Monday, 8 December 2008

Quarantine: Movie Review

Quarantine: Movie Review

Rating: 4/10
Cast: Jennifer Carpenter, Steve Harris, Jay Hernandez
Director: John Erick Dowdle
Remakes of foreign horror films continue to be de rigeur in Hollywood.
And yet, the Powers That Be fail to realize that diminishing returns at the box office are a sign that the Hollywoodisation is just not captivating viewers.
Quarantine is the latest attempt to buck the trend - and sadly it fails.
A rehash (or as they say Based on - or as others say, a shot for shot remake) of Spanish horror [REC], Quarantine finds reporter Angela Vidal (Jennifer Carpenter, TV's Dexter) along with her cameraman (Steve Harris) out for a night with the local LA fire department.
The film opens with Angela filming life around the station house, hoping desperately to score an exclusive by getting a call.
That call comes in and finds the team (along with shadowing from the camera crew) dispatched to a downtown apartment, for reasons unknown.
As they enter the building, the fire dept along with the police and TV crew discover an old woman at the top of the complex whose screaming initiated the call out.
Within seconds of being there, the old timer is attacking people and just seconds after that happens, with no warning or explanation the building is locked down, hermetically sealed off and patrolled by armed guards.
Confused, under attack from people within the building and with no real clue what's going on, the TV crew and adopted fire family try their best to survive - but it soon becomes clear, they're fighting a losing battle& live and escape.
Quarantine is the latest film to come aimed squarely at the YouTube generation - with its handheld filming point of view and quick edits here and there, it's clearly pushing for the same audience who fell for Cloverfield.
Yet, while Cloverfield suffered as we didn't know too much about the yuppies who were being picked off by the invading monster, Quarantine tries to temper this by spending a good 10 minutes of the opening with the camera crew bonding with two members of the fire brigade.
It works to a degree as you end up caring more about Angela but comes a little unstuck as you still don't care about the fire crews. Carpenter puts in a good solid performance and holds the film together but her bravado falls apart a little too quickly when the true horror of the situation hits home.
There are few solid shocks in this and most of those which do happen, you can pinpoint coming a mile off. Although Quarantine does score some points for originality by using the actual camera to bash to death one of the invading marauders.

Ultimately though this kind of film has been done before (and better by the likes of 28 Days Later) and is no real addition to the genre.

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