Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I'd actually been waiting to see Quarantine (2008) for over a month now. It's been at the top of my Netflix queue but I kept getting everything except.

I've recently seen a few movies that use the same hand held cam effect - Diary of the Dead and Zombie Diaries. I did not care for either one of them at all. I did enjoy Cloverfield more than I thought I would, but if you put all three of them up against Quarantine, they would all fail miserably in my eyes. I'm not saying it's the next best horror movie, but I did enjoy it quite a bit.
Here is a movie that the hand held shaky cam thing actually worked and was believable, IMHO.

Quarantine is an American remake of the Spanish film [rec], which I have not seen but have heard very good things about.
It centers around a reporter, Angela (Jennifer Carpenter of The Exorcism of Emily Rose and also Dexter) who, with her camera man Scott (Steve Harris) has been assigned to follow the L.A. Fire Department for the evening shift. They meet two firefighters, Jake (Jay Hernandez of Hostel fame) and Fletcher (Johnathon Schaech) who they are assigned to shadow.
After some friendly banter between the guys and Angela, a call finally comes in and they are off to a scene.

They arrive at an apartment building where according to police on scene and the Russian super, one of the tenants - a woman - had been screaming like crazy but is now gone silent. They proceed to the apartment in question and find Mrs. Espinoza, gasping for breath, bleeding, and foaming at the mouth. They try reasoning with her (?) and she becomes violent, biting one of the officers in the neck (and I'm not talking Dracula here, I'm talking Dawn of the Dead).
Things go downhill from there. Way downhill.

The next thing you know, the CDC is outside and they completely barricade and close off the entire building, refusing to let anyone in - or out.
Victims start piling up and the veterinarian that lives there, after examining the bodies, comes to the conclusion that the bodies are showing all the symptoms of rabies. So if you get any body fluids (blood or otherwise) on you - or should I say in you - you're pretty much f***ed.
You can't just get shots and forget about it, rabies diagnosed after symptoms show is a death sentence.

The two firefighters, Jake and Fletcher try to gather all the tenants together on the lower floor, so they start searching apartments and have more run ins with zombie-type infectious freaks. Quite cool.
Fletcher falls from the top floor after being bitten, smacking his head off the floor. Not good. He doesn't die right away, so you can see where this is going. People are bitten left and right and so much screeching and shrieking from people who are either infected or on their way there.

Naturally, Angela and her camera guy are getting all of this on film, and it truly is almost like watching a documentary. A really intense, rather frightening, documentary.
Angela interviews some of the tenants, including a little girl who is apparently sick with what her mother calls 'bronchitis'. Through some further prodding, Angela finds out the little girl's dog was taken to the vet that day because he was sick.
When one of the CDC agents finally comes inside to take blood samples, it is learned that an animal clinic nearby was infected by rabies and the source dog apparently came from that very apartment complex.

The tension just keeps escalating throughout. When we are finally down to just three people, and then down to the two that you assume are going to be there at the end, the camera shakes more than ever and to be honest, I felt a bit queasy at that point.

Something that really, REALLY does bother me about Quarantine is that when the movie came out and the trailers were up on tv, the creepiest scene - the one with the girl (Carpenter) being pulled backward while she screams (also on the DVD cover) - I waited 88 minutes for than particular scene.
What I'm saying is: when you start watching this movie, you already know how it's going to end because you've seen the trailer.
Thankfully, it's fun to watch the 'getting there' parts in between...

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