A television reporter and her cameraman are assigned to spend the night shift with a Los Angeles fire crew. After a routine 911 call takes them to a small apartment building, they find police officers already on the scene in response to blood curdling screams coming from one of the apartments. They soon learn that a woman living in the building has been infected by something unknown. After a few of the residents are viciously attacked, they try to leave with the news crew, only to find the building has quarantined. All communication in and it is stopped; the only evidence of what took place is the news crew's videotape.Written by
(at around 1h 8 mins) Power to the building has been cut, yet the elevator still works. One character briefly mentioned that the building has a back-up generator, most likely to assist evacuation during emergencies. A pre-programmed back-up system explains why the elevator stops at each floor, and why the doors take so long to close. See more »
Simple, basic logic is unusually destructive here, even for a horror movie
Quarantine starts off reasonably well, if not at all originally. A small film crew is doing a ride- along with the fire department to get a first hand look at what their daily professional lives are really like. The film is presented the film crew's unedited stock footage, so we get lots of video of the firemen acting not at all like firemen but instead like young men who are living in close quarters for long periods of time. Finally an interesting call comes in and the crew are called out to a building in town.
Up to this point, the movie is presented in a style even more realistic than a documentary, because the footage that we see is not even edited. Once they arrive at the building, of course, weird things start happening.
You know the premise, the movie is essentially a zombie movie, but a lot of the suspense and tension is predicated on the fact that this group of innocent people have been for some reason barricaded inside a building by the police, government, military, whatever. Soon we find out that it's the Center For Disease Control doing the quarantining, but the point is, the people that are meant to protect us are locking these innocent people inside a building and leaving them for dead and the people inside have no idea why.
But here's my first question, how do you lock an entire modern fire crew inside an old, dilapidated building presumably made primarily of plaster and wood? Later they discover that approaching windows is enough to get yourself shot, but after what happened soon after they arrived at the building, I am willing to bet that none of those guys would have been willing to spend more than two or three minutes locked unwillingly inside the building.
Next, it seems that breaking through plaster walls is not the only bit of standard fireman training that these guys are lacking. When people start getting hurt, at one point one of the firemen calls out, "Is there a doctor in the house?" I had been under the impression that in order to be a fireman you have to have some emergency medical treatment training, but I could be wrong. I had to do the training in order to be a summer camp counselor a couple years ago, but maybe sleep-away camps are just stricter than your typical major city fire department.
Jennifer Carpenter is the lead character, the host of the documentary that the film crew was making. You may remember her from The Exorcism of Emily Rose, the astonishingly scary horror film that she starred in back in 2004. Sadly, Quarantine just doesn't have the story or the content to give her much to do except run around looking scared. Her performance as Emily Rose was one of the best horror performances I've ever seen, but Quarantine just gives the feeling that she's waiting for an opportunity or a good reason to do some real horror acting.
Overall the movie is not bad, but it is overwhelmingly casual in its presentation of a typical horror movie, this time with the slight variation that all of the victims are trapped in close quarters with the zombies. They have zombies trying to get them inside the building, and humans on the outside pointing guns at the building to prevent any escape and outbreak of the virus causing the zombiness.
There is an interesting scene where the cameraguy actually uses the camera to bludgeon one of the zombies to death, which provides a unique point of view. I had never seen a zombie killed in a movie like that before, but other than that there is just not much special about the movie.
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