Movie: "Quarantine"
Year: 2008
Rated: R
Genre: Horror
Directed by: John Erick Dowdle
Writing credits: Jaume Balagueró, Luis Berdejo, Paco Plaza, Drew Dowdle, John Erick Dowdle

Reviewer: -RoG-
Posted: 10/15/2009

Plot: A remake of a 2007 Spanish horror film entitled "[Rec]". A reporter gets confined in an apartment complex that has been quarantined along with some other people. As she films a story about how they're not allowed to leave, some dark secrets about the place are revealed.

Review: Jennifer Carpenter is best known these days for her role as "Deb", Dexter Morgan's sister on "Dexter". Rather than playing a detective like she does on TV, she's playing an investigative reporter and she's basically stuck in the center of a story that's more than she can handle.

They're quarantined inside a building and there's absolutely no communication with the outside world. On top of that, there's very little light (of course) to make things extra nerve-wrecking for everybody involved. Some people have been getting sick, showing up with wounds and foaming at the mouth, and the people stuck inside believe it may be rabies. They quickly realize this isn't the case when some of the tenants infected with the virus are turning into bloodthirsty zombies.

The entire movie is shown from the perspective of the camera man, and while the quality of the footage is better than that of a typical handheld camera, it's still done in the same shaky nature of films such as "The Blair Witch Project" and "Cloverfield". Obviously, when anything horrific happens, it gets extra shaky. So if you're not into that kind of POV camera action, I'd recommend steering clear of the film. Considering all the shaky camera action and random flashes of light, this is definitely one movie that would destroy your average epileptic.

Jennifer Carpenter handles the role of an increasingly terrified reporter well, but what surprised me was the lack of screen time for Rade Serbedzija. Rade is a damned fine actor and I definitely would've liked to see more of him in it.

Having not seen the Spanish horror film "[Rec]" that this remake was based on, I can't really compare this one to it, but most people who seem to agree that the original version is superior (no big shocker there). Still, as a movie that I just happened to catch on TV late night, it held my attention enough to watch the whole thing, which is more than I can say about a lot of POV-style movies (and remakes for that matter). It's decent enough to catch late night if you're in the mood for a horror flick, but I wouldn't recommend actually spending money on purchasing or even renting it. If you're genuinely interested in seeing this story, you're probably better off watching "[Rec]" instead.

Overall rating: WholeWhole
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

drifting in the void
Oct 15th, 2009, 05:04 AM
The thing is, this "Remake" is completely unnecessary since it more an exact copy than a remake, the only thing thatīs different is the country it takes place in, thatīs all, everything else is almost 1:1 copied. And come on...do you really need to shoot the same movie again one year after the original?

That said, I thought [Rec] was still better, since it was the original and the main actress was a lot more likeable.
With More Yes Than Ever
Oct 15th, 2009, 07:40 AM
I wish people would stop with the camcorder thing. It's no longer original, and it was never good. This movie reminded me of Diary of the Dead, which is not a good thing.
Forum Virgin
Oct 15th, 2009, 10:08 AM
Actually, I think this movie handled the POV-style better than Cloverfield, Diary, or Blair Witch by far. I can't exactly describe it, but it seemed a bit more realistic. To be honest, I was scared shitless during Quarantine not just from a "jump at ya out of nowhere" perspective. I thought the atmosphere was eerie as hell - almost like the apartment complex in Silent Hill 2.

And the zombie toddler ruled, as zombie toddlers are wont to do.
I am Johnny Luchador
Oct 15th, 2009, 02:52 PM
oh come on guys, This movie had the hot chick from Dexter in it. You know you watched it just to stare at her. That's the only reason I put up with it.
lurking on the walls
Oct 15th, 2009, 04:08 PM
it reminded me of Diary of the dead for all the main footage being from the camera operator. The only thing I could think of was that DAMN COMMENT "IF IT DIDN'T HAPPEN ON CAMERA IT'S LIKE IT DIDN'T HAPPEN" that was basically ingrained from that movie... now the fun part is whispering your own lines while watching the movie.
Cranberry Everything
Oct 15th, 2009, 06:31 PM
My brother and his wife had been trying to get me to watch this for almost a year. Finally about a month ago, they came over and forced me to watch it. Even under those conditions, I still enjoyed it a fair amount. The "man-boob" guy was pretty creepy. And the shaky-cam wasn't as bad as some of the others I've seen.

