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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner20/11/2008

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 86 mins

Quarantine is a well-acted, competent remake that doesn't betray the original, though it's somehow less scary and slightly longer than it needs to be.

What's it all about?
Essentially a shot-for-shot remake of Spanish horror flick [REC], Quarantine stars Jennifer Carpenter as Angela, a perky TV news reporter who's shadowing a Los Angeles firehouse for the night, along with her cameraman Scott (Steve Harris). After an uneventful few hours, things liven up considerably when the firemen (including Jay Hernandez as Jake) get called to an apartment building to investigate reports that an old lady is acting strangely.

Shortly after the firemen arrive, the old woman savagely bites a policeman and as the firemen try to take him to hospital, they discover that the building has been quarantined by the Centre for Disease Control and no one is allowed to leave. To make matters worse, the trapped residents quickly discover that the old lady has a contagious virus that turns the infected into ravenous zombies.

The Good
As with [REC], Quarantine sticks to the Blair Witch-style approach, so that we see everything through Scott's camera. This works brilliantly, creating an extremely tense, claustrophobic atmosphere and ensuring that you hardly ever get a good look at the zombies because everyone's too busy running and screaming.

Carpenter is extremely likeable as Angela, particularly during the early firehouse scenes; as a result, her subsequent terror and panic is genuinely unsettling. There's also strong support from Hernandez, who, amusingly, seems to have carved out a career filled with characters who never make it to the final reel.

The Bad
Despite being a shot-for-shot remake, Quarantine somehow ends up being around eight minutes longer than [REC] and it's fair to say that the pacing suffers a little as a result. Other changes include a different explanation for the virus, as well as a clarification on just how the CDC arrived so quickly.

Worth seeing?
Quarantine is an entirely competent remake that, for once, doesn't betray the original film. However, it's also slightly slower and less scary, so rent [REC] instead.

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Content updated: 19/10/2019 18:35

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