March 6, 2009
Review - " Quarantine " - (on DVD) By Roland Hansen
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Directed by:John Ericke Dowdle
Starring:Jennifer Carpenter, Steve Harris, Jay Hernadez, Jonathan Schaech,
This film will put you in mind of Cloverfield in that it is shown entirely through a
hand held camera, this time of a news crew shadowing some firemen as they
go through their typical day (think of Cops but less interesting - I imagine they
would have edited the raw footage to something more exciting for their
fictional TV show). It's also VERY much like "28 Days Later". Very similar plot
device but instead of infecting the whole country of England it all takes place in
a single evening in one apartment buidling. I couldn't help feel that the disease
was almost exactly that of "28 Days"
Plot basically tells the story about a young woman who is filming with her
cameraman at a fire station in Los Angeles, when they receive a distress call
from an apartment. They head out, soon make a horrifying discovery regarding
one of the residents and find themselves Quarantined by the government in the
A fairly standard horror flick, like most horror films the people trapped in this one are all idiots (hasn't any of them seen
"Scream"?). Of course they keep going near the infected rather than immediately eradicating them (my god the cops have
guns, shoot these things before they kill you) There are a few frights (not many),and I found the ending to be pretty good.
There was some very good acting by Jennifer Carpenter especially at the end. Carpenter does a great job playing
hysterical women. The rest of the cast was unexceptional but competent. Mostly their performances were believable.
This rabies is scary because it causes disease in minutes instead of in "months" (rabies actually takes 3-8 weeks to develop
in most people). The films incorporates the inherent problem of the disease itself, which seems to frequently shift in its
required incubation period, but is not really a huge impediment for the film as a whole. The opening act which is situated
entirely at the station is both surprisingly involving and witty, and works to some extent as character development. It
provides a few glimpses of some of the main characters and allows the audience to develop some liking and sympathy for
them before getting to the action. This segment concludes with the reporter and cameraman riding along with the crew on a
call involving a paramedic situation (rather than a fire) that even incorporates the nice touch of the cameraman telling the
reporter "I can't slide down that pole with this camera!" and the two detouring to a run down the stairs to jump on the fire
truck. The finale is also pulse-pounding, if not entirely inspired, but lacks the sheer terror.
If you like infection type horror flix see "12 Monkeys" or "28 Days Later" or even "I Am Legend" (Although I would
recommend the original "The Omega Man"). Skip Quarantine. It's OK but no were near as good as the others I mentioned.