Quarantine (2008 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Erick Dowdle|
by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza
|Edited by||Elliott Greenburg|
|Distributed by||Screen Gems|
|Box office||$41.3 million|
Quarantine is a 2008 American found-footage supernatural horror film directed and co-written by John Erick Dowdle, produced by Sergio Aguero, Doug Davison, and Roy Lee, and co-written by Drew Dowdle, being a remake of the Spanish film REC. The film stars Jennifer Carpenter, Jay Hernandez, Columbus Short, Greg Germann, Steve Harris, Dania Ramirez, Rade Šerbedžija, and Johnathon Schaech.
Quarantine features no actual composition, it is "scored" by sound effects. In comparison to REC, it features several differences such as added and excluded scenes and characters, dialogue, and a different explanation for the virus.
The film was released by Sony's subsidiary Screen Gems on October 10, 2008. It received polarizingly favorable reviews from critics and was a general box office success. The film was followed by a sequel, Quarantine 2: Terminal (2011).
Early on March 11, 2008, news reporter and cameraman, Angela Vidal and Scott Percival, are assigned to follow firefighters Jake and Fletcher during their nightshift. They are given a department tour, but an emergency call dispatches them. Arriving, screams from a self-barricaded apartment block room were heard by the landlord and residents. The firemen, police officers, and crew enter; they are attacked by an aggressive elderly woman, who bites a policeman and is then killed. As the residents head safely downstairs, the team finds a second old woman in a similar condition and bring her downstairs with others. Fletcher then mysteriously falls to the base floor, incapacitated.
The residents panic as the authorities and CDC suddenly quarantine the building, allowing none to leave; injured are taken to the woodshop. Meanwhile, Angela interviews an ill, young local named Briana, who states that her dog, Max, is at the vet because he "was" sick as well. A health inspector wearing a hazmat suit arrives and attempts to treat the bitten people, but they thrash violently, forcing the others to flee.
The health inspector reveals that yesterday, a dog was taken to a local veterinarian. The dog became violent and infected the other pets at the clinic, later euthanized; the CDC traced the dog back to the building via collar. The inspector tells the distraught residents that a virus has transformed those infected into bloodthirsty creatures. Angela realizes that the dog was Max. When confronted, Briana snaps and bites her mother, escaping upstairs. The team are forced to handcuff the mother to the stairs to stop her from following Briana. All the other infected also break loose and start attacking. The team retreats upstairs and lock themselves in a room, but discover two people have been bitten. A panicked resident who decides to signal for help by breaking through the window is shot by a police sniper overlooking the building. The landlord reveals that the basement, which connects to the sewers, may be the only way out. The two infected then attack, forcing Jake, Angela, and Scott to flee the room. Everyone else is infected or dead, leaving the three to survive.
Jake is eventually bitten as the trio find the basement key. Angela and Scott now appear to be the only human survivors. Rather than making their way to the basement, the pair are forced upstairs to the attic apartment by the remaining infected. They then search that apartment and discover that its former owner from Boston was a doomsday cult member responsible for breaking into a chemical weapons lab and stealing a virus. As they continue through the apartment, a door opens from the attic and Scott uses the camera light to investigate, only for a boy to swat at it and destroy the light. Scott turns on the night vision and him and Angela hear loud banging noises inside the apartment. When Scott looks around with the camera, he sees a man, who along with the boy seems to have been left in the apartment to rot.
The emaciated man begins searching the kitchen, unaware of the duo's presence. Scott attempts escape but trips and drops the camera. Angela retrieves it and looks around the room, only to see the man eating Scott. In fright, she cries out and is attacked. She drops and is unable to locate the camera; as she is crawling in pain, she is then dragged screaming into the darkness.
- Jennifer Carpenter as Angela Vidal
- Steve Harris as Scott Pervical
- Jay Hernandez as Jake
- Johnathon Schaech as George Fletcher
- Columbus Short as Danny Wilensky
- Andrew Fiscella as James McCreedy
- Rade Sherbedgia as Yuri Ivanov
- Greg Germann as Lawrence
- Bernard White as Bernard
- Dania Ramirez as Sadie
- Elaine Kagan as Wanda Marimon
- Marin Hinkle as Kathy
- Joey King as Briana
- Jermaine Jackson as Nadif
- Sharon Ferguson as Jwahir
- Denis O'Hare as Randy
- Stacy Chbosky as Elise Jackson
- Jeannie Epper as Mrs. Espinoza
- Doug Jones as Thin Infected Man
Quarantine was released on October 10, 2008. On its opening day, the film grossed $5,379,867, ranking #1 in the box office. The film opened at #2, behind the second weekend of Beverly Hills Chihuahua, earning $14,211,321 in its opening weekend. Its total gross is $41,319,906 worldwide.
The film was not screened in advance for American critics. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 58% of critics gave positive reviews based on 81 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads "Quarantine uses effective atmosphere and consistent scares to stand above the crop of recent horror films." Metacritic reported the film had an aggregate score of 53/100, based on 14 reviews, which indicates "mixed or average reviews".
Quarantine received a 3.5/5 stars from Bloody Disgusting, who wrote, "A study in claustrophobia, expertly cast, edited and staged with expert meticulousness and precision, the film’s only major flaw is the need to explain that which never needed explaining." Michael Gingold of Fangoria rated it 3/4 stars and called it "an acceptable substitute" for the original film. Empire was lukewarm in its response but critical of the rushed and copied-verbatim style of the remake. Paul Nicholasi of Dread Central rated it 1.5/5 stars and called it hard to watch, both because of the shaky cam and the pacing. Joe Leydon of Variety described it as "a modestly inventive, sporadically exciting thriller that nonetheless proves too faithful to its central conceit for its own good."
Jaume Balagueró, who co-wrote and directed the REC series, expressed distaste to Quarantine by saying: "It’s impossible for me to like, because it’s a copy. It’s the same, except for the finale. It’s impossible to enjoy Quarantine after REC. I don’t understand why they avoided the religious themes; they lost a very important part of the end of the movie." Paco Plaza stated that Quarantine "helped REC to become more popular than it was. It moved a spotlight onto our film. You know, the fact that it was going to be remade in Hollywood, it was big news in Europe. Everyone knew that it existed, this tiny Spanish film."
- 2009: Reaper Awards "Best Zombie Film"
- 2009 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards: 2nd place for Best Make-Up/Creature FX (Robert Hall)
- 2009 Saturn Award for Best Horror Film nomination
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- Jaume Balagueró talks “[REC] 4: APOCALYPSE”
- Entertainment Weekly
- Dowdle Brothers Set to Direct Devil for Universal