Quarantine (2008 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Erick Dowdle
Produced by
  • Sergio Aguero
  • Doug Davison
  • 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[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $12 million[2]
Box office $41.3 million[2]

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.[3] The film was released by Screen Gems on October 10, 2008.

Quarantine features no incidental music, being "scored" only with sound effects.[4] It received mixed reviews from critics and was moderately successful at the box office. The film was followed by Quarantine 2: Terminal.


On the early morning of March 11, 2008, television reporter Angela Vidal and her cameraman, Scott Percival, are assigned to follow firefighters Jake and Fletcher on their night shift. They are given a brief tour of the fire department, but an emergency call from an apartment building sends the crew out to investigate. When they arrive, the caller says that he and the other residents heard screams from an old woman who has locked herself in her apartment. The firemen, police officers, and camera crew go to the apartment, only to be attacked by the old woman, who becomes extremely aggressive and bites one of the policemen. Eventually, they are forced to kill her to stop her. As all the residents in the building head downstairs for safety, the team finds a second old woman similar to the first and bring her downstairs with the others.

The residents begin to panic as the CDC quarantines the building. Meanwhile, Angela interviews a little girl named Briana who lives in the building. Briana is ill and says that her dog is at the vet because he appeared to be sick as well. A health inspector wearing a hazmat suit arrives and attempts to treat the injured people who were bitten, but they suddenly become fiercely violent.

The 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 by his collar tag. The inspector tells the distraught residents that this unknown but virulent disease is infecting people and causing them to turn into bloodthirsty savages. Angela discovers that the infected dog was Max, Briana's dog. Suddenly, Briana becomes savage as well and bites her mother before escaping upstairs. The team are forced to handcuff Briana's mother to the stairs to stop her trying to protect Briana. All the other infected also break loose and start attacking. The team make their way upstairs and lock themselves in a room, but they find out two other people have been bitten. A sniper protecting the building shoots and kills a person trying to escape. The infected two attack and Jake, Angela, and Scott escape the room. Everyone else is infected, leaving Jake, Angela, and Scott to fight them off as they look for a way out.

Jake is eventually killed and Angela and Scott appear to be the only human survivors, as everyone else is either dead or infected. Rather than making their way to the workshop, they are forced upstairs to the attic apartment by the remaining infected. They then search the apartment and discover that its former owner from Boston was a member of a doomsday cult 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 light on the camera to investigate, only for a boy to swat at it and destroy the light. He turns on the night vision and Scott and Angela hear loud banging noises inside the apartment. When Scott looks around, he sees a man, who along with the boy seems to have been left in the apartment to rot.

The man, now a ghoulishly emaciated figure, begins searching the kitchen area, unaware of Angela and Scotts presence. Scott tries to escape but trips and is viciously attacked, causing Scott to drop the camera. Angela retrieves it and looks around the room, only to see the man eating Scott. Unable to control herself, she cries out and is attacked, too. She drops the camera and is unable to find it. The camera records her as she is crawling in pain, and then dragged back into the darkness screaming.



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]


The film was not screened in advance for American critics.[7] 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."[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, 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."[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]

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."[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]


In March 2010, Screen Gems announced that John Pogue would direct the sequel, Quarantine 2: Terminal, which focuses on an outbreak in an airport.[17] The sequel was released on June 17, 2011 to favorable reviews.[18]



  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 2008-10-13. 
  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. ^ Quarantine 2: Terminal Ready to Take Flight
  18. ^ "Quarantine 2: Terminal (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 10, 2012. 
  19. ^ Dowdle Brothers Set to Direct Devil for Universal

External links[edit]