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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Far better than the previews would lead you to believe.
Quarantine is a much better movie than its previews would lead you to believe. Previews make it look like people are trapped in an old building with zombies running amok in it. Maybe they came up from the sewers.

In fact it follows a reality TV reporter who is following an LA fire crew on calls. They go to a building when neighbors have reported screams coming...
Published on June 22, 2009 by Graves

versus
31 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quarantine is a [rec]
I apologize for the pun above...I couldn't resist, mostly because it's true on both accounts. Firstly, a brief history lesson. Last year, a Spanish film called [rec] came out to much acclaim in Spain. It quickly traveled most of the Western world, building fans and kudos while systematically scaring the wits out of 99% of people who saw it. Since then, it's been out...
Published on October 15, 2008 by Terry Mesnard


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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Far better than the previews would lead you to believe., June 22, 2009
By 
Graves (Pennsylvania) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Quarantine (DVD)
Quarantine is a much better movie than its previews would lead you to believe. Previews make it look like people are trapped in an old building with zombies running amok in it. Maybe they came up from the sewers.

In fact it follows a reality TV reporter who is following an LA fire crew on calls. They go to a building when neighbors have reported screams coming from the apartment of an old lady. What follows is the outbreak of a savage, mind destroying disease where tenants and first responders find them sealed in with those already infected, by the CDC.

Like Cloverfield and Blair Witch, the film is shot from the single camera view of the reality reporter's camera man. Unlike those films the camera work is clean and does not distract the viewer. Watch the long shot when a call comes as the camera man has to follow the reporter down a hall, a flight of stairs and into a truck and realize it was all done in one take without cuts. The first 20 minutes of the film are the `reality show' walking around the fire house, talking to members of the fire crew and setting the stage by letting you meet the key players in the film. This is clearly the set up but it doesn't feel stilted. You don't feel like saying `get on with it" because you care about the characters. Carpenter, as the on air talent is likeable and believable, going from bubbly on air talent, to real reporter as things turn serious to scared human as she realizes just how deep in they are. And she takes the viewer with her.

Previews make this look like just another zombie film. There are certainly elements of that in Quarantine but for the genre it is so much better than much of the competition. They even have an explanation, scary in how reasonable it is, for what is happening. Is it "Sound of Music?" of course not. It is a horror film, but one in which the director has taken a lot of care to make the whole thing frighteningly possible.
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31 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quarantine is a [rec], October 15, 2008
By 
I apologize for the pun above...I couldn't resist, mostly because it's true on both accounts. Firstly, a brief history lesson. Last year, a Spanish film called [rec] came out to much acclaim in Spain. It quickly traveled most of the Western world, building fans and kudos while systematically scaring the wits out of 99% of people who saw it. Since then, it's been out everywehre in the Western world in either theatres or on DVD.

Everywhere except the United States.

Here, we have Hollywood with the mentality of, "why bring over a perfectly terrifying film when we can remake it in our own language." Consequently, we still don't have [rec] here. But we do have Quarantine. Having seen [rec] and hearing that Quarantine was practically a frame-by-frame remake in some ways, I was curious to see how it'd hold up.

Things began well, with a nice set up that involved some good banter back and forth. The trip to the apartment complex and the realization that something horrible is happening works well. Sure, some scenes have been changed for added gore/shock value, but overall it was a good, if needless, remake. Unfortunately, what I like to call the "Marilyn Burns Effect" happens and ruins the last 1/3 of the movie. Horror aficionados will remember Marilyn as the actress in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. While many hold this film in high regards (and rightly so), Marilyn spends the last 10-20 minutes of the movie running, arms flailing and screaming her head off. Today, reviewing that film, it comes across more humorous than scary.

And unfortunately, that's what happens in Quarantine. Towards the end, you just want to reach through the screen and slap the main character. I could go into a deep discussion of female hysteria in film, especially as it relates to needing a man to calm her down (usually with a slap to the face), but I won't. Needless to say, that stereotype continues in this film, complete with an unsuccessful talking down by her male camera person, and it turns into a self-parody.

