Director – John Erick Dowdle
Cast – Jennifer Carpenter, Steve Harris, Jay Hernandez, Johnathan Schaech, Columbus Short, Andrew Fiscella, Rade Serbedzija, Greg German
Release Year – 2008
Reviewed by John of the Dead
In 2007, Spain produced a very shocking, and pretty original horror film titled “Rec”, yes…just like the “record” button on a video camera. Often titled by critics and horror fans as “one of the best horror films of the decade”, this low budget POV(Point OF View) horror movie managed to shock viewers more than other bigger budget POV flicks like “Cloverfield” and “Diary of the Dead”(I did really enjoy both those films though). Of course, with Hollywood out of any clever ideas for horror films, they decided to borrow this idea from our Spanish buddies, remake it, and title it “Quarantine”.
The film follows the original plot, which has a young reporter, Angela(played by Jennifer Carpenter from “The Exorcism of Emily Rose”), and her camera man shadowing the local fire department’s nightshift crew and what a day in the life of a firefighter is really like. The film starts off with her getting to know the firemen and having a good time goofing around the station with all the fun things they have to do and play with(no, she doesn’t get gangbanged). Soon enough, the firemen get a call to head to an old apartment building to assist with some type of disturbance. After investigating and witnessing an attack from a violent, deranged old lady, they soon discover that there is some sort of virus infecting the people and turning them into bloodthirsty murdering lunatics. By the time this is realized, the crew, firemen, and police officers are barred from leaving the complex and are physically barricaded inside by the CDC(Center for Disease Control)in order to contain the virus. With nowhere to really run to, our cast must now battle the rising number of infected and wait for the CDC to clear the area, or find their own way out, which could have deadly consequences.
This flick manages to not be a crapfest remake like about 80 percent of all other horror remakes this decade. Although I can honestly say that “Rec” provided more suspense and definitely surpasses this remake, Quarantine is still a good film and definitely one of the better 2008 horror films. We are shown some good suspenseful scenes, along with high tension scenes involving our characters being locked in an atmosphere that would normally bring down anyone’s barriers and show how emotionally weak people can be. I do like how this film shows a bit more as to what really causes the infection, which the original didn’t do as much. I’m not dogging on the original for not showing the virus’s origins, I’m sure it only added to the creepiness. However, me with my curious, biology oriented mind is of course interested in how this virus came about. Haha! The atmosphere in this film is great as well. The old run down apartment complex that the majority of this film takes place in is dark and moody, which makes for some good creepy scenes and tension without having to try too hard. The end scene involving the night vision is great, however I found it VERY weak compared to the original. The original ending sequence was just downright scary and had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. This film did it well, almost exactly alike as the original, but just didn’t make it happen as well as “Rec” did. Maybe better atmosphere, camera angles, and sounds would have helped this film dethrone the original, maybe.
Overall, this is a good, suspenseful film that I suggest all fans watch. Definitely one of the better horror films of 2008.
– I listed this film as an “Honorable Mention” in my Top 10 Horror Movies of 2008 post.