Quarantine (2008)

June 5, 2010 - 8:42pm | steelba
  Tags: Andrew Fiscella, Bernard White, Columbus Short, Dania Ramirez, Greg Germann, infection, Jay Hernandez, Jennifer Carpenter, John Erick Dowdle, Johnathon Schaech, Quarantine, Rade Serbedzija, Steve Harris, virus, [rec]

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John Erick Dowdle
Jennifer Carpenter, Steve Harris, Jay Hernandez, Johnathon Schaech, Columbus Short, Andrew Fiscella, Rade Serbedzija, Greg Germann, Bernard White, Dania Ramirez

Like most, I’ve seen the numerous TV commercials and internet adds for this flick. Some of them were pretty weak, but a few looked fairly interesting. Noticing that the "Dexter" co-star Jenifer Carpenter was headlining this film was another interesting aspect. Admittedly her acting was a bit on the annoying side in that series, I just chalked it up to the role. Putting that aside I still had enough interest in the flick to warrant a view..

Quarantine starts off in a pretty conventional fashion, with Angela Vidal (Carpenter) reporting on a local fire station. Assigned to cover a pair of fireman on their daily grind, she heads into station and meets the crew. Again it's pretty much the usual, a group a assorted stereo types playing their roles. Soon after the meet and great, there is an emergency that sends the camera crew and the men into action. After a little more fodder the group arrives at run down old apartment complex, where things finally get moving and the film begins forming itself. As luck would have it, two LAPD officers are already on the scene and give everyone a quick briefing. Then we're on our way to deal with the distressed and seemingly ill elderly woman that is the cause of the problem.

The movie quickly shifts into action after a brief attack and a quicker lock down of the building. Things move along a good clip, with some nasty neck biting and a few raining bodies from various floors in the complex. Most of the scares provided are jumps or of the sudden-loud-noise variety. Still, Quarantine remains interesting and builds some good suspense up until the halfway mark, where the mystery illness is revealed. This is where the film began to lose momentum, as the scare factor of the plague is dramatically lessened. I won’t spoil anything by blurting out what it actually is, but I thought wow, is this really the best they can do? A well known and non-frightening disease merely gets a promotion to 'SUPER' status. Knowing that, everything becomes routine and by the numbers, a feat that unfortunately wastes the good build up.

Acting was very spotty here, with some parts being average to slightly below, and others being down right awful. A lot of the performances go well until the characters start behaving contrary to common sense and defying logic. For example a well rounded, mild mannered firefighter, suddenly turns into a highly skilled assassin. Dispatching people with sledgehammers, various household items, and even his bare hands. As if that wasn't enough, the camera man comes equipped with an indestructible camera. So impervious that it's used to beat people to death and it never misses a shot. It is also endowed with magical powers that keep it's operator from being harmed by the ensuing madness. Yes, all of this was very was believable, ok maybe not, but at least it was entertaining.

Quarantine doesn't bring anything new to the table, it just reheats yesterdays leftovers and serves them up. Ample amounts of blood are provided and some of the action is good, but it's not enough to raise the film above mediocrity. Recommended for fans of POV films and Jenifer Carpenter, others may have better luck looking elsewhere.

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