TIFF 2014 Review: [REC]4 Apocalypse
A ship in the middle of the ocean, rolling blackouts, secretive doctors, and rabid creatures make up [REC]4, the latest in the Spanish zombie horror series. Following the tangential third film set at a beautiful wedding turned bloodbath, here we return to the initially plagued apartment and the lone female reporter whose journey we followed.
We’re there only briefly: she’s saved by officers, whisked away, and soon is awake and in peril again. Those ominous doctors, their armed guards, and a lab loom large and raise questions (mainly, ‘what did you think was going to happen?!’).
Despite security cameras everywhere, lots of weapons, super secrecy and many blood tests, life – or rather death – finds a way (these scientists haven’t seen Jurassic Park). An experiment breaks free and attacks, something they never considered reveals itself, and even later on the doctors are all bamboozled again by another twist.
For a while it’s dumbly a man’s movie, with cops and scientists arguing, but eventually our heroine Angela emerges. She doesn’t get enough to do, and the small confines of the ship aren’t handled as deftly as should be. There is no sense of space, and there are only so many times you can watch a zombie jump out into a corridor and run.
Still, blood spews, zombies roar, and chaos rages in this loud, satisfyingly frenetic adventure that does in fact add some clever wrinkles to the stable franchise. There’s also a deadly countdown and crafty use of an outboard motor.