The fourth (and final?) instalment in the [*Rec] series follows on from the previous movies in the series, bringing back Angela Vidal (Manuela Velasco) and placing her on a boat, far from any sizable population. What could possibly go wrong? A lot, as it happens, especially when scientists are trying to find a cure for the disease that caused so much bloodshed and loss of life in the other movies. There is, perhaps inevitably, a fatal mistake made, leading to an outbreak on the ship that throws poor Angela right back in to the centre of a terrifying ordeal.
After taking a step back from [*Rec] 3 Genesis, director Jaume Balaguero returns to, apparently, tie everything up with one last outing. He also helped to write the script with Manu Diez, which means I can heap most of the blame upon his shoulders for how disappointing this is. The characters aren't great, with the exception of Angela and a crew member named Nic (Ismael Fritschi), there's nothing new brought to the table, and the final reel is just something that you end up wanting over and done with. It's full of activity, but none of it is all that interesting.
That lack of anything new is the most disappointing aspect of this instalment, considering the interesting development of events that were displayed in [*Rec] 2. This movie had a chance to explore some other ideas, even if Balaguero didn't want to explain every little detail, but instead it just repeats moments that we've seen so many times before as the infection takes hold and people try to stay safe in a confined space.
Velasco is as good as she was in the first two movies, which just adds to the disappointment of this not being a good enough farewell for her character, and Fritschi makes the most of his likable character. Paco Manzanedo and Crispulo Cabezas do alright, playing a couple of soldiers who wake up on the boat after involvement in the mission to extract Angela (AKA [*Rec] 2), and Hector Colome is perfectly fine in the role of doctor/potential villain. That's about it though, nobody else makes a good impression, which leads to a number of scenes dragging the movie down whenever none of these characters are onscreen.
A disappointing horror movie is one thing. We genre fans often have a 1:1 ration when it comes to the good and the bad, and that's on a good day. But a disappointing series finale is somehow a bit worse. This isn't even a terrible film, when all things are considered. It's just not a patch on any of the films that came before it. What's worse is that it doesn't even seem to try.