Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Quarantine

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
5 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Rating: R

Starring:
Jennifer Carpenter as Angela Vidal
Steve Harris as Scott Percival
Jay Hernandez as Jake
Johnathon Schaech as George Fletcher
Columbus Short as Danny Wilensky
Andrew Fiscella as James McCreedy
Greg Germann as Lawrence

Directed by John Dowdle

Special Features:
- "Locked In: The Making of Quarantine"
- "Anatomy of a Stunt" Featurette
- "Dressing the Infected: Robert Hall's Make-Up Design"
- Commentary with Writer/Director John Erick Dowdle and Writer/Producer Drew Dowdle

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French Language Language
Spanish and French Track
Running Time: 89 Minutes

The Movie:
The following is the official description of the film:

"When a news crew decides to trail a brave fire-fighting team, they never suspect that the first call for help they respond to that night may be their last. Now they've trapped in an apartment complex sealed off by the government. With no way of escape, they find themselves surrounded by frightened residents who are infected with a deadly mutant virus. What happens next is only known because of the footage they left behind. "

"Quarantine" is rated R for bloody violent and disturbing content, terror and language.

Mini-Review:
After having seen "28 Days Later," "Quarantine" seems...well, small. Take your standard zombie/virus outbreak and confine it to one building and you have "Quarantine." That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it seems awfully small in scale compared to an entire country being overrun by infected humans. Having an apartment with 10 zombies chasing you doesn't seem as scary as having hundreds of zombies chasing you. I think if "Quarantine" had come out 10 years ago it would have been a lot more impressive.

This movie is also exceedingly slow in getting to the interesting parts. Too much time is spent at the beginning establishing the characters of the firemen and the documentary crew. When they do get to the building, everything that unfolds is rather predictable. It seems like most of the movie was built around 3 or 4 action moments which are cool but take way too long to get to. If you watch this on DVD, you may be at an advantage over those who saw it in theaters. You can fast forward through 5 minutes of a guy walking down a hall to get to the 15 seconds of zombie attack. You'll also avoid getting motion sick as the camera shakes for 89 minutes.

One the positive side, Jennifer Carpenter is a pretty good lead as Angela Vidal. The film also has a pretty satisfactory explanation for the outbreak of the virus. They don't fall for the usual government conspiracy or bio-weapon plot point. The ending is also a bit creepy though a tad drawn out.

Unless you're a major horror fan, I'd recommend watching some other zombie or outbreak film like "28 Days Later" or "Dawn of the Dead." I've also heard that the Spanish film that this is based on was better, so that may be worth tracking down and watching instead.

You'll find your standard bonus features on this DVD. There's a commentary, a making-of featurette, and a spotlight on the stunts. I was particularly interested in a featurette on the make-up design for the film.

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