Quarantine is a cash-in retread of the superior [REC] and features that awful woman from Dexter, about whom it’d be uncharitable to say, nearly ruined the series if that wasn’t pretty much correct.
Here, Jennifer Carpenter as Angela is in full-bore annoyance mode, playing an LA journalist doing a meet & greet/ride-along with local firefighters for a news series about how they live.
The gregarious crew quickly take to the chatty tank-topped young TV personality and explain the finer points of hook ladders and how the Dalmatian came to be associated with fire halls, but soon… all the goodwill is ruined by one of the miked up firemen, who bets he “can bang her by morning.”
That might’ve made for a better movie. Surprisingly, Angela’s not put off by their laddish antics, and is just doin’ her job.
Then, an actual emergency piques the interest of reporter Angela and her accompanying videographer. They head out in the truck on a call to a local apartment complex where an elderly Latina woman is behaving irrationally, shaking uncontrollably. A cop inquires about what’s amiss and is gruesomely bitten through the neck.
Now the puff piece specialist has a real story on her hands as she’s among a collection of first responders and tenants who’ve been quarantined in this apartment complex.
Quarantine uses a variation of “found footage,” musty in 2008 and which hasn’t improved since, liberally employing electronic news gathering video while addressing the conceit of why they’re not setting the camera down in the midst of the tumult and helping, by repeatedly saying “it’s for the public good.” Or some such thing. Right.
Anyway, the camera sways to and fro, sickening the viewer more than any of the kills, which pile up fast and furiously.
One of the building’s inhabitants, as luck would have it, is a veterinarian who explains similarities between the rash behaviors they’re all witnessing and rabies outbreaks.
Soon, Centers for Disease Control personnel and helicopters are on the scene with “shoot to kill” orders for anyone trying to leave the complex. If they had such a directive outside multiplexes when Quarantine was showing, there’d be a near-stampede and a gaudy body count.
(And no, they cannot get cell service as that’s somehow been shut off).
There is a very sickening broken leg and a scene in which CDC officials collect samples from an unlucky victim’s brain. What brain-dead Quarantine lacks in substance and intelligence, isn’t compensated for by nice cinematography. Everything’s blue, blue, blue. It looks like utter sound stage crap.
** (out of 5)