For my money, [Rec] and [Rec]2 are two of the best found footage films out there. They used the genre very well. I was excited to see [Rec}3: Genesis, but found it greatly disappointing. I understand why they abandoned the found footage approach, it really is limiting, and there is only so much it adds.
But [Rec]3 disappointed in the story. It lacked the intensity of it’s predecessors, for one thing. It added humor that just did not fit. So I was hesitant, but still a little hopeful when they announced [Rec]4:Apocalypse.
It turns out I had good reason to be hopeful. The film does not ignore the 3rd film. It features the loan survivor of that film, the groom’s mother. But it focuses on the remaining survivor of the apartment complex. Angela (Manuela Velasco returning to the series) is saved by a soldier. She awakens in a lab, where tests are being run. It turns out the government has a ship where they have placed survivors for maximum isolation. Luckily, nobody is infected…yet.
It turns out that there are scientists on the ship who are hard at work trying to create a retro virus. Which is begging for trouble. In spite of their controlled environment, the disease spreads and Angela (along with the soldier who saved her, his partner and the groom’s mother) is in a race to survive.
There is humor in this only, almost in the vein of Peter Jackson’s early work, but where it felt out of place in the third film, it never gets so slapstick as to render the film ridiculous. This is a fun action and horror film, righting the franchise back on course. And I guess, three out of four ain’t a bad record.