This movie is definitely best enjoyed in the insomniac hours. As pointed out by -RoG-.
Oct 16th, 2009, 01:59 AM
A remake is absolutely necessary in this case (gasp! did I say that?). [Rec] is in spanish, we speak english, you can't enjoy a fast-paced horror film while trying to read subtitles. Enough said. In fact this is the ONLY reason to do a remake... if a film isn't in english, cause let's face it, most of the world speaks english and hollywood has better production values. The problem is it's just your standard zombie flick, only it's a low-budget zombie flick so they have to be confined to a single building. Not that good in any form but certainly watchable. I guess I'm saying it isn't scifi movie bad by any means, but that isn't saying much.
Ranting Swede
Oct 16th, 2009, 02:06 AM
they arent even waiting to make remakes are they? its only been two years since the original came out.. two years!!

Next thing we know they will be remaking Let the right one in, or Child's Play, or The Orphanage, or The Monster Squad!!


Dammit all to hell, Hollywood is trying to kill us all.

drifting in the void
Oct 16th, 2009, 02:58 AM
Wait. Rec didnīt come out in english? Honestly? I thought if they made a german version there would be an english one for sure. Didnīt know that, interesting.

But...they DID make an english dub for Let the right one in, right?
Ranting Swede
Oct 16th, 2009, 01:16 PM
actually the dvd for [Rec] has an option for english audio, so whoever said that they remade it simply for the spanish thing is a moron. Also most of the world does not speak english. This is just another example of Hollywood completely screwing with us.

So RoG, when is your zombie movie finally coming out?
Pickled Patriarch
Oct 16th, 2009, 04:26 PM
narcolepticsloth - I need an investor for it. Somebody to fund the whole kit 'n kaboodle, because getting 1-5 dollar donations through the site doesn't raise nearly enough cashola to do a professional film. If anybody knows an investor who'd like to fund a zombie movie of mine, just have them email me, because I'd absolutely love to get a project like that off the ground.
Forum Virgin
Oct 16th, 2009, 06:24 PM
Not really sure what they were thinking remaking this movie if they could have just shilled out the original, although I thought it was entertaining. My only guess is that they didnt think they could really market a foriegn horror movie. I mean, Let the Right one in, only got to where it is now based on word of mouth really.

And Howard,just because a movie doesnt have more then one location doesn't automatically mean it was a small budget film (even though in this case it does). Being confined to one place gives a sense of being trapped right along with the people in the movie. It builds suspense. Ramero did it with Night of the Living dead. Who ever made Phone Booth did it with Phone Booth. Hell they did it with 12 Angry Men Back in the day.

Hollywood may have "production values" but that doesn't stop it from ruining a movie. Call it director failure, call it bad acting, whatever.. It just happens. Just because its a standard zombie flick with a low budget doesn't mean it needed to come off bad. Take Paranormal Activity, it was made for $15,000 and was shot at the directors house. 1 location + low budget + good directing/acting= amazing movie in that case. Hollywood could learn a thing or two from that.
Ranting Swede
Oct 16th, 2009, 07:49 PM
well as soon as I befriend an eccentric billionaire that will let go a couple million dollars, I'll try pointing him in your direction..
taco loving zombie
Oct 16th, 2009, 10:44 PM
if anyone cares the sequel to rec is out i dunno maybe try downloading it if you can't find it on cinemas i didn't liked any of the two versions though so i don't really care
Oct 17th, 2009, 10:05 AM
What is with all the remakes.
Ranting Swede
Oct 17th, 2009, 05:43 PM
though, after watching [Rec] I would have to say that the poster and trailer for Quarantine totally gives away the ending...what a bummer..
Oct 18th, 2009, 04:44 AM
Guys I'm aware that [Rec] came out in english dub, but that's even worse than subtitles because then it becomes a godzilla/jackie chan deal where you can never get into the story because it's funny where the characters voices don't sync with their lips. The only successful dubbing I've ever seen is in the rhealm of anime and it's far easier seeing as how the lip movements are simple. I'm in no way saying the american version is superior, I don't know how in the hell you guys got that from what I posted as I said it was just "ok" but it's the only watchable version for an american audience outside of the extreme hardcore fanatic that'll watch anything.

