Quarantine (2008 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Erick Dowdle
Produced by
  • Sergio Aguero
  • Clint Culpepper
  • Doug Davison
  • Carlos Fernández[1]
    Julio Fernández[1]
  • Roy Lee
Written 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 dates
  • October 10, 2008 (2008-10-10)
Running time
89 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $12 million[3]
Box office $41.3 million[3]

Quarantine is a 2008 American found footage science fiction horror film directed by John Erick Dowdle and starring Jennifer Carpenter, Jay Hernandez, Columbus Short, Greg Germann, Steve Harris, Dania Ramirez, Rade Sherbedgia, and Johnathon Schaech. The film is a remake of the Spanish film REC and features several differences such as added and excluded scenes and characters, dialogue, and a different explanation for the virus.[4] The film was released by Screen Gems on October 10, 2008.

Quarantine features no incidental music, being "scored" only with sound effects.[5] It received mixed reviews from critics and was moderately successful at the box office. The film was followed by Quarantine 2: Terminal.


A television reporter named Angela Vidal (Jennifer Carpenter) and her cameraman Scott Percival (Steve Harris) are assigned to follow firefighters Jake (Jay Hernandez) and Fletcher (Johnathon Schaech) on their night shift. The crew responds to an emergency call from an apartment building. The apartment manager Yuri (Rade Sherbedgia) says that he and other residents heard screams from the room of an old woman named Mrs. Espinoza (Jeannie Epper), who has locked herself in her apartment. Jake, Fletcher, Yuri, police officers Danny (Columbus Short) and James (Andrew Fiscella), and the camera crew go to the apartment, where they find Mrs. Espinoza in serious condition. She is bleeding severely and foaming at the mouth. Moments later, they are attacked by Espinoza who bites James in the neck. They take him downstairs for medical assistance, while Fletcher stays with a now sedated Mrs. Espinoza upstairs. However, when they get downstairs, they find the apartment doors have been locked from the outside, leaving everyone, including several residents, trapped inside. Upstairs, Fletcher is attacked by Mrs. Espinoza and thrown from the railing to the ground, leaving him in serious condition. Lawrence (Greg Germann), a veterinarian, starts tending to the injured as best as possible.

Angela and Scott return to Espinoza's apartment where they witness the cleaning woman die. Jake and Danny show up and find Espinoza, with blood on her mouth and dress and her eyes bleeding. She charges at them, but Danny shoots and seemingly kills her. Jake, Scott, and Angela head room to room to bring down the remaining guests; they bring down Randy (Denis O'Hare), Jwahir (Sharon Ferguson) and Nadif (Jermaine Jackson) (an African couple who don't speak English), and Elise (Stacy Chbosky), a woman who has many similar symptoms as Mrs. Espinoza.

The residents begin to panic as the CDC quarantines the building. Meanwhile, Angela interviews the tenants. A little girl named Briana (Joey King) is sick with bronchitis and says that her dog Max is at the vet because he's sick as well. After the interviews, Lawrence explains more about the conditions of Fletcher, James, and Elise as they all have symptoms similar to those of rabies, however, presenting themselves at an alarming rate.

Angela and Scott follow residents Bernard (Bernard White) and Sadie (Dania Ramirez) back to their apartment to check the TV news. On the way, they witness Randy being killed by a dog who corners him in the elevator. Once inside the room, they watch the televised report where the chief of police (Michael Potter) states to a news reporter (Jane Park Smith) that everyone has been evacuated from the building, then the power goes out. Elise appears, turns violent and starts attacking the others, but Scott bashes her head in repeatedly with his camera, killing her.

While going over the status of the tenants, Danny learns that Randy and the cleaning lady are dead, Jwahir has a paralytic father living with her and Nadif in their apartment, and a man from Boston that rented the attic apartment hasn't been seen for months. Two CDC Agents (Craig Susser and Bert Jernigan) wearing hazmat suits arrive and attempt to treat Fletcher and James by taking a brain sample. Suddenly, Fletcher and James attack and bite one of the inspectors. While evacuating, Lawrence is trapped with the infected and is bitten.

The surviving health inspector reveals that the previous day, a dog was taken to a local veterinarian. The dog became violent and killed or infected the other pets at the clinic, causing them to be euthanized. The CDC traced the dog back to the apartment building. The CDC agent tells the residents that this unknown but highly virulent disease turns people into bloodthirsty savages. Angela discovers that the infected dog was Briana's dog, Max. The remaining survivors become skeptical that Briana's illness is actually bronchitis. Suddenly, Briana becomes savage as well and bites her mother, Kathy (Marin Hinkle), before escaping upstairs. Kathy is handcuffed to the stair railing to stop her from trying to protect Briana.

Angela, Scott, Jake and Danny find Briana in Mrs. Espinoza's apartment. When Danny attempts to sedate Briana inside of the closet, the girl bites him. Mrs. Espinoza, who survived the earlier shooting, then attacks. She is finally killed by Jake with a sledgehammer. They rush downstairs only to find everyone else running upstairs in fear, for they find the infected have broken through the shutter. Jake tries to close the shutter, as Angela tries to free Kathy. When they can't find the key, Jake drags Angela upstairs leaving Kathy to die by the infected. As everyone runs upstairs, Jwahir and Nadif are both separated and bitten.

Angela, Scott, Jake, Bernard, Sadie, Yuri, his wife Wanda (Elaine Kagan), and the CDC agent lock themselves in an empty apartment. The CDC agent locks himself in an adjacent room when he realizes he has been bitten. They also realize Sadie has been bitten when they notice she is eating her own fingers and coughing up blood on herself. Bernard pleads with them not to kill Sadie, and out of desperation, attempts to break through the apartment window to call for help, but he is killed by a sniper positioned in a building across the street from the apartment. Yuri remembers another way out in the basement, where there is a large drain that is connected to the sewers, but the keys are in his apartment. Suddenly, the health inspector and Sadie succumb to the infection and bite Yuri and Wanda. As they try to escape, they must fight off the infected as they work toward Yuri's apartment as Jake uses the sledgehammer on the dog in the elevator. After Jake and Scott strangle Sadie to death, the group reaches Yuri's apartment and find his key ring. Jake is bitten by Yuri, leaving Angela and Scott as the only survivors. Rather than making their way to the basement, they are forced upstairs to the attic apartment by Danny and the remaining infected.

They search the apartment and discover that its former tenant was a member of a doomsday cult who broke into a chemical weapons lab and stole a mutated rabies virus. As Angela and Scott continue through the apartment, a door opens from the attic and Scott uses the light on the camera to investigate. An infected boy (Benjamin Stockham) swats at the camera, breaking the light. Scott turns on the camera's night vision. Scott and Angela hear loud banging noises inside the apartment. When Scott looks around, he sees a ghoulishly emaciated man (Doug Jones) searching the kitchen area unaware of Angela and Scott's presence. Scott tries to escape but trips and is viciously attacked, dropping the camera. Angela retrieves it and sees the man eating Scott. Unable to control herself, she cries out and is subsequently attacked, dropping the camera in the process. Strangely unharmed, as the attack deflected off the camera, she crawls slowly through the darkness, in a vain attempt to escape. Suddenly, she is dragged backwards by her legs into the dark, screaming as the camera continues recording.



Quarantine had an initial release date of October 17, 2008, but was moved forward and released on October 10, 2008.[6] In Australia, the original release date was November 6, which was pushed back to December 4.

Box office[edit]

On its opening day, the film grossed $5,379,867, ranking #1 in the box office.[3] The film opened at #2, behind the second weekend of Beverly Hills Chihuahua, earning $14,211,321 in its opening weekend.[7] Its total gross is $41,319,906 worldwide.

Critical reception[edit]

The film, which was not screened in advance for American critics,[8] received mixed reviews. 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."[9] Metacritic reported the film had an aggregate score of 53/100, based on 14 reviews, which indicates "mixed or average reviews".[10]

Quarantine received a 70% from Bloody Disgusting[11] and Fangoria gave the film an 87.5%. Empire was lukewarm in its response, but critical of the rushed and copied-verbatim style of the remake.[12]

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."[13] 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."[14]

Home media[edit]

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


In March 2010, Screen Gems announced that John Pogue would direct the sequel, Quarantine 2: Terminal, which focuses on an outbreak in an airport.[15] The sequel was released on June 17, 2011 to favorable reviews.[16]



External links[edit]