Monday, October 8, 2012


Directed by John Eric Dowdle.
2008. Rated R, 89 minutes.

Jennifer Carpenter
Steve Harris
Johnathon Schaech
Andrew Fiscella
Dania Ramirez

While following around the firefighters at a local station, young reporter Angela (Carpenter) and her cameraman Scott (Harris) find themselves trapped in an apartment building where some of the tenants seem to have contracted a disease that literally transforms them into homicidal maniacs.

It gives its intended audience what they came for. We get lots of gore, screaming and running. The one twist on this works out nicely. That twist is the last 10 or so minutes of the movie being shown via the camera's night vision setting. This heightens any tension the movie has because we realize the good guys can't see what's in the dark room with them.

What if Cloverfield were a zombie movie instead of a giant monster movie? The answer to that question is Quarantine. It follows that exact template. The entire thing is filmed through a handheld camera. The holder of the camera is heard much more often than seen. We start with 10 or so minutes of idiotic banter that̢۪s supposed to pass for character development. No one seems to know what's going on. None of the characters are particularly likeable. And, it wants to set you up for a sequel. In fact, if you've seen the trailer, you've seen the ending. To be fair, it's actually a remake of a Spanish horror movie entitled [Rec] (as in the "REC" button on your cam-corder) which was never released in the US. In any event, it felt like I had just watched almost the exact same movie just with a different bunch of people I couldn't care less for.

I'll just say again, it's almost exactly like Cloverfield just with zombies in a small apartment building instead of a giant monster in the city of New York. Fans of Cloverfield will either really love it or really hate it. For the rest of us, it'll be just a middle-of-the-road horror flick.

MY SCORE: 5/10

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