Starscream: Actually a singular location DOES mean that it's a low budget. Every single film you mentioned as your examples had low budgets. Romero is the best example. NOTLD was filmed in a farm house because he was an art student and didn't have any money. The first thing he did when he did have a budget is make his sequels which featured sprawling landscapes full for hundreds of zombies. Even if the bulk of the two films were in enclosed spaces, they were in enclosed spaces that were large and enpensive to shoot in. You would be hard pressed to find a small, single location film that wasn't filmed in that way due to budget concerns.

I'm not a moron sloth that fact that I don't go around insulting people for no real reason attests to that fact unlike yourself. There are more constructive ways to correct someone even though it should be apparent at this point that I WAS aware of the dub, it just isn't worth mentioning.

And sorry to misinform you but most of the world DOES speak english. It is the primary language of the planet due to the influce of both america and the old english empires. I never said it was the PRIMARY language of any given country, but it's almost always the second language. I find it rather ironic that the "Ranting Swede" is trying to convince us that foreigners don't speak english.

Quarantine isn't a remake btw, it's an "Americanization." This started with the grudge and has become very popular. I'm not saying it's a good thing or a bad thing, but we can't put them in the same category because in most cases they aren't trying to "improve" or "reimagine" the films, rather they simply try to adapt the story to something the english speaking world can better understand. This is a very old hollywood tradition that started with Dracula, which was almost simultaniously filmed in spanish as it as beign filmed in english. Even though the same set pieces and general storyline was used, the spanish version is considered by many fans to be the SUPERIOR version. Why? Well the us version shot of the day and the spanish version shot at night. The spanish team took advantage of this and looked at the english dailys and tried to improve on technical aspects of the film. The ending even turned out completely different. Still though the english version is best selling because, well more people speak english than spanish in the modernized world. So this example supports both my points in that a langauge reshoot can turn out to be superior and that english speaking films always sell better.

All this arguing is a moot point anyway as both versions of Quarantine suck. It's like arguing over which piece of shit smells the best.
Ranting Swede
Oct 18th, 2009, 11:24 AM
that last point of yours seems to be a personal opinion since many people believe Rec to be a great movie.

The dubbing job for Rec was actually decent, it didnt feel like i was watching an old godzilla movie at all, you seem to forget that Spanish is a way easier language to translate than Japanese. The voice actors did a really great job in conveying the emotions of the characters in the movie and managed to not turn Rec into a parody of itself. And the fact that it includes a decent dubbing really makes the remake seem that much more pointless.

with the grudge or the ring I can understand why they would want to "Americanize" it, but they really had no reason to for REC. And they didnt even do a decent job of "Americanizing" it since it was basically a shot for shot remake (with few exceptions) of REC.

Im not sure which one is selling better, I know more people interested in REC than Quarantine and are having a hard time getting their hands on a copy of it, whether it be because its not distributed as well as its American counterpart (which is usually the only reason why Quarantine would make more) or because most rental places have all their copies checked out. Probably the first since foreign films arent usually accepted as well, and since America has the "Buy American" mentality..

In no way is Quarantine superior to Rec. Wait... it does star that chick from Dexter... So that about evens it out then I suppose? :P
Oct 18th, 2009, 11:32 PM
Mockery: I posted the article about the guy who made a zombie movie in the perspective of the zombie for like a budget of under $50 bucks with all volunteers found on myspace and shit and was successfully having it picked up for distribution at Cannes

its possible to do with the right idea