Quarantine

Dir. John Erick Dowdle; Writ. John Erick Dowdle, Drew Dowdle; Star. Jennifer Carpenter, Steve Harris, Jay Hernandez.

A terrifying, primal faux-verite in vein with the contagious insaninty of 28 days later.

Quarantine is the American remake hot off the heels of its 2007 Spanish predecessor, REC. It chronicles the night of an anchorwoman and her cameraman covering a human interest piece at the Los Angeles Fire Department. When the LAFD gets called in to help a sickly, unresponsive old lady, the news team tags along to the timeworn apartment building. The routine medical extradition unravels quickly, and all the tenets, servicemen, and news team are barricaded in the building. Their footage becomes a last testament and unhuman interest piece (awful joke).

In the current film landscape, Quarantine deserves to be appreciated. 2008 isn’t a great year for Horror fans. It’s October and there are two choices: Quarantine and Saw V. Fortunately, Quarantine is legitimately frightful.

It relies on very few cheap parlor tricks. Quarantine doesn’t rot with computer generated prostitution. The thrills and chills are still there, but they’re born out of claustrophobia, nosophobia, and paranoia.

With a pseudo-documentary, there is the persistent question of the camera’s presence being sound, a “If the shit is hitting the fan, why don’t you ditch the camera?” Quarantine does a pretty good job answering it. In relation to such a question I would rate the movie as Cloverfield > Quarantine > Blair Witch Project.

Quarantine has some great exploitation scenes. A glimmer of gore here, a glimpse of increased nudity there. A true salute to the heritage of horror and zombies.

No huge qualms with this film. The end is cliche and breaks a few cardinal zombie movie rules. Still, it’s fantastic up to that point.

A-

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