Friday, October 10, 2008

Quarantine

Genre - Horror
Year Released - 2008
Running Time - 89 minutes
Rated R (for bloody, violent, and disturbing images - terror - and language)
Directed by John Erick Dowdle (who also directed The Poughkeepsie Tapes - a movie about a serial killer - which is in my Netflix Queue - I have not seen that one yet, though I want to!)
Written by John Erick and Drew Dowdle (both of whom also wrote The Poughkeepsie Tapes)
*this movie is an American Re-make of the Spanish Horror Film [REC] written by Jaume Balaguero, (who also wrote To Let & The Nameless) Luis Berdejo, (who also wrote A Christmas Tale) and Paco Plaza*
Cast Includes:
Jennifer Carpenter (the sister of Dexter, in the Showtime Series - she also played Emily in The Exorcism of Emily Rose)
Steve Harris (Diary of a Mad Black Woman)
Jay Hernandez (Hostel 1 & 2 and Lakeview Terrace)
Johnathon Schaech (Road House 2: Last Call)

Rating: 3 Skulls

Plot Summary:
While on assignment, an L.A. news reporter and her cameraman find themselves trapped in a quarantined apartment complex, along with a vicious unknown killer.
With all forms of communication cut, the news crew keeps the camera rolling as they search for a way out.
The building is locked down, a killer is on the loose, and panic sets in as those trapped inside make a desperate attempt to escape with their lives.


Before I give my review, I first have to tell you something:
Before I saw this movie, I had lunch right beforehand (a grilled chicken sandwich)
About thirty/forty minutes into the movie, I started feeling a little bit nauseous, and I wondered, to myself, if perhaps I had eaten some bad chicken. About an hour into the movie, my nausea was increasing, and I felt like I was getting a slight headache, which worried me, as I sometimes get Migraines. . .
Eventually, it dawned on me that I was getting sick to my stomach, because of the movie! (it is filmed in first-person style, and there are plenty of moments that it is dark, with flickering lights, and mass confusion. Now, if you know me, you know that I love amusement park rides, etc (rollercoasters, upside down, twisting in all directions, you name it - I ride it!) I do not get motion sickness [though I will admit, that as I am getting older, the more I ride spinning rides, repeatedly, I do start to feel nauseous] ;-)

When it comes to movies though, NEVER! (The Blair Witch Project - Saving Private Ryan - neither of those bothered me, and I saw them both in the theatre)
I couldn't believe it! I was actually having to look down, at my feet, for the latter part of the movie - if it had been 5 minutes longer, I am sure that I would have had to rush out to puke my guts out!
The only reason that I am telling you this, is just in case some of you, out there, have motion sickness. (My wife says that you may want to take a Dramamine beforehand...)
[I remember when the video game Wolfenstein first came out - I had a friend who could only play the game for so long, before he had to stop because he was feeling sick - I used to tease him about that - now I know how he felt. . .]


Review:
For the record, I have not yet seen [REC] though I really wanted to see that film, before this American Re-make. The first thing that I am going to buy, when we settle back down, is a Region-free DVD Player! :-)

As soon as the movie starts, you immediately like Jennifer Carpenter's character.
Her and her cameraman have been assigned to shadow a couple of fire fighters, on the night shift. In the beginning, you learn that 85% of all fire fighter calls are medical emergencies, as opposed to actual fires - in fact, more and more fire fighters are becoming paramedics as well.
Another fun tidbit that you learn, is the background of the dalmatians. Apparently, back in the days of horse-drawn fire carriages, it was the dalmatians job to run ahead to an intersection to stop any traffic. (I just thought that was pretty cool, as I did not know that)
So, the first 15 minutes or so, is getting acquainted with the fire fighters routine, etc.
Then they get a call, and the movie immediately switches gears.

At first, I thought things were happening way too quickly - I mean, they weren't even in the apartment complex for more than, maybe, 10 minutes or so, when bam, all of a sudden, it is locked down, by SWAT, etc. It is eventually, reasonably, explained as the movie continues.

Being that I have not yet seen [REC] I do not know how accurate of a re-make this is. I have not heard one single bad thing about [REC} In fact, all I hear are rave reviews, talking about how terrifying the movie is, etc.

