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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Quarantine (2008)

RedStarHalf
Quarantine 00

This film is some kind of bad. Last night I'd watched REC for the second time just so that I could admire its cinematography. Then I watched Quarantine and what can I say that hasn't already been said? This is a carbon copy, surprisingly shot by shot remake of REC but REC involves a subplot about a scientist who has been decreed by the Vatican to find the cure to a certain girl's possession, which is centered on a type of virus. Quarantine deals with evil cults and the virus that infects everyone is, get this: rabies. A mutated therefore, accelerated version of rabies that causes frothing at the mouth, tears, dementia, and lots of running around and screaming. So where's the zombie aspect? Are we truly supposed afraid of a few tenants who are running around, infected with mutated rabies? Oh, please.

Now, for the technical aspects. Let's just run a quick check list:

- Claustrophobia (check)
- Screaming (check)
- The Shaky Camera Syndrome (check)
- Nauseatingly bad cinematography where the cameraman always records what is chasing him rather than where he's running to (check)
- The cameraman not turning off the camera when being chased but rather shaking it as much as possible and even taking it off his shoulders sometimes (check)

This film is a misguided and mishandled concoction that was headed toward a dead end and right from the start. The results are as follows: this film is literally too dark, at all times; the camera operator overuses the rack zoom and far too frequently; and every actor in the film overacts so much that it becomes embarrassing. That includes Jennifer Carpenter who is excellent in the series Dexter and a terrific little horror film titled The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

I didn't want to hate this movie but it's a carbon copy of REC. It doesn't try to do anything different, in any way, except ruin the original film and its intriguing story. This film reminds me of Gus Van Sant's superfluous remake of Psycho (1998) but at least he made up for it with Milk (2008).

I wonder what director John Erick Dowdle (who?) has in store for us next.

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