I usually enjoy Jennifer Carpenter; I liked her in the Exorcism of Emily Rose and the few episodes I've seen of Dexter, but she just ruins any thrills in the last third of Quarantine. This probably won't surprise anyone, but Quarantine felt like a "hipper," "more stylized" version of [rec], minus the themes introduced at the end and without any creativity. Don't get me wrong, Quarantine isn't a horrible film. It does have a couple decent scares. The problem is that whatever it can do, [rec] can do better. The fear in [rec] is palpable simply because it is simplistic in its presentation. It's a much scarier film. [rec] is, in fact, on my short list of films that have scared me. Quarantine just doesn't cut it. My recommendation is let your wallet do the talking and skip Quarantine for the much superior and terrifying [rec].
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reality TV..., March 19, 2009
This review is from: Quarantine (DVD)
A Los Angeles reporter (Jennifer Carpenter) and her trusty cameraman do an on-site interview w/ the fire department that goes from routine banter to terrifying fight for survival. Carpenter is especially well-suited for her role as perky TV personalty-turned shattered victim of chaotic disaster. She carries a large chunk of the movie. The camerawork goes from controlled to frantic to insane! The horror builds slowly, allowing us to have some fun and get to know the characters (a bit) before plunging us into increasing anarchy. There are some memorable, heart-freezing moments in QUARANTINE that stick w/ me, like the old lady, the little girl, and that firefighter w/ the broken leg! Brrrr! Enjoy...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly effective horror flick. Gave me a good scare or two., October 14, 2008
By 
RMurray847 (Albuquerque, NM United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
QUARANTINE, I'll tell you right here, is better than I would have expected (or hoped). It provided some genuine "jump-in-your-seat" moments and there is no doubt my heart was racing during much of it. It is a pure formula film, almost totally unoriginal...yet it also shows that competent execution is so much a part of the success of a film, particularly in a genre like horror.

This is another one of those "Point of View" (POV) films, where we see it all, unedited, through the lens of a camera (CLOVERFIELD and DIARY OF THE DEAD being recent examples). This technique allows for some sloppiness of editing, lighting, and even continuity. It saves, no doubt, a great deal on a film's budget. However, it also requires the film to be effective without the use of a musical soundtrack and frequently requires some very lengthy takes, in which a major mistake by an actor or in the realm of special effects would call for an entire scene to be run again from the top. I'm not suggesting such film techniques are technical marvels...but they have their own requirements that make the difficult. As much fun as BLAIR WITCH PROJECT was when it came out (we'd not seen a film like it before), the movies that have come since using the POV method have really jumped ahead in terms of what they can do. CLOVERFIELD, of course, was heavily computer enhanced after filming (unless I'm much mistaken, the monster destroying NYC was not real)...but QUARANTINE is much more down and dirty. (I also acknowledge that it was a remake of a foreign film entitled REC, which I've read was also very good, even superior, but I have not seen it, so I can only comment on my experience seeing QUARANTINE.)

We begin one evening in front of a fire station. TV reporter Jennifer Carpenter (EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE and TV's "Dexter"), speaking to the camera, tells us that she's going to be spending a evening riding along with a fire crew. We see the raw footage she and her photographer put together...joking with the firemen, sliding down the pole, asking silly questions. We can already picture in our heads what her editing piece will end up like...complete fluff, but making us feel good about the firemen protecting our city. But then she and her two man fire crew are called to an apartment building because a woman inside is sick. They rush into this old, run-down building, where two policeman have arrived ahead of them. They reach the old woman's apartment to find her standing there, foaming at the mouth, breathing heavily and unresponsive to their questions. And as we expect, in a sudden burst of action, she attacks her rescuers, going for the throat. Chaos ensues.

Then the folks inside the apartment, including the inevitably motley crew of residents, discover that they have been sealed inside the building by a heavily armed CDC crew. Thus, they have also been sealed inside with an ever growing number of infected "zombies." (It's not strictly a zombie movie...the "monsters" are sort of combinations of George Romero's zombies and Danny Boyle's "infected" from 28 DAYS LATER.)

The movie plays out in a fairly predictable fashion. You can almost predict the order in which folks will fall victim. You know where the next attack is coming from. You want to yell at the characters for doing stupid things.

But you are also drawn into the predicament. Part of this is the POV technique. It does often make you feel immersed in the action. The sound editing is excellent as well, whether it's the frightened breathing of the cameraman, the sounds of struggles two stories below or the screams of people standing just out of view. While we see plenty of attacks, blood, and some gore...there is also a lot that happens off-screen as well...allowing our imaginations to run wild. For example, in one scene, an unfortunate resident comes up in an elevator. As he prepares to step out, a "zombie" dog rushes at him and begins to attack. The man falls back into the elevator and the dog follows. The doors close, and those who try to help the man are unable to reopen them. We hear what's happening behind the door...and I'm sure what we imagine is as savage and bloody as anything the filmmakers would show us. It's gruesome and unsettling.

Overall, the film is well-acted by a bunch of unknown performers. Most of the performers do a good job of seeming like ordinary guys. I'm sure much of the dialogue was partially improvised.

Let me discuss "star" Jennifer Carpenter in particular, though. I've read some reviews accusing her of the most atrocious overacting. Clearly, her performance just didn't work for some folks. For me, however, she was quite effective. She gives a performance that towards the end is almost...well, the only word I can come up with is "rococo." She plays a somewhat vapid but fairly determined reporter, eager to catch everything on film, and frankly, somewhat removed from the reality of what is happening. Then, after a particularly scary encounter, she is struck with the realization that this is REAL, it is happening to HER and there is a very, very strong chance she will die soon. She goes into full throttle panic. Whimpering, jumpy in the extreme, hyper-ventilating, etc. She shows no bravery, and comes to rely on the pool of light from the video camera as her only connection to sanity and safety. We are not used to seeing a main character in a film lose such total control over herself. I don't want to say it is a "daring" performance, but to me, it's what helped to elevate the film beyond the norm. It does make her somewhat passive in what transpires, because she's such a quivering mound of jello...but it also struck me as somewhat believable. She seems, frankly, properly traumatized. And I certainly caught no whiff of giggles from a heavily teen-aged audience. I think we all instinctively felt that her pants-wetting terror was a very believable reaction.

QUARANTINE is a "cheapie" genre flick...no question. But it was made with competence, commitment and no hint of irony. It is scary, fast-moving and involving. It left me sweating. If a good, scary thrill is what you're looking for...I can heartily recommend QUARANTINE. It's nice to say that about a horror film!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tense and chilling horror film..., February 23, 2009
This review is from: Quarantine (DVD)
I really liked "Quarantine" despite the number of people who bash it. Yes, it's an example of a serious and debilitating problem in the US horror movie genre right now in that it's a remake of another movie. I'm sure most horror fans like myself are tired of seeing unnecessary remakes of classic horror movies we've already seen and are ready to see some original stories being written. However, when the film in question is a remake of a foreign-language film and it sticks to the original concept and story, then I don't have so much of a problem. And so it is with "Quarantine".

Yes, it's a remake of the Spanish movie [*REC]. Since the two films are almost identical, I prefer this one since I don't have to take my eyes off the action to read subtitles. "Quarantine" is a claustrophobic, tense, and chilling little film and I enjoyed it very, very much. Jennifer Carpenter put in a great performance, as did the rest of the cast, and if you enjoy good horror movies you will enjoy this one. Is it a milestone in the horror film genre? No. But then again, milestones are few and far between, hence the term. I *can* tell you that "Quarantine" is the most memorable horror film I've seen since it premiered in US theaters and pretty much kept me on the edge of my seat once things kicked into gear.

My only qualm with the DVD release is the price. $19.95 for a single edition DVD with so few extras? Come on... Not cool, guys.

Cheers

B
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scary, intense, yet somewhat lacking., February 26, 2009
This review is from: Quarantine (DVD)
What if you were locked inside your home by the government in order to contain some sort of terrible plague? Scary huh? Well what if you were locked inside your home with dozens of angry flesh eating zombies? Eww, now THAT'S scary. Such is the premise of Quarantine, a zombie film that pays homage to the new age of first person camera views ala "Blair Witch Project" and "Cloverfield" while also managing to pay tribute to classic and modern zombie films such as "28 Days Later" and Romero's original classic, "Night of the Living Dead."

A film crew from a local LA news station is shadowing a group of firemen when they get sent to an apartment complex. Everything seems routine until an old woman in one of the apartments becomes extremely violent, biting a police officer in the neck and throwing a firefighter three stories off a balcony. Shortly after the CDC arrives and barricades the doors in the apartment complex, sealing them in. Outside the windows soldiers are stationed with orders to shoot on sight anyone attempting to leave the building. The complex's dozen or so inhabitants, along with the news crew, firemen, and police, are trapped in the dark, and the disease is spreading quickly.

All us zombie buffs remember Romero's miserably failed attempt to bring the first person camera experience to the zombie genera with "Diary of the Dead." It would seem the master who created the zombie genera may not have been cut out for the first person perspective. His film had numerous problems, from far too many cuts, idiotic use of music, to unlikable and unbelievable characters. Quarantine, fortunately, has far more in common in terms of style with "Cloverfield" then it does with Romero's failed movie. The initial confusion, the mounting dread, anger, despair, and the final chaos are portrayed very will in this film. Rarely do the scares seem gimmicky, and unlike in other first person films it actually makes sense that they don't just put the camera down. Here it's not just for documenting the events, it's also used as a weapon and a primary light source since the power is shut off in the complex rather early on. Plus, since the complex is rather small and confined there aren't that many places to run anyway so ditching it would cause more harm then good. Dare I say, but I think Quarantine may have just solved the most pressing problem first person films had. Kudos.

Any zombie buff worth his salt can spot the homage's to classic zombie films. The dark confined space with the hysteric female lead and strong black character is very reminiscent of Night of the Living Dead, while the zombies themselves (okay, for you purists out there, the `infected') share a lot of characteristics with the zombies of 28 Days Later (virus very much like rabies transmitted through infected bodily fluid not limited just through biting), in both looks and movements. Piercing red eyes, quick jerky movements, snarling, throwing up blood, show signs of starvation in extreme cases, etc. Not just gross looking and fun to watch, but also extremely scary, much more so I'd say then the treatment they were given in 28 Days Later or any other recent zombie films including Romero's two most recent films. What really makes these zombies scary though is the fact that you know all of them. There aren't that many people in the apartment complex, so when you see an infected person running after the camera you know exactly who it is. Their not just random people you've never seen before, that girl coming after you is the little girl they interviewed earlier, or that skinny white guy who was fighting to go back up to his room earlier. The film doesn't give you many names, but it still gives one chills to see someone you were talking to ten minutes ago run after you trying to bite your flesh off.

Unfortunately this movie is not without its share of flaws. Although the question of why they don't just drop the camera and run is solved in this film, what the man holding the camera chooses to film is this films big question mark. Hell, when you've got night vision on your camera, and you're in the middle of a pitch black room with a zombie that's looking for you, wouldn't it be smart to keep your eye on the zombie instead of the hysterical woman next to you? You know, just in case it hears you and decides to come after you? These problems persisted throughout the film and can really take the viewer out of the moment, and when that happens all the strengths of the first person view go flying out the window.

Plus if you liked the subtle dry humor of Cloverfield you can forget about it. There is absolutely NO humor at all in this film, no funny wise cracks, no sarcastic witty character, no slightly scary yet humorous situations, just straight up horror the whole way through from the time they leave the station to the time the credits role. Which might be a good thing for you, but speaking personally, I liked the humor in Cloverfield, I liked the subtle sarcasm. Sometimes you need that in a film, there's only so much flesh eating zombie carnage you can watch before you start thinking the film takes itself a little too seriously. But hey, don't listen to me; I after all am one of the few people who actually liked Land of the Dead which apparently means I'm not to be trusted. Oh well.

So what's the verdict? Mix a little bit of Cloverfield with a tad of 28 Days Later and a good helping of Night of the Living Dead, and you get Quarantine. Sound like a good time? You bet, but don't expect a masterpiece, these days masterpieces in the zombie genera are hard to come by. But hey, you take what you can get, and in this case you get one really fun, if somewhat flawed, zombie flick.

Replay value; high.

Movies to see if you liked this (besides the ones already mentioned).
*Dawn of the Dead.
*Day of the Dead.
*Dawn of the Dead remake.
*28 Weeks Later.
*Return of the Living Dead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but a shot-by-shot remake of the Spanish [REC], January 27, 2011
This review is from: Quarantine (DVD)
A film team led by reporter Angela Vidale [Jennifer Carpenter] follows a fire crew for the night as part of a documentary for a light news show. When they get a call out, it's not to a fire, but a woman in distress. So begins a night of terror; the woman, and many other residents of the apartment building are infected with a virus that acts like rabies, but develops much faster. The infected foam at the mouth and are incredibly aggressive. As the night progresses, and the infection explodes, the film team must fight off the infected monsters to survive. What makes Quarantine interesting is that it is shot entirely from the viewpoint of the cameraman, Scott [Steve Harris]. It would be quite inventive if it were not a shot-for-shot remake of the Spanish film [REC].

Still, well worth seeing, but I'd advise seeing [REC] first.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some real scares and an interesting approach ..., October 19, 2008
... can't overcome bad storytelling.

