Sunday, 11 April 2010

Quarantine - A Zombie Film Review

Woo-hoo, finally something to file under Q in my Index! Quarantine is an American re-make of the Spanish horror [REC].  Apparantly the film was re-made soon after the original, and has been criticised as being rushed; a almost shot for shot identical film apparantly.  The film is of the 'found footage' genre (The Blair-Witch Project, Cloverfield etc).

A News reporter and her Cameraman are trailing a crew of a Fire Station for a programme.  The crews first call is to an Apartment block.  Following the Fire Crew, and Police they come to a room with a sick old lady.  She suddunly attacks the group severely injuring a Cop before being restrained.  The group rush the injured Cop downstairs but discover the entrance to the Apartment block is locked.  Soon after, a loud speaker announces that the building is under quarantine and that no one is allowed to leave.  There is a biological agent loose in the building.  As the night wears on, and escape impossible, more and more people get infected; the infection turning them into rage filled charging psychopaths.  The survivors need to find a way to escape as the Army are doing thier upmost to make sure no one leaves (such as snipers on nearby rooftops, and circling Helicopters).

The film starts off light hearted as the News reporter messes around with the Fire Crew at thier station.  It reminded me of the start of Cloverfield; another film that started off light hearted.  It quickly turns really dark upon arriving at the fateful Apartment block.  This transition carries on through out the film.  First the power to the building is cut, and finally the light on the Camera fails leading to a finale shown through the green glow of the Cameras night vision.  It is effective in increasing the fear, as the more nightmarish the Apartment gets, the harder it is to see.

The film is well paced, but as this was a virtual shot to shot re-make I don't think the director John Dowdle can take credit for that.  This is certainly the most realistic zombie film I have seen, blowing the other 'found footage' zombie films out the water for realism (Diary of the Dead, and The Zombie Diaries).  The characters seem real, panicking, flawed, and human.  There are no heroes here, everyone is just trying to survive.

Some people might be annoyed that I call the infected in this film zombies.  They are not dead, but more like the rage victims of 28 Days Later.  They look cool though with red bloodshot eyes, and lots of froth.  The infection isn't confined to just humans either, infected Dogs, and Rats also feature.  Quite a bit of blood, and guts which is always nice!

Some minor complaints I guess.  The ending while creepy is kinda expected for this type of film, and the main female lead completly looses her composure in the films last third and never gets it back.  I'm going to be seeing [REC] soon, so shall see for myself which is the better film.  Scary though!


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