guppy's film reviews

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Back from hiatus! Also reviewed this week: Religulous.

Director: John Erick Dowdle
Notable Actors: Jennifer Carpenter
Score: B+
Summary: Fun "Boo!" horror flick that's worth seeing once.

Quarantine is the latest film to tackle the first-person perspective used by and The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield. It follows a two-person news team documenting an LA apartment building whose residents are suddenly sealed into their building by the authorities. Unlike, say, Blair Witch, it's a pure adrenaline piece focused primarily on sudden scares than on psychological or atmospheric ones.

Angela Vidal (Carpenter) is a local news reporter assigned to do an interest piece on the local fire department. She and her cameraman, Scott (Steve Harris), tag along when the department responds to a call, and wind up at a nearby apartment building for an emergency of an unknown type. One of the people investigating the incident is abruptly attacked, and the entire group ends up sealed inside the building without any warning or explanation.

There's nothing unexpected about Quarantine. You can predict most of the film before walking into the theater, if you know the premise. But it's a well-shot and effective and will make you jump, which is what you should want if you're going to see it. There isn't much else to the story; it will live or die for a given viewer based on whether they were looking for that experience.

I would suggest strongly that you see the film in theaters if you're going to. Like Cloverfield, Quarantine is best experienced communally, at night, and on a large screen at loud volume. Watching it by yourself in the middle of the afternoon on a 15" CRT will rob it of a lot of its effect. For this reason I don't think the DVD will be a big success. But if you have the opportunity for a nighttime theater viewing, it's a worthwhile experience.


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