|A babe and bloodletting. Not much else.|
[REC]4 Apocalypse (2014)
Dir. Jaume Balagueró
Starring: Manuela Velasco
Review By Greg Klymkiw
The terrific Spanish horror franchise [REC] has proven to be a consistently entertaining regular dose of zombie-infection madness since the first instalment burst upon the scene in 2007. The simple premise had babe-o-licious reporter Manuela Velasco and her crew following a rescue team into a decrepit Barcelona apartment complex where they're beleaguered by crazed zombies. The found footage conceit made perfect sense and worked beautifully.
Though the second instalment was decent, it felt like more of the same until the terrific third feature in the series which transposed us to a yummy blood spattered wedding that cleverly utilized wedding video footage. Alas, [REC]4 is the supposed final chapter, but it's a pale shade of what preceded it.
This time round we find ourselves stuck on a research ship with a whack of scientists conducting gruesome experiments to find an antidote for the infection. Onboard is Velasco, plucky and kick-ass as per usual, plus we get a few laughs out of the Dementia-afflicted matriarch from the [REC]3 wedding.
Our heroine, it seems, is carrying the gloopy-gloppy slithering parasite which is the infection's host. Complications predictably set in and the antidote is far from ready to go. Needless to say, the infection begins to afflict crew members and in no time we've got an all-out zombie-fest aboard ship. There's also the threat of a ticking time-bomb in the form of the ship's possible destruction in case the experiments go completely out to lunch.
It's a fair enough premise for this sort of thing, but the movie feels worn and tired-out. There's plenty of gore, but the scares and tension never adequately materialize since the movie is afflicted with a been-there-done-that "quality".
Worse yet, the found footage approach has been pretty much jettisoned, but for some reason, the whole movie is shot in the annoying and unjustifiable shaky-cam-herky-jerky ADHD-afflicted editing for absolutely no reason. The style feels sloppy and not-well-thought-out, resulting in plenty of yawn-inspiring moments.
Those looking for gruesome violence will not be disappointed, but anyone seeking genuine thrills and chills will feel they're simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. The movie bombards us with so much sound and fury that it finally adds up to much ado about nothing, save for bloodletting and not much more. The only positive note is the wonderful Velasco who is, as always, gorgeous and certainly worth eyeballing for ninety minutes.
THE FILM CORNER RATING: ** Two-Stars
[REC]4 is unspooling at TIFF 2014 in the Midnight Madness series. Visit the TIFF website HERE.
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