Just when you think zombies have been done to undeath, how could anyone manage to make another zombie movie with any level of success? I don’t know, but someone has.
I’ve often said that the horror genre is interesting because, these days, it’s really hard to make an original horror film, and yet it’s still pretty easy to make money off one.
“Quarantine” adds a twist to your standard flesh-eating zombie movie that makes it very tense and watchable. A young news reporter is doing a story on the local fire department and follows them on a routine call to an apartment building, where a woman was heard screaming and is supposedly in need of some medical attention. What starts out as routine quickly becomes anything but, as that woman plunges her teeth into a police officer’s neck. And life goes downhill from there.
Soon, the people in the apartment building find themselves locked in by various police and government officials. The officers know something but they aren’t telling. S.W.A.T. has arrived and they aren’t letting anyone out of the building and they have guns to prove it – if you try to leave, you’ll be shot.
Using handheld video, effective acting, and a combination of darkness and claustrophobia, the film makers turn this simple setup into an intense variation on the flesh-eating zombie film. It’s a little “28 Days Later,” a little “The Descent,” and a little “Dawn of the Dead.” Combine the paranoia and the terrorist extremist cults, and you have a story that could very well happen today.
There were, however, one or two scenes where an actor went a little over the top, but not unforgivably so. For the most part, the acting was believable and fairly intense. A lot of people got to practice their screaming technique. And you’ll recognize a lot of these actors from character roles or TV. Look for Jennifer Carpenter (“Dexter”), Steve Harris (“The Practice”), Greg Germann (Ally McBeal), Dania Ramirez (“Heroes”), and Rade Serbedzija (“Surface”, “24”). And all of the above are great.
The gore factor is not too high here. Oh, there’s some alright. Biting and tearing of flesh, a graphic compound leg fracture here, a person trying to walk on said fracture… enough to gross you out, but not enough to be in the “Saw” or “Hostel” category. And the lighting and camera work keep you from seeing way too much of it. Oh, and it should be noted that this is shot with a handheld video camera, so there’s a lot of camera movement. People with motion sickness beware. Not as bad as “Cloverfield,” but enough.
Not quite as good as “The Descent,” but if horror is your thing, you should enjoy this. Oh, and if you like a bleak ending, you’ll enjoy this. It doesn’t offer much in the way of laughs, but you’ll get your dollar’s worth of intense horror, no doubt. This is a good way to spend a Halloween season night out. But fer cryin’ out loud, leave the kids at home. This one is strictly for the over 16 crowd. Unless you want to traumatize your kids, then feel free. But don’t say I didn’t warn ya.
~ Neil, your average movie goer.