Quarantine

I’m so tired of people bagging on this film because it’s a remake of[rec] since [rec] is a rip off of The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield, and every other film that has done gonzo before them.  Let’s just be straight right now, neither of these films are original.

Quarantine is co-written and directed by John Erick Dowdle (The Dry Spell, The Poughkeepsie Tapes).  It follows a news correspondent and her camera man, as they shadow a team of young firefighters for a night.  They mess around at the fire station, waiting for a call, when it finally comes.  They’re called to an old apartment building full of weird tenants.  An older woman is foaming at the mouth, and exhibits extremely aggressive tendencies.  She attacks one of the police officers trying to help her, and he’s severely wounded.  When they try to leave the building to get help, it turns out that those outside have blocked all the entrances, putting them all under quarantine, but providing them with no information.  Stuck in a creaky, extremely poorly lit building, the disease spreads slowly at first, and then frighteningly quickly.  Luckily, one of the tenants stuck there is a veterinarian, who, after a few hours of caring for the sick, finally realizes that a frothy mouth and extreme aggression may mean rabies!  And fortunate for us, the film crew was there filming the whole injustice!

The gonzo style of filming is quite effective here, even if it was still used to conveniently turn off in order to avoid explaining certain things.  The entire perspective of the viewer comes from the cameraman’s camera.  It’s not like this is original.  George A. Romero’s Diary of the Dead, did the exact same thing earlier this year at Sundance and other festivals.  The Duplass brothers did it this year with Baghead as well (not to mention the scores of films that did it before them).  So while it’s not new subject matter, Dowdle did the genre proud with this effectively creepy film.  Lead actress Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter, The Exorcism of Emily Rose) steals the majority of her scenes, and was convincingly scared.  There’s no lack of gore, and in this case, it’s warranted.  In the last ten minutes, Dowdle takes the easy way out and follows orthodox horror conventions, which was pretty disappointing.  However, while the film leaves something to be desired, it’ll make you jump, and squirm in your seat if nothing else.

★★☆☆

Rottentomatoes: 57%Cream of the Crop: 38%

This is the red band trailer

Comments
2 Responses to “Quarantine”
  1. i bet i would jump in my seat all the time if i saw this. good thing we didn’t go together-you would’ve been so annoyed.

  2. I’m one of those people that bags on the film. First up, it pre-Cloverfield and from what I can tell it’s a shot-by-shot remake of [REC]. I haven’t seen Quarantine yet, but the reason I think it’s nutty is that the Spanish version is awesome and it would be so great if more people saw it instead of it being remade into a US film. Does it reinvent the wheel? No. But, is it a fresh take on a film style that can terrify? You bet.

    It sounds like you enjoyed the film, which is a good thing. I found it felt completely different than Diary of the Dead though. Maybe I’ve been watching too many zombie films though – if there is such a thing! :)

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