Rec 4: Apocalypse (2014) – Review

The Spanish Rec franchise has had its ups and downs in the last eight years, with sequels that were major flops and an average American remake.

It was 2007 when we were first introduced to Ángela Vidal (Manuela Velasco), a reporter and TV hostess who tried to document the daily routine of Barcelona’s emergency workers.

After a strange call about a neighbor’s aggressive behavior, Ángela and a team of firefighters are seen trapped inside an apartment building, where the residents start to develop a hostile attitude.

A deadly infection starts to spread among the residents turning them into flesh-eating, blood-drooling zombies. Rec leaves us hanging as Ángela is the sole survivor of the outbreak and is locked inside an apartment on the top floor playing peekaboo with Patient Zero, something that looks like a girl, resembles to a corpse and grunts like a beast. (Interesting fact: the corpse-girl is played by Javier Botet, who is apparently perfect for such roles, as he was also Mama in the homonymous horror movie)

Rec was one of the first found footage horror movies that achieved excellent levels of suspense. The directors, Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza, managed to create a very eerie and threatening atmosphere and delivered a really entertaining and scary – at times – movie.

Somewhere along the way, the creators of Rec kind of lost the way. The sequel of the franchise (Rec 2) certainly lacked the originality of the first and tried to give a different take on the story by throwing hints of demonic presences and diabolic possessions, whereas the third sequel (Rec 3 Genesis) was a complete disaster for the reputation of this Spanish production. A chainsaw-wielding bride that slaughtered all her guests once they started to get infected is not exactly the kind of sequence of the story that one would expect.

Luckily, Rec 4 Apocalypse brings things back to normal and restores order. We go back to the place where it all began. A rescue team led by Guzmán (Paco Manzanedo) enters the building in search of survivors and there we see our beloved Ángela again, who managed to escape from Patient Zero’s deadly grip. The atmosphere is familiar and really chilling. The dark building has become a macabre tomb and the floors are stained with blood. It’s the perfect setting to ease us in.

The creepy setting immediately changes, as the story is now transferred to a ship, which is turned into a moving laboratory filled with doctors, armed men and people who have been exposed to the infection.

Soon, a host of the deadly virus who was kept locked up will be set free and that marks the beginning of Ángela’s new nightmare. The horrific infection starts to spread and so does terror among all passengers.
After two failed attempts, Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza bring the story back to normal and actually finish off what they started back in 2007. There is plenty of action and this time they make sure there are a lot of zombies around roaming the narrow halls of the ship.

What’s good about Rec 4 is that there are some interesting twists along the way and the setting is decent enough. The ship is completely cut off from the rest of the world and all the operations that take place on it are secret, so it’s not like help is on the way.

What’s not that good about it, is that it takes quite some time to cut to the chase and this delay could be perceived as a boring time killer.

Compared to Rec 2 and Rec 3, the last sequel is literally an apocalypse, certainly, not as enjoyable and suspenseful as Rec, but good enough.

Let’s just hope that this will be the end of the Spanish franchise, since any other sequel will just ruin the really positive reception that the first Rec movie received.

And to quote Colin Clive in Frankenstein: It’s Alive! It’s Alive! 6/10.

4 Responses to “Rec 4: Apocalypse (2014) – Review”
  1. thycriticman says:

    I agree!

    Although when it does finally cut to chase, THE ZOMBIE MONKEY IS FUCKING AWESOMEEEEEEE

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have like all the films so far, with number two being my least favourite so far. Am really looking forward to this one. Love the review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • maria kriva says:

      Thank you so much! 🙂 The second? Really? I’d have to choose the third one…it was so random for my taste! haha
      I was so glad that the fourth returned to the original story! Although I feel this should be the end of it. There is the possibility of a fifth one, but I believe that would be a disaster!


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