Opening in limited release June 17
Directed by John Pogue
First thing’s first. Quarantine 2: Terminal, a sequel to the 2008 U.S. film (itself, a remake of the Spain’s Rec), is not a redo Rec 2. Nor does it ever come close to topping it. Hell, it doesn’t even top Quarantine. Instead, it’s a beast of its own. A competently made beast with budgetary limitations, Iâll give it that, however, Quarantine 2 is not an especially good film. It’s an unnecessary, uninspired scramble of a scenario we’ve seen once before, just with a fresh setting, a crop of derivative characters and a denouement ripped right out of Flight of the Living Dead, another plane-themed zombie picture that was much more amusing.
Writer-director John Pogue picks up where the Dowdle brothers left off in â08, introducing us to a pair of airline stewardesses – you can’t tell one from the other – working a night flight out of LAX. The passengers, just to name a few, include a rotund chap, a hot-headed fella and his girlfriend, a young boy (who insists on annoyingly fiddling with his hoodie throughout the film) traveling alone, a wheelchair-bound elderly man and a rather unassuming gent who has not only brought a pet on board, but has captured the eye of a stewardess. You don’t have to have Sully Sullenberger-like wits to realize how the super-rabies that plagued Quarantine has gotten aboard this plane. Sure enough, the strain escapes, a passenger is infected and the pilots are forced to make an emergency landing.
Once at the terminal, things don’t get any better and those on board the plane do not get the welcome they expected. Instead, the passengers and crew find themselves under quarantine. The government rolls up. Puts the building on lockdown. No on gets in or out. Sound familiar? Well, here is where Quarantine 2 switches to auto-pilot as our lead stewardess is apparently appointed the leader by the dim-witted passengers who believe she has all of the answers to their problems. They seek escape, all the while attempting to figure out who has been infected and who hasn’t. And if they have been infected, well, it’s bad news bears for them because this terminal features a wealth of killing instruments.
Pogue keeps the pace tight and doesn’t mind lingering on some of the gore gags, once again brought to life by Almost Human FX. What has somehow slipped his mind is presenting characters we give a damn about or introducing anything unique to his narrative. You know, to perhaps further the mythology. Quarantine favored a more scientific approach to the threat in lieu of Recâs religious themes; the follow-up carries that torch and offers a minimal twist that’s hardly mind-blowing. Instead, this film lazily revels in a rinse-and-repeat formula. Passengers discover infected individual. Fight the infected. Freak out. Move on. Discover infected. Fight infectedâ¦ Haven’t we seen this all too often? I would have embraced a sequel that offered forward progress than stagnation.
Although the film is shot traditionally and does not utilize the first-person camera perspective (it could have benefited from that medium to enhance the scares, I think), Pogue does take a crack at the original’s “night vision” conclusion, but he puts his own spin on it. Again, it’s underwhelming just like everything that came before it.