Night #22: [Rec] 4: Apocalypse (2014)

rec4

Directed By: Jaume Balaguero

Well, I don’t think you’re going to get too fun a time with something that’s called Apocalypse (can you guess how it ends) but here we are with the fourth and final part of the [Rec] saga. This time land wasn’t good enough so we’re on a boat! Cue The Lonely Island.

We’re thrust in a familiar place and with a familiar face as we see the building from the first movie as a SWAT team move through it, planting explosives. There’s some kerfuffle before we get re-introduced to Angela from the first two flicks, Then we’re whisked off to where we’ll be spending the rest of our time: a quarantine boat where scientists are trying to find a cure for the virus.

We get the usual mix of soldiers and doctors are really none of them are memorable. Say what you want about the third movie and it’s humour, but at least it gave you some likeable characters. Here they might as well be called Military Man #2 and Doctor #4 for all the good it does.

Naturally it’s not long before things go south and we’re treated to various characters making some really stupid decisions. Listen, I’m not usually one to bemoan things like that. In a crises I know that I would be the worst person to have around, it’s honestly a mirace that I can make it across the road most days. But here are characters who, when faced with what should be fairly easy decisions, make it all too complicated. There’s also numerous moments when characters are getting bit while others stand around hopelessly gawping at what’s going on. Everyone has a fight or flight response, but we can add a third category to it now: milling about like pricks.

What’s interesting, if you could call it that, is that clearly the two directors couldn’t decide on what they wanted the virus to be. They co-directed the first two parts, with them then splitting off to direct the next two parts seperately. In the third, the religious theme is pretty heavy with bible verse having a calming effect on the infected. Here though there’s nary a mention of that, only that it all started with a possessed girl. It’s a shame too because it’s been one of the unique cornerstones of this whole franchise.

It’s strange that this almost feels much more of a piece with Quarantine 2. So, a quick primer. Quarantine was the English-language remake of [Rec]. Then Quarantine 2 came out, dropping anything to do with the first movie and instead being set during an outbreak at an airport. That setting is equally as squandered there as the boat setting is here. Worse still is where director Jaume Balaguero still shoots this as incomprehensibly as you would if you were going with a more run-and-gun style. There’s a hallway fight in this that looks as though it was shot by someone stuck in a moshpit, seemingly because Balaguero doesn’t know how to shoot any other way.

All in all this feels like a Resident Evil knockoff than anything came before it, with the tight scares of the first two movies out of the window and lacking the humour and characters of the third one. It picks up when one guy arms himself with a boat motor as a weapon, but it’s too little too late. Even killing a horde of rampaging monkeys should be fun, but lo and behold it’s not. Do you realise what a crime that is? It’s just frustrating to see a series go so sharply downhill but it’s a good argument for why anything more than 3 in a series is a bad idea.  Sadly the movie ends with no apocalypse (really, fuck that title) but with the threat of another movie although it’s my understanding that the directors have said there won’t be one coming. So we get a shitty threat for no reason, which we can all agree is the worst kind of threat.

One day I’ll go back and watch the first two movies in this series, but I think I’m going to live quite happily never seeing this one again.

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