Quarantine (2008) starring Jennifer Carpenter, Steve Harris, Jay Hernandez, Johnathon Schaech, Columbus Short, Andrew Fiscella, Rade Serbedzija, Greg Germann, Bernard White directed by John Erick Dowdle Movie Review

Quarantine (2008)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Jennifer Carpenter in Quarantine (2008)


Reporter Angela Vidal (Jennifer Carpenter - Seeking Justice) and her cameraman are on assignment to shadow the fire service in particular Jake (Jay Hernandez - Hostel: Part II) and George (Johnathon Schaech - Angels Fall). After being shown the life in the fire station they get a call to an old apartment block where they find the police are already in attendance when they get there. But shortly after entering they find their exit blocked after the building is put under lock down as a deadly contagion is discovered to be inside leaving Angela and her cameraman having a battle to survive.

As a rule I tend to watch older movies rather than newer ones and that has a benefit when it comes to a recent trend of foreign horror movies being remade in America as usually I won't have watched the foreign movie. I mention that because "Quarantine" is a remake of "[Rec]" the popular Spanish horror movie, a movie which I am yet to watch and so had nothing to judge "Quarantine" against. I don't think it would have made much difference if I has because whilst "Quarantine" wasn't bad it didn't wow me.

Part of the trouble with "Quarantine" is that it employs the first party camera technique where we observe most of the movie from the cameraman's point of view through the lens and so it has this faux documentary style with lots of shaky hand held camera work going on. It is a technique which in truth annoys me because shaky hand held camera stuff is simply annoying and rather than adding to the atmosphere becomes a distraction. But that is not the only thing which distracts as the opening scenes of inside the fire station has an incredibly cheesy side with everything being over played for comedy effect especially when we enter the locker room.

Once you get passed the build up and we enter the locked down apartment block we enter Romero territory as what we have is a group of people stuck in a building where this virus has turned the residents into zombie like creatures. Now not only does that make it seem familiar but when combines with the first person camera work makes it seem a little pointless. Yes there are some frights in there and the effects are not terrible but it makes it just another horror movie. But the whole first person documentary style also has the knock on effect of keeping us at a distance to the characters so that there is no connection with them or concern as to whether they survive or not.

What this all boils down to is that "Quarantine" isn't a terrible horror movie but one which ends up ordinary with nothing which makes you feel like you have to watched it again once it is over.

Tags: Zombie Movies