The Blog Lagoon’s 31 Days of Halloween – Day 11: Quarantine (2008) Reviewed

quarantine_monsterQUARANTINE (2008)
Will the horror movie industry ever tire of the ol’ “found footage” gimmick made popular by The Blair Witch Project? Probably not, and that would be okay if every movie that employed it did so as efficiently and competently as director, John Erick Dowdle (who also directed the superior Poughkeepsie Tapes, which also employs the “found footage” gimmick).  Quarantine, the US remake of the Spanish-made [REC], chronicles a single night via footage shot for a low-concept reality show in which a chirpy hostess, Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter), spends the night at a firehouse to document what goes on over the course of a typical evening. She gets more than she’d hoped for (but some amazing footage!) when she tags along for an emergency call to a small apartment building that is not, in fact, on fire. As first responders, the firefighters are greeted inside by a collection of (authentic-seeming) characters who are very concerned about the screaming they hear coming from a woman’s apartment upstairs. Before long we realize that an outbreak of some sort is turning the building’s residents into screaming, rabid, cannibals (!) and what’s worse, the firefighters have been locked in with the building residents by authorities who seem to know exactly what’s going on inside.  The word “zombie” is never uttered, but we know what’s up. Clocking in at a tight 90 minutes, Quarantine‘s pacing is what makes it effective. Very little time is wasted and the movie somehow still finds a way to shoehorn in an explanation (which may or may not be an eyeroller, based on your talent for suspending disbelief) that I’ve read is absent from [REC].  The gore is rationed out with a steady hand, but when it starts flowing, you won’t be disappointed. A cast of relative unknowns do a respectable job at maintaining a believability you won’t find in George Romero’s similar Diary of the Dead. There are no big surprises here, but with its economical running time, and intense performances, Quarantine is likely to please most horror fans.
**1/2

~ by Number5ive on October 11, 2009.

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