Quarantine (2008 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Erick Dowdle
Produced by
Screenplay by
  • John Erick Dowdle
  • Drew Dowdle
Based on REC
by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza
Cinematography Ken Seng
Edited by Elliott Greenburg
Distributed by Screen Gems
Release date
  • October 10, 2008 (2008-10-10)
Running time
89 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $12 million[2]
Box office $41.3 million[2]

Quarantine is a 2008 American found-footage 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.[3] 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.[4] The film was released by Sony's subsidiary Screen Gems on October 10, 2008. It was followed by a sequel, Quarantine 2: Terminal (2011).


On the evening of 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. Fletcher also mysteriously falls to the base floor, incapacitated. The old woman bites a policeman and is killed. As the residents are ordered downstairs for their own safety, the team finds a second woman in a similar condition and bring her downstairs with others.

Those wounded by the women become sick and delirious. Angela interviews a sick little girl who states that her dog is at the vet because he was sick too. The authorities and CDC suddenly quarantine the building, allowing none to leave. A resident veterinarian recognizes the symptoms as similar to those of rabies. CDC officers wearing hazmat suits enter the building and begin working on the two victims on the ground floor, but chaos ensues as the victims attack. It is revealed that, the day before, the little girl's dog is the reason the CDC has quarantined the building. The little girl bites her mother and later attacks a pursuing police officer. All the other infected break loose and start attacking. The team retreats upstairs and lock themselves in a room, but discover two people who have been bitten. A panicked resident who rips through the window covering is shot by a sniper. 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.

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, where they find lab equipment and newspaper clippings about a doomsday cult and a break-in at a chemical weapons lab where a virus was stolen. A trapdoor opens from the attic and Scott loses the camera light as he investigates it, the light broken by a small boy swatting at it. Scott turns on the night vision, and he and Angela hear loud banging noises inside the apartment. The source of the noises is an emaciated man, apparently unaware of them, blindly searching. 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 the camera and is unable to locate it; as she is crawling in pain, she is then dragged screaming into the darkness.



Quarantine was released on October 10, 2008. On its opening day, the film grossed $5,379,867, ranking #1 in the box office.[2] The film opened at #2, behind the second weekend of Beverly Hills Chihuahua, earning $14,211,321 in its opening weekend.[5] Its total gross is $41,319,906 worldwide.

Home media[edit]

Quarantine was released February 17, 2009, on DVD and Blu-ray.[6]


Critical response[edit]

The film was not screened in advance for American critics.[7] Rotten Tomatoes reports that 59% of critics gave positive reviews based on 82 reviews; the average rating is 5.7/10. The site's critical consensus reads "Quarantine uses effective atmosphere and consistent scares to stand above the crop of recent horror films."[8] Metacritic reported the film had an aggregate score of 53/100 based on 14 reviews, which indicates "mixed or average reviews".[9]

Quarantine received a 3.5/5 stars from Bloody Disgusting, which 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."[10] Michael Gingold of Fangoria rated it 3/4 stars and called it "an acceptable substitute" for the original film.[11] Empire was lukewarm in its response but critical of the rushed and copied-verbatim style of the remake.[12] 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.[13] 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."[14]

Artistic response[edit]

Jaume Balagueró, who co-wrote and directed the REC series, expressed distaste for 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."[15] 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."[16]



  1. ^ "QUARANTINE (18)". British Board of Film Classification. August 14, 2008. Retrieved September 12, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "Quarantine (2008) - Daily Box Office Result". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  3. ^ Creepy "Quarantine" Trailer at WorstPreviews
  4. ^ Dowdle, John; Dowdle, Drew; SpookyDan (2008-10-08). "The Quarantine Episode". Bloody Disgusting TV. 
  5. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results from 10/10 - 10/12". Box Office Mojo. 2010-08-27. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  6. ^ Wallis, J. Doyle (2009-02-15). "Quarantine". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2015-12-03. 
  7. ^ "'Quarantine' delivers the heebie-jeebies dexterously". The Charlotte Observer. 2008-10-17. Retrieved 2015-12-03. 
  8. ^ "Quarantine Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2018-04-16. 
  9. ^ "Quarantine (2008): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  10. ^ "Quarantine (REC Remake)". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  11. ^ Gingold, Michael (2008-10-15). "QUARANTINE (Film Review)". Fangoria. Archived from the original on 2009-02-14. Retrieved 2015-12-03. 
  12. ^ "Empire Online review of Quarantine". 
  13. ^ Nicolasi, Paul (2008-10-08). "Quarantine (2008)". Dread Central. Retrieved 2015-12-03. 
  14. ^ Leydon, Joe (2008-10-28). "Review: 'Quarantine'". Variety. Retrieved 2015-12-03. 
  15. ^ Jaume Balagueró talks “[REC] 4: APOCALYPSE”
  16. ^ Entertainment Weekly
  17. ^ Dowdle Brothers Set to Direct Devil for Universal

External links[edit]