James Simpson’s World of Horror: REC Apocalypse (Spain, 2014)

James Simpson’s World of Horror: REC Apocalypse (Spain, 2014)

Director: Jaume Balaguero
Starring: Manuela Velasco, Hector Colome, Paco Manzanedorec4cover

Language: Spanish with English subtitles
Run time: 1 hour 34 minutes
Available on DVD and Blu-ray from 2nd March

Angela Vidal wakes up in a high-security quarantine facility, the sole survivor and witness to the horrific events inside an apartment block plagued by an unspeakable evil. But does she remember what happened to her? Is she carrying the mysterious virus responsible for the horrors of that night? Distrust and uncertainty soon spreads throughout the isolated facility as their suspicions are confirmed and new, even deadlier forms of evil take hold. – Entertainment One

A journey that has taken several years and a handful of movies comes to an end in the fourth REC title – Apocalypse.

Discarding of the horror humour vibe of the previous entry this thankfully attempts to be more serious and in keeping with the originals intense atmosphere. Although it doesn’t fully revert to REC or REC 2 as the use of first person or ‘found footage’ is all but ignored. The only time it crops up is when some CCTV footage is briefly used. For the most, however, Apocalypse reclaims some of the franchises past glory.

rec4angVelasco as ever is a brilliant actress. Sadly she is not used as often in this film as she had been in the past and as it is obvious this character is something of a new ‘final girl’ icon’ (pardon the cliché) in the horror genre it is a disappointment that she is under utilized.

The scares are lacking for quite a while, only really going to ‘REC extreme intensity level’ for the closing 15 minutes. Occasionally a fright crops up during the first 70 or so minutes of the run time although it feels more like an exercise in pacing the viewer for the ‘main event’ than being anything too meaningful.

When the frights do arrival they have the intensity that is expected for a movie with the prefix REC. When the hapless victims are claimed by the virus/demon it is in a visceral manner that looks gritty and sublime. There is one sequence featuring possessed monkeys (yes, you read that correctly) that is hi-octane and has some impressive effects.

rec4 (1)Is it the glorious end fans have wanted? Not quite, the first two instalments set the bar so high that even a sequel with ‘Apocalypse’ in its title would never be able to meet such high expectations. This being the horror genre, there will be a way to make more REC movies or even a reboot of the series some years down the line. But for now, this is an acceptable horror flick.

Taken on its own merits this is a fine horror but based on past glories this could have (and should have) been so much better.

6 out of 10.