The [REC] series is one of the best horror franchises in recent years. Bold statement I know. But we here at SJP thrive on shouting out half thought ideas that we really don’t mean (or really care about) then in a drunken stupor physically assaulting anyone who disagrees. Don’t worry we normally break down in tears way before the first punch connects and then pass out in a puddle of tears, vomit and self-pity. The writing staffs emotional instability aside (just realizing how dangerously unstable of a work environment I have created…), my opening statement still stands true. Not only did Jaume Balaguero give us a cool spin on the zombie genre (the demon angle from [REC]2 was genius!) but they also made the found footage angle not annoying. Sadly the [REC] series peaked at the first sequel. This isn’t to say that those that followed weren’t a kick ass time( As you are about to read) but was this latest (and potentially last) entry up to the level as the series high point? Not even close.
Let’s start with the good, shall we? Okay. [REC] 4: Apocalypse is a badass zombie movie. It’s filled with grotesque over the top zombies that are more like rabid dogs than shuffle dead heads. After 3 films Balaguero knows the formula that works. Attractive girl +isolated setting+ hunky fella+ hordes of blood thirsty zombies = damn good zombie flick. Obviously this formula is pretty standard and has been used in thousands of movies and has failed more times than it has worked. It’s clearly that age-old saying (the one I have muttered under a cascade of tears and shame) It’s not the size of the hammer, but how you….. motion…. moves the boat…. (my wife and I are in counseling…). My endowment issues aside, Balaguero is able to take this standard approach and give it style and always willing to try something different. Demon zombies, chainsaw wielding brides to name a few. Now we can add zombie monkeys (you read that right) and boat propellers to the list.
My biggest gripe with [REC] 4: Apocalypse was the subtitle. Apocalypse means “the complete final destruction of the world, especially as described in the biblical book of Revelation” Thanks Google! This is (supposedly) the final installment and it really plays out like a direct sequel and does not offer any conclusion. The lack of finality is a major let down especially with the demon possession angle Jaume and co introduced in [REC] 2. Imagine the insanely bat shit crazy paths that plot can take you down? Epic possession/battles between priests, zombies, and super sexy lingerie models… OK, clearly I’m not a screenwriter but the pieces are there and we could have had an epic ending to a pretty epic series. Much like [REC]3 the awesome demon angle was left in the dust and I got to say the really missed the boat (get it!?! This movie is on a boat! HEY OH!). Oh well, I guess that means we can hope for a [Rec]5 in the future