apocalypse dispenses with the found-footage in favour of a straight narrative ideal. The result is that this film is never close to replicating the terror of the original two films. Yes it finds ways of telling a deeper story, involving parasites, zombie monkeys and conspiracies, but you always feel cheated out of what you came for; a bloody good horror.

Because Apocalypse’s biggest fault is it’s never scary, not even remotely. It spends most of its time running around confined corridors in the belly of the ship with zombies occasionally jumping out while never giving much care or attention to tension building.

The first two REC films seemed to be drawing inspiration from the Alien franchise; the first a slow-build exercise in a haunted house before the second turned its attention to all out action of introducing guys with guns. It would work to have Apocalypse going down the Alien 3 route, and at a point it looks like it might but it never has the courage of its convictions to make Angela go full zombie pregnant. So by the end the “villain” is the only one doing the sensible thing of trying to kill-off the infection while our heroin is left seemingly scared of water and heights having spent three films battling zombies, perspective it seems is not this girl’s strong suit.

A disappointing send-off to a franchise that started strong [REC] 4: Apocalypse unfortunately sinks without a trace.

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com

Previous Story

The Best Of Nicolas Cage

Next Story

It Follows

Latest from Blog

Memory

Memory (2023)

Memory is an exquisite American drama in the tender embrace of Michel Franco’s cinematic prowess.

Abashiri Prison I-III

Constructed in the late nineteenth century to house political prisoners, Japan’s infamous Abashiri Prison served as the inspiration for a popular and prolific run of yakuza movies released between 1965 and 1972. In Abashiri Prison,

The Beach Boys

2024 sees the 50th anniversary of The Beach Boys’ chart-topping compilation album Endless Summer that threw the fading band back into the limelight. Whilst this double LP release was a big financial

The Valiant Ones

The Valiant Ones was King Hu’s last, great masterpiece. Indeed it’s arguably his last true wuxia film — but what a magnificent beast it is. Directed by the celebrated master of the

Enter the Clones of Bruce Unboxing

There have been so many books, documentaries, and even biopics of the immeasurably pioneering martial arts icon Bruce Lee. His life and work have been studied intensely, and his influence remains felt

BackBeat Unboxing

This month saw underrated Beatle-biopic BackBeat make its Blu-ray debut from Fabulous Films, surely delighting the band’s collectors and completists. Telling the story of the Beatles’ first bassist – the so-called ‘lost
Go toTop