As for Quarantine, I can only say that it was good. I can definitely see how that situation would indeed be terrifying, and Jennifer Carpenter did an outstanding job showing unbridled fear. Perhaps my expectations were a bit high, or perhaps my nausea was affecting my judgment.
I just know that I still want to see [REC} even more than ever now. :-)


Jason

12 comments:

the jaded viewer said...

I thought Rec was ok. I really hate these POV horror movies.

Diary, Cloverfield, etc.

PLEASE STOP MAKING THESE MOVIES

I'm really guessing if I saw Rec I don't need to see this.

fxguy said...

A serial killer in the building? My understanding from the trailer was that it was a zombie movie, like 28 Days Later.

Still, I will prob treat myself next weekend, as a late bday gift to myself.

Later, bud

thebonebreaker said...

Two other perfect examples of POV movies I saw in the theatre and did not get sick... :-)

I would imagaine that you are correct in that you would not need to see this one, if you have already seen [REC]

J

thebonebreaker said...

Bill,

The vicious unknown killer is the reason that the apartment complex was Quarantined - it is not a serial killer, and yes, you are right, they are extremely zombie like. . .

J

JoeTerror said...

I thought REC would be on DVD by now. I'll have to look that up as I wanted to see it. I didn't even realize this was another HOLLYWOOD remake! I wish they'd leave well enough alone! 9 out of 10 they are crap!

thebonebreaker said...

Joe,

If you have a Region-free DVD Player, then [REC] is available - it just isn't available on Region 1 (Standard U.S. DVD) yet, and I have no idea when it will be :-(

Like you said - 9 out of 10 American Re-makes are Crap (I agree!) though Quarantine isn't that bad.

J

Jenn said...

I haven't seen this or the original yet, but I really want to. Your review makes me want to see Quarantine even more than I did before!

thebonebreaker said...

Jenn,

Be sure to stop back by, after you have seen Quarantine, and let me know your thoughts :-)

J

jenn said...

Now I'm convinced that it was the movie that gave me a headache. I really wanted to like this movie, but ugh...

thebonebreaker said...

Yeah, that never happened to me before - the movie was definitely not worth the headache/nausea!
[I wanted to like it too]
Guess we'll just both have to wait for [REC]

J

Bearded Weirdo Reviews said...

Did not see this, but I did see REC a few months ago. I think the DVD finally came out just recently, but I managed to see in bootleg format a while back. I liked it a lot. Not great, but very very very good. The chick who plays the reporter in REC is extremely cute. Seriously, it should be against the law to be THAT CUTE. I don't know how Quarantine's last ten minutes went by, but I know that the finale of REC is genuinely creepy, suspenseful, and just plain chilling. I was really tense, and I almost never get tense with horror movies anymore.
I do agree with you that the pacing of the film is off. I know you said that of Quarantine and not REC, but I imagine, from your comments, that the two are pretty similar, and the pacing wasn't perfect in REC either. A little slow at the beginning, and then a bit too fast. One minute the movie was beginning, and the next the end credits were rolling. I dunno if this applies to Quarantine, but, for REC, I guess you could say it's a testament to how engrossed you become in the film when it seems to go by in the blink of an eye. Still, I wouldn't have minded a little more actual plot, ya know? "Okay, we're in the apartment building. Ah, zombies!!! Okay, we're safe now. We'll just hide out in this room. The government is sending in a scientist. Everything should be okay. Ah, zombies!!! Ah, more zombies!!! Okay, we'll just hide out in THIS room instead. Wait, the lights went out. What's that sound? AHHHH! ...credits" Not much to it, really. Some more proverbial meat would've helped, but I hear they're already working on REC 2, so maybe that will flesh things out a bit better. I hope so, but I fear that doing so would be difficult, and instead REC 2 will just end up as some generic zombie-y flick with precious little connection to the original... or a serial-like continuation of the film film that, in effect, dilutes the impact of the original's climax.
Oh, well. Here's hoping for the best anyway.

thebonebreaker said...

William,

To my knowledge [REC] still isn't out on DVD yet [not on Netflix anyway]

As for [REC 2] it is the same creative team [writer/director, etc] working on it, and that team Rocks - so I imagine that [REC 2] will be just as good as the 1st one ~ here's to just hoping that [REC] will be released here, before the sequel! Grrrrrr

J