REC 4: Apocalypse stars Manuela Velasco, Paco Manzanedo, Ismael Fritschi, Hector Colome, Crispulo Cabezas and Mariano Venancio… and yes it was difficult to remember how to spell all of those names.
Properly connecting the plot of the incredible REC and REC 2 with the less impressive REC 3: Genesis, Apocalypse sees reporter Angela (Velasco) rescued from the apartment building where she became trapped in REC by Guzman (Manzanedo) and Lucas (Cabezas). The three awaken on an oil tanker in the middle of the sea, where Dr. Ricarte (Colome) is looking to examine Angela as she is immune to the virus turning anyone bitten into blood-hungry monsters. However, Angela may be carrying what is responsible for this entire outbreak in the first place.
After the sublime outings of REC and REC 2 – exmples of found-footage done right – REC 3: Genesis dropped the gimmick early in its runtime and while it was a still a fun and bloody movie, paled in comparison to the two previous outings. This wasn’t necessarily because of the found-footage departure, but more so the extreme diversion it took from the previous two movies, as well as it being more of a horror-comedy than straight forward horror.
Manuela Velasco, who portrayed heroine Angela Vidal in the first REC and appeared in REC 2, is the badass heroine of Apocalypse and despite an approximate 7 year gap between REC and REC 4 (depending on the country), doesn’t appear to have aged a day. This is good because the entire franchise is meant to be set quite tightly together.
Like with Genesis, Apocalypse too is not found footage. I believe it was a good decision of the director’s parts to divert from this as the plots for both didn’t constitute the use of found footage. REC 4 takes itself a lot more seriously than its predecessor but does feel like a step down from the two movies that launched this franchise. That’s not necessarily a negative considering the fact that RECs 1 and 2 were excellent and it’s hard to reach that level. REC 4 is a solid movie with plenty of gore and scares (but also a couple of somewhat iffy CGI monkeys). Not a movie you should rush out to see but it is worth a watch so I say: