It’s that time of year again! Time to celebrate the Resurrection with a weeklong plunge into all things zombie! Here’s the history: In 2008, Dr. Girlfriend and I decided to spend a week or so each year marathoning through zombie films that we’d never seen before and I would blog short reviews. And simple as that, the Easter Zombie Movie Marathon was born. For the curious, here are links to 2008, 2009 (a bad year), 2010, 2011, 2012 (when we left the blog behind), 2013, and 2014. Resurrection Sunday [REC] 4: Apocalypse (2013) Director: Jaume Balagueró Writers: Jaume Balagueró and Manu Díez From Spain comes the fourth and final installment in the [REC] franchise, [REC] 4: Apocalypse and while it’s not necessarily a great way to end the series, it’s a pretty damned solid piece of work. The film picks up immediately after [REC] 2, with the rescue of intrepid reporter Angela Vidal (Manuela Velasco) from the infected building by a SWAT team. She wakes up in a lab on an oil tanker somewhere at sea, where secretive scientists are trying to develop a cure for the zombie infection. Little do they know, it’s a bit more complex than your normal disease. For the uninitiated, Jaume Balagueró directed [REC] 1 and 2 with Paco Plaza, with Plaza taking on solo directing duties for [REC] 3: Genesis and Balagueró taking over the final chapter. There was a lot of complaining about [REC] 3 because it added humorous elements and took the franchise in a more action/adventure direction while jettisoning the found footage approach that had made the first two films so distinctive. Personally, I had no problem with it. A good movie is a good movie. [REC] 4 has similar detractors, despite the fact that it goes back to the source. This time the complaints are because Balagueró has likewise ditched the found footage approach, but he’s kept it dead serious from start to finish. This is both a good thing and a bad thing from my perspective. It’s a good thing because we need hard core serious films in this genre to keep it from devolving into self-parody. And [REC] 4 has the money and talent behind the scenes to make sure that the dramatic elements are well-secured. Velasco as Angela is particularly good carrying on the role and building on what she’s done in the previous films. Angela isn’t quite on Ripley levels of badassdom, but she’s ready to do what she has to do to survive. The supporting cast is also very talented, providing a solid dramatic structure upon which to build the impending chaos. Paco Manzanedo is also extremely effective as Guzmán, the infection control doctor who rescued Angela from the quarantined building. As the film twists and turns around the two of them, he does a great job stepping up and embracing all of the horrors that come his way. As does Ismael Fritschi as Nic, who starts out a bit pervy, but ends up demonstrating his heart of gold. The film looks great, the performers are up to the task, and the gore effects are some of the best we’ve seen in this year’s marathon. And yet… I’m not really satisfied with where they take the mythology this time out. Parts 2 and 3 both established and expanded on the whole “demonic possession” angle that helped to make the [REC] franchise something special; a disturbed combination of Romero, Lamberto Bava, and Danny Boyle. The demonic element of the story is included here, but only in passing, while shifting the emphasis to a new source of infection: a parasite. A parasite? A demonic parasite? It’s disgusting for sure, as it is passed from one person to another, but it’s a bit of a cliché that raises more questions than it answers. And the ending — of the franchise, remember — is entirely unsatisfying, undermining everything that has come before with what are essentially two scenes that really aren’t serious at all. One of them even opens up the possibility of future sequels, despite what the makers have said. I guess you should never say never. All in all, [REC] 4: Apocalypse was a satisfying film, filled with edge-of-your-seat scares, top-notch gore, combined with excellent direction and performances. When things go to hell, they go to hell quickly and there’s very little time to take a breath in between horrifying zombie attacks. And there’s even a hideous CG/puppet zombie monkey that should give you nightmares, if nothing else does. See larger image Rec 4 New From: $16.53 USD In Stock EZMM 2015 Day 8.1: [REC] 4: Apocalypse (2014)Paul's Rating4.0Overall ScoreReader Rating: (0 Votes)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.