Good, Bad & Ugly Review: [REC]4 Apocalypse

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: N/A (Critics) / 93% (Audience)
Directed By: Jaume Balagueró
Written By: Jaume Balagueró and Manu Diez
Starring: Manuela Velasco, Javier Botet, Paco Manzanedo and Ismael Fritschi
Studio: Magnolia Pictures/Magnet Releasing
Synopsis: The television reporter Angela is rescued from the building and taken to an oil tanker to be examined. However, it is unbeknown to the soldiers that she carries the seed of the mysterious demonic virus. – (Source)

The Good:
It is good to see this franchise going back to the source material after a bit of a side trip away to the land of destination weddings with the third film. I also think that ditching the found footage gimmick was a wise move too.
It was also nice to see Manuela Velasco back as Angela. She makes a very watchable heroine. And teaming her with a less than conventional looking leading man in actor Ismael Fritschi was a pretty nifty change from the norm.
And the demonic zombified lab monkeys were some of the creepiest things I have seen in a horror movie in quite a while.

The Bad:
The pacing of this film was a mess. The film started with some pretty cool action but then it got mired into about 30 minutes of tedium.
I also was not happy with the way they kept Angela as a stock damsel in distress for a bit too long before cutting her loose.
The movie also never had the same sense of claustrophobic terror that first film had which was odd because you would think getting that vibe would be much easier to accomplish on a ship out at sea than in an apartment building.

The Ugly:
I really don’t quite understand why nearly everyone in this movie was so dumb. The ship they were on was staffed with scientists and engineers and a well-trained military squadron yet they all acted like your average horror movie idiot. Making supposedly smart people act like fools in order to further the plot is just lazy writing.

Final Verdict: A nice return to the main mythology of this franchise (and a welcome return for Manuela Velasco’s Angela) but there were some areas where this movie was sorely lacking. Hopefully the next installment puts more focus on creating a tense and uneasy tone instead of just throwing demon zombies at the heroes and hoping for the best.

Grade: C+

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