Horror Movie Review: Quarantine
I’m going to begin with a confession: somewhere in the weeks I’ve spent being lackadaisical since leaving school, I’ve almost forgotten what the internet is. Luckily, I managed to emerge from Gandalf’s abyss and log myself back onto Sparklife. I’ve since stopped pondering life’s bigger questions—such as which incarnation of the Doctor is my favourite and what really happened to David Bowie’s Goblin King after Labyrinth—to bring you another horror movie review. This time I’ll be talking you through what I suppose is a Zombie/Found-Footage thriller titled Quarantine. It’s an almost identical remake of Spain’s REC, which is one of their best horrors, considering its global acclaim.
Overview: The Night Watch News duo of Reporter Angela Vidal (Jennifer Carpenter) and Cameraman Scott Percival (Steve Harris) are spending the night shadowing the LA fire department. For most of the night, it seems that the best footage that Scott will be able to get is of Firefighters flirting with Angela and giving half-hearted tours of the station. But then the reporters are invited to attend a paramedical call involving an old lady in an apartment. In true horror film fashion, the apartment building is poorly lit, dreary, and filled with tenants who know how to make a creepy entrance. The woman has locked herself inside her apartment, but when the firemen finally break the doors down to find what appear to be a salivating zombie in a dressing gown, it becomes apparent that this woman needs more than just paramedical help. When the woman starts attacking people, the uninfected residents discover (much to their horror) that they can’t leave the block because the whole building has been quarantined and surrounded by SWAT teams. Many of the apartment’s residents are feeling a little on the ill side, with eerie symptoms and an abundance of dogs hinting at what the actual cause might be.
Opinion: There are some films, however bad, that stick with you. Quarantine is not one of those films. Maybe it’s just that I’ve seen too many films based around the same concept, but it didn’t leave me with any lasting impressions. Sure, I was pretty impressed by the solidity of the acting, and the effects were more than passable. It’s a great example of a found-footage film—it just wasn’t anything I hadn’t seen before. I saw REC a while ago and it’s worth noting that it has both a higher rating and a more worthwhile viewing experience than the remake.
Gore element : Although Quarantine wasn’t advertised as a Zombie film, that’s essentially what it is: an epidemic that makes dead people come back to life and start infecting everybody else. If you find films like The Crazies and 28 Days Later tame, you have nothing to fear. There’s a lot of scenes where the infected are dripping with blood and attacking people right in front of you, but the sound effects make it seem a lot worse than it actually is.
Psychological element: If you choose to watch the Spanish original instead of the remake, then you’ll have the added element of demonic possession. How exactly that ties in with the infection, I’m not sure. Due to it all being filmed from Scott’s camera in a building that has had its electricity cut off, there’s a lot of suspense in moments when the camera is using night vision mode or shadowy corridors.
Ultimate Spoiler: It’s rabies, and everybody dies.
Recommendations : If you like zombie and found-footage style films like The Blair Witch Project then you’ll enjoy this. However, if you can put up with watching a subbed English version of the original, then you’ll be rewarded with a higher rated film with the extra depth of religious/cult themes. It’s worth noting that you won’t be able to appreciate Quarantine if you watch it after REC.
Will you be watching Quarantine?
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