Plot: Angela (Manuela Velasco) managed to survive the horrific events inside the quarantined firehouse, as she was rescued by tactical police forces and now she has been taken to a new, safer quarantine for what should be a brief stay. This time she finds herself on an oil tanker, miles off shore and equipped with lab tech and other tools needed to research the infection. She seems to be clean, but her camera captured so much important footage of the infection and how it works, that she has to stay until all the footage is analyzed. As she passes the time meeting with others on board, a new threat emerges from one of the labs, when an infected monkey escapes and goes on a rampage. Now Angela is once again trapped in a confined area with dangerous infected, but can she once again survive and in any case, will the infection be contained this time or once again leak into the open world?
Entertainment Value: The previous Rec film dropped the found footage gimmick after the opening sequence, but Rec 4 doesn’t even stick with it that long, so this installment has no found footage elements. The tone is more serious than Rec 3 as well and in a welcome move, Manuela Velasco returns as Angela, which fans of the series should appreciate. But Velasco’s presence is one of the few bright spots in Rec 4, as most of the movie is mediocre at best and feels like just another rushed, low rent zombie movie, just on a boat this time. I did appreciate the return to the tight, claustrophobic spaces, but the overall atmosphere isn’t up to snuff and the scares are minimal, so it is just the bloodshed that adds to the horror elements. The pace is also slower this time around, so the lean, kinetic approach of the previous movies is tossed aside and there’s more filler than usual. So we have some splashy gore at times and having Angela back is a lot of fun, but otherwise this is a limp, forgettable sequel. Given how Rec came out of the gate with such tight, effective installments, it is a shame that it concluded on such a flat note, but fans will likely still want to see how it all ends.
No nakedness. This one is all about the infected, so there’s not much time for romance or knocking boots this time around. There is a consistent flow of the red stuff however, with some nice set pieces to really splash the crimson around. A lot of the blood spatter is rather poorly crafted CGI sadly, so that impacts the score, but some of the gore looks decent and splatters well enough. The usual infected type attacks unfold here, with bite wounds and since we have infected monkeys as well, that allows for some humorous simian assaults. But the monkeys look awful in most scenes, as the CGI is so terrible and the finale features some just plain ridiculous CGI as well, the kind of visual effects that make Reboot look cutting edge. But regardless, we have a good amount of blood thrown around, I just wish it was practical or at least looked passable. The dialogue does what it needs to, but isn’t all that creative, memorable, or wild. Just the basics needed to cover exposition and little else. As for general craziness, Rec 4 has a serious tone and never explores the wilder side of things, so we are left with a straight forward ride that earns one point for some of the colorful violence.
Overall Insanity: 1/10
The Disc: As part of Scream Factory’s Rec Collection, this movie hits Blu-ray with a razor sharp, well detailed visual presentation, which is no surprise given how recently the film was released. The image is clear and clean throughout, with bright visuals and natural colors, especially those vivid red hues. This marks a nice improvement over what a DVD could provide, so fans should be pleased here. The extras are sparse, with a promotional featurette and the film’s trailer.