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QUARANTINE (2008)

-Reviewed by Fiona Young-Brown-

Feel free to disagree with me but from where I’m sitting, 2008 has not been a good year for going to the cinema. With the exception of Juno, Quantum of Solace, The Dark Knight and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I have come out of the movie theater mostly disappointed, or even disgusted, with commercial movies. Need I even mention Max Payne? And Steve Zahn still deserves a punch if I see him around town for Strange Wilderness. Needless to say, I’ve been going to the movies less and less because I can watch far better productions from indie producers in the comfort of my own living.

 

But last night, we decided that we hadn’t been to see anything in a while and took a chance on Quarantine at the dollar theater. Dare I say it, I did not come out of the movie theater feeling as if I’d been robbed blind. Finally – a movie I enjoyed, and sadly, one that most people didn’t even notice.

If you want to moan at me about it being a remake – I don’t care. I didn’t see the original so enjoyed this for what it was.

Angela and Scott, a roving reporter and her cameraman, are following members of the LA Fire Department night shift. What starts out looking like a routine medical 911 call turns into a nightmare as they find themselves locked in an apartment building by the CDC, cut off from the outside world, with no idea why.

 

Yes, we have the now-overplayed Blair Witch style film footage of reporter crying into the camera, not to mention the Cloverfield hand held camera. This time, though, it’s worth watching. Jennifer Carpenter as Angela and Jay Hernandez as EMT Jake both stand out but the cast also includes Ally McBeal’s Greg Germann, Dania Ramirez of HEROES, and Rade Serbedzija ( a personal favorite who you won’t appreciate unless you’ve seen Eurotrip). You get a decent amount of gore – vomit, broken limbs, foaming at the mouth, blood and one stomped-upon rat. There’s plenty going on, even if the first part at the fire station starts to drag after a while. There are enough bits to make you jump, even when you know that something is going to leap out and so you shouldn’t be surprised. And there is just enough info provided in the last ten minutes for you to sort of figure out what those trapped in the building don’t know.

 

It’s not the greatest movie of all time, or the scariest, but it’s a heck of a lot better than most of the dross that’s been at the multiplex this year. Sure the closing shot is cheesy, but at least I came out thinking to myself, “Hey, I enjoyed that!”



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