Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Movie Reviews: QUARANTINE
Television reporter Angela Vidal (Jennifer Carpenter) and her cameraman (Steve Harris) are assigned to spend the night shift with a Los Angeles Fire Station. After a routine 911 call takes them to a small apartment building, they find police officers already on the scene in response to blood curdling screams coming from one of the apartment units. They soon learn that a woman living in the building has been infected by something unknown. After a few of the residents are viciously attacked, they try to escape with the news crew in tow, only to find that the CDC has quarantined the building. Phones, internet, televisions 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.
Cast: Jennifer Carpenter, Steve Harris, Jay Hernandez, Johnathon Schaech, Columbus Short
Director: John E. Dowdle
Opened October 10, 2008.
Runtime: 1 hr. 29 min.
Rated R for bloody violence and disturbing content, terror and language.
Genres: Horror, Psychological Thriller, Sci-Fi Horror
Quarantine isn’t the type of movie that will redefine the horror genre but that doesn’t mean it’s not a solid piece of horror. Shot in the first person, this film doesn’t break any new ground. It travels through some very familiar territory, the aforementioned first person aspect, the female protagonist and what amounts to a zombie movie. This film works because it gives you an interesting and sometime thrilling ride that is as fun as it is short. Director John Dowdle delivers a nearly shot for shot remake, sans the ending, of the Spanish film REC. Fun little techniques like using the camera as weapon and action flying by you is just great fun. Once the film moves past the intitai getting to know stages it really takes off, hitting a downright frenetic pace during it’s most inspired moments. The cast is game and delivers fairly solid performances. In the lead, Jennifer Carpenter is likeable and believable for the better part of the film. Sadly, as it heads into the home stretch Carpenter’s character degrades into screaming whimpering mess. Her character goes from being sympathetic to simply grating, mainly because the transition is lighting quick, one second she’s composed the next she’s a mess. Steve Harris does fairly well as the voice holding the camera, giving a believable performance throughout. Jay Hernandez is also solid as the firefighter left in the chaos trying to find a way to survive. The rest of the cast is there for fleeting moments before they become fodder for the film’s resident infection. Bloody gory and pretty damn enjoyable Quarantine is a thrilling little ride that really didn’t deserve having some of its better moments ruined by the advertising. This may not be not the most original piece of film making but enough of it works to keep it enjoyable throughout.