General Release 2008
89 minutes approx
Angela Vidal -
Scott Percival -
Directed by -
John Erick Dowdle
Written by -
John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle
A reporter and her cameraman are doing a profile piece on the night shift of the city's fire brigade when they get a call to an apartment building where screaming has been heard. Breaking into one of the apartments in support of the police, they find an old woman with some sort of infection. She attacks and bites one of the policemen. Before anyone can tell what's going on, there's a fireman critically injured. There is a virus loose in the building, a virus that turns people into flesh-chewing zombies in minutes and the authorities can't allow it out on to the streets. With the building sealed, it's a battle for survival and the search for a way out.
This remake of the spanish film [Rec] is another low budget film that follows in the wake of CLOVERFIELD that uses the concept of telling the story as seen through a camera. THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT pioneered the idea, but there's been a whole rash of them since the success of the monster in New York movie. The shaky camerawork and first person view adds immediacy and authenticity when done well and the shaky-cam approach can hide serious shortcomings in the quality of your special effects. To be fair to this film, the device works fine, although it has to be asked how the cameraman got to be part of a TV station when he can't even keep the camera steady for simple interview shots before the whole scary zombie runaround starts up let alone afterwards.
QUARANTINE takes its leads from 28 DAYS LATER by having its zombies enraged and fast. The explicit gore is kept surprisingly to a minimum, relying instead on the claustrophobic atmosphere and figures suddenly jumping into view for its scares. Serious gorehounds won't be impressed, but the sequence towards the end, played out in the inevitable night vision, but also in almost total silence, is pretty tense stuff.
It's a no-name cast so everyone is expendable and there's no telling who will be attacked next (unless you read the DVD box blurb that is). With the pace pretty high right from the start there's no time to get to know the characters anyway, so you don't get too invested in their cause. Only Jennifer Carpenter's Angela gets sufficient screen time to make an impact.
There's nothing here for the serious scare-seeker, but watch it alone with the lights off and there are jumps to be had.Top
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