I have a real problem with movies that have to spell everything out, and this one does -- literally. On a wall full of newspaper clippings, we are spoon-fed the ultimately ridiculous premise behind Quarantine. I won't spill the beans here, but it's a humdinger.

What I did like about the film was its genuine ability to provoke claustrophobic scares (much better than the critics' darling, The Descent), and a lead performance by Jennifer Carpenter that, for once, carries the consistent hysteria you expect from someone in such a crazy situation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ALL HYPE, June 26, 2010
This review is from: Quarantine (DVD)
This is over hyped rubbish with one of those stupid low budget hand held cameras. Here is a spoiler for you. That picture on the cover and that lone movie clip they show you is the last scene in the movie. It was just starting to pick up and it is over. If you enjoyed the suspense aspect of the movie and the idea of an unknown horror, but failed to loved the bad documentary style, I might suggest "The Possession of David Reilly."
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remake, or the exact same movie with new people?, August 9, 2012
This review is from: Quarantine (Amazon Instant Video)
I'm not the kind of person to throw a fit over movie remakes. Some are good, some are bad. [REC] is one of my favorite modern horror movies since it practically came out of nowhere and managed to keep me interested every step of the way. I didn't know Quarantine was a remake of it until a few months ago (I pretty much ignored Quarantine when it first came out), so I finally gave it a shot to see how it stacked up against the original. Rather than saying that [REC] is better in every single way, I'll simply tell you that Quarantine is nearly a scene-for-scene remake of the original. As a result, I was getting bored with the movie about 1/3 of the way through. The only thing that really surprised me was a little bit more gore than what the original had, but that was it. If you've never seen [REC], then Quarantine should be a nice surprise. And hey, if you're one of those people that hates to "read movies", this one doesn't have subtitles.

Quarantine is a 'found footage' horror movie, shot by a news cameraman who followed news reporter Angela Vidal during a segment that showed the daily life of firefighters in the city. Angela interviews the firemen, sees the different rooms in the station, finds out what they do in their free time at work, and even finds out a dirty little bet one of them has that involves her. After some time, the alarm sounds and they head off to an apartment building where an old woman seems to be having some kind of strange problem. Angela follows the firemen and police officer to the woman's room as they try to calm her down and take care of the situation. After a couple of minutes, the woman takes a bite out of a man's neck and it's clear that she's more than disturbed. Along with the firemen, Angela and her cameraman are locked in the building with several of the residents, including a mother and he young daughter, without any explanation. Even the police officer doesn't know what's going on and isn't getting any information. Time goes by, and more people begin to act violent, attacking the others. How do you survive while being locked inside a dark building with no way out? Breaking a window and climbing out isn't an option either- as military personnel have the building surrounded and are quick to take down anyone they can see. What's going on here?

The title of the movie kind of gives away what the main problem is, and it's also the one whole difference between [REC] and Quarantine. I won't say much as to not spoil either movie, but where [REC] had a plot involving the Vatican, that's nowhere to be found here. Everything else is nearly identical to the original- even Angela's outfit towards the end! Not that I'm complaining about that one...but this is why I can't really give the movie a low rating. How can you give a lower rating to something that's essentially a translated version of something else? All the scares are still here, from a sudden drop to frantic chases. It may not have surprised me at all this time around, but again, if you never saw the original and this one is more accessible, then you'll probably get something out of it and enjoy it.

I will say that my major complaint with Quarantine is that this movie's Angela Vidal is nowhere near as cool as the original's. Here, she's basically just there for us to follow around since the cameraman works with her. Original Angela had no problem taking charge and standing up for herself. To be blunt, this movie's star is boring. The cameraman is ok, but his camerawork seems to lack dynamic too. The funny thing is that here we get to see a bit more than what was shown in [REC] as far as the gore and violence goes, partially due to the lightning and angles. Apart from Angela's average performance, the rest of the acting was above average, though the apartment residents don't get much screen time, and the ones that do aren't the most interesting ones.

It seems like I have more complaints than pros to say about Quarantine, but that's just because I saw it after the original, which I've seen several times. Quarantine is still a fine horror movie that isn't a toned down version of the original. I just wish it wasn't nearly the exact same movie, and had done something new apart from the major plot point that gets revealed later on. From what I've heard, the sequel is a little better since it's more of a standalone movie, and isn't a remake of [REC]2. I'll give it a shot.
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Quarantine
Quarantine by John Erick Dowdle (DVD - 2009)
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