QUARANTINE: Nauseating Horror Remake
QUARANTINE (sci-fi thriller)
Cast: Jennifer Carpenter, Steve Harris, Jay Hernandez, Johnathon Schaech and Columbus Short
Director: John Erick Dowdle
Time: 88 mins
Rating: * * 1/2 (out of 4)
WARNING: If you had sat through 'Cloverfield' without feeling nauseated by the jerky hand-held camera movements, you will probably enjoy the same sort of 'thrills' in 'Quarantine'. However, if you are prone to motion sickness, avoid this film or take a sea-sick pill two hours before catching this movie.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT? 'Quarantine' is an English-language remake of the 2007 Spanish horror film [Rec] (as in 'Record') by directors Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza. It is about TV news reporter Angela Vidal (Jennifer Carpenter, pictured) and her cameraman (Steve Harris as Scott) being assigned to do an in-depth feature on the night shift at a Los Angeles Fire Station.
When a routine 911 call takes them to a small apartment building, they find police officers already on the scene. They soon learn that a woman in the building has been infected by some unknown malady. After a few of the residents are viciously attacked, they try to escape, only to find that the building has been quarantined. Their phones, Internet, and cell phone access have been cut-off, and officials are not relaying information to those locked inside. When the quarantine is finally lifted, the only evidence of what took place is the news crew's videotape.
PLUSES & MISSES: I have not seen the Spanish original but I have read that it was morbidly scary enough to win over some critics in Europe, hence the reason for this movie, I presume. This remake stars a cute and cool Jennifer Carpenter whose playful demeanour serves to disarm us early in the movie. Like a news pro, she manages to keep our attention and sympathy throughout the movie. Jay Hernandez also offers another 'cool guy turns crazy under pressure' perf while the minor cast are passable but not memorable.
If you are into more gory stuff of the same variety, then wait for 'George Romero's Diary Of The Dead' which opens next week (Nov 27).
THE LOWDOWN: Violate this 'Quarantine' order at your own risk!