Review by Jack Foley
IF YOU’VE already seen Spanish horror movie Rec then John Erick Dowdle’s movie will undoubtedly qualify as yet another pointless remake.
For those of you that haven’t – and I suspect that’s the majority – it’s likely to emerge as one of the more terrifying horror films you’re likely to see this year.
While filming a fire crew for a reality TV show, presenter Angela (Dexter‘s Jennifer Carpenter) and her cameraman (Steve Harris) find themselves at an apartment box where one of the inhabitants is apparently in distress.
Upon investigation, however, the crew and the journalists find themselves at risk from a virus that turns its hosts into zombies and quarantined inside the building while the authorities outside figure out what to do.
Quarantine is virtually a shot-by-shot remake of Juame Balaguero and Paco Plaza’s minor masterpiece – and that’s both its strength and weakness. Those familiar with the plot machinations of Rec will know exactly what to expect… which makes watching the remake a tiresome – if still tense – countdown to see whether Hollywood has kept the integrity of the original’s terrifying end intact.
For those that haven’t, it’s an incredibly tense, claustrophobic experience heightened by the reality style nature of the way it’s been shot (most, if not all, of the action unfolds via the cameraman’s perspective). Hence, if you felt motion sick at Cloverfield, this is likely to leave you in a similar state.
On the plus side, the performances feel raw and suitably intense, while there are plenty of shocks in store for the uninitiated as well as an ending that WILL leave you gasping.
On the downside, the tweaks that have been made in Hollywood form deprive the film of the genuinely DIY feel of the original, while some of the [minor] additions – including the higher, more violent body count and altered final revelation – don’t stand up to favourable comparison.
But if it’s nerve-shredding tension and jump-out-of-your-seat terror you’re seeking, then this is one remake that actually does deliver.
Running time: 89mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: March 9, 2009