[REC] 4: Apocalipsis (2014)

(On Cable TV, September 2015) Oh well; like all horror series, the [REC] sequence has now reached a terminal point of no return.  [REC] 2 was uneven, [REC] 3 was barely redeemed by its last ten minutes, but [REC] 4 is just… dull.  The film picks up moments after the second film (while featuring a bit player from the third one) but quickly locks itself up in a cargo ship where no one, heroes, zombies or viewers, can run away.  The result is surprisingly dull, with rote zombie scare and mediocre slug-parasite suspense.  Manuela Velasco isn’t too bad as the battered chipmunk-faced heroine of the series (she’s the centerpiece of the film’s best sequence, an attempted vivisection that plays with our sympathies at a moment when her true nature isn’t obvious.) but returning director Jaume Balagueró compounds [REC] 4’s problems with a camera style that combines not only herky-jerky handheld camera (without the excuse of found-footage), but incomprehensible rapid-fire editing as well, making a dark mush of the film’s action sequences.  There isn’t much here that hasn’t been seen before, and the closed-off nature of the setting doesn’t bring much to the result.  As a result, [REC] 4 is –unfortunately- a bit of a chore to get through.  Rumors have it that this is meant to be the last installment in the series, which seems appropriate given its downhill trend.  On the other hand, it does leave with an underwhelming conclusion…  

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