Movie Reviews: “Quarantine” (2008)

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Directed by John Erick Dowdle.
Starring Jennifer Carpenter and Jay Hernandez.

A television news reporter and her camera man tag along with the local fire department for a story. It starts out as a fun and flirty interview with the fire fighters until the station gets an emergency call to an apartment complex. The group go to the complex to find that some of the tenants are acting violent and rabid. Things get out of hand and the group tries to leave, but the doors have been locked from the outside. The group has to fight the infected maniacs and figure out why they’ve been locked in, and how to get the hell out.

“Quarantine” is the remake of a 2007 Spanish film called “Rec.” I’ve seen “Rec” and “Rec 2”, and they’re both fantastic. Now that I’ve seen “Quarantine”, I must say that it is fantastic as well. It’s as good, if not better than “Rec.” They are very similar, and both great examples of the RIGHT way to shoot a docu-style horror film. In the story we have a TV station guy behind the camera trying to capture everything, instead of some scared person running around with a camcorder. The shots are steadier and clearer. Everything about “Quarantine” and “Rec” is a step up in quality.

This film is scary. You can visually see what is going on, but you don’t know why. The acting is realistic and sensible for the given situation which makes everything believable, hence more frightening. With the CDC blocking off the building and the military guarding all doors, there is an urgent sense of dread throughout. You might remember Jennifer Carpenter as the possessed Emily from “The Exorcism of Emily Rose.” I really enjoyed her in this. A very different role from the versatile actress. I love this film, along with “Rec” and “Rec 2.”

There’s a sequel to “Quarantine” called “Quarantine 2: The Terminal.” It is not a remake of “Rec 2” and is supposed to be terrible. I haven’t seen it yet. “Rec 2” though is my favorite of all the films, and a good followup to “Rec/Quarantine.” See em!

3.5 out of 4.0 stars.

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