Directed by John Erick Dowdle.
Written by John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle.
Starring Jennifer Carpenter, Steve Harris, and Jay Hernandez.
Release Year: 2008
Review Date: 10/18/08
I didn't see a trailer for the new horror
film "Quarantine" and now I'm glad that I didn't, because it made
for a fresh experience with a horror film even if the film succumbs
to zombie/horror clichés in the final frames.
And, you know what the crazy part is?
I was not nearly as sick as I felt while watching
back in January. "Quarantine" takes a similar approach to this
genre by utilizing a single camera and point of reference, here in
the hands of a reality-show cameraman named Scott (longtime
character actor Steve Harris) who is shooting a show with his
reporter/producer, Angela (Jennifer Carpenter, from "Dexter") on the
lives of firemen in downtown Los Angeles. Scott and Angela tag
along for a call with lead firefighters Jake (Jay Hernandez) and
George (Johnathon Schaech) to an apartment building where a woman is
spilling bile out of her mouth...and, things go from good to bad in
The first ten minutes of "Quarantine" are
beyond slow; I'd say they were just plain bad, but as a setup to
what happens, at least it sets up a great idea in the apartment
building. Once we get there, I loved the film for about 45
minutes, with the scares, the developing story, the kooky neighbors,
and the funny, unrealistic insistence that the reporting team take
footage of everything that happens. Carpenter, in particular,
does frightened incredibly well, even if she was annoying after a
while, which all of us in attendance (including Ross and his girl
Anne) admitted afterwards. We also get a money scare shot late
in the film that had Anne let out maybe the best scream I've heard
in a theater this year.
Sure, it gets silly eventually, and in
particular, people make hilarious stupid decisions late ("Hey,
Betty, you okay? You don't look so good..." as a girl is
literally having her flesh fall from her face), but on a Friday
night with a packed house, "Quarantine" is a nice ride.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard