Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Erick Dowdle|
by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza
|Edited by||Elliott Greenburg|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|Box office||$41.3 million|
Quarantine is a 2008 American found footage horror film directed and co-written by John Erick Dowdle, produced by Sergio Aguero, Doug Davison, and Roy Lee, and co-written by Drew Dowdle, being a remake of the Spanish film REC (though Sergio claims that it is an original film). The film stars Jennifer Carpenter, Jay Hernandez, Columbus Short, Greg Germann, Steve Harris, Dania Ramirez, Rade ?erbed?ija, and Johnathon Schaech.
Quarantine features no actual composition, it is "scored" by sound effects. In comparison to REC, it features several differences such as added and excluded scenes and characters, dialogue, and a different explanation for the virus. 'Facing What Consumes You' by the heavy metal band Hatebreed plays during the end credits.
Quarantine was released in the United States by Sony's subsidiary Screen Gems on October 10, 2008. The film received mixed reviews from critics, with many praising its atmosphere, performances, the horror elements and production values, but criticism aimed for its lack of plot, cheap story and character development. The film, however, was moderately successful at the box office, grossing $41.3 million worldwide against a $12 million budget.
It was followed by a sequel, Quarantine 2: Terminal (2011).
On the evening of March 11, 2008, news reporter Angela Vidal and cameraman Scott Percival are assigned to follow firefighters Jake and Fletcher during their nightshift.
The two are given a department tour but an emergency call dispatches them. Arriving, screams from a self-barricaded apartment block room were heard by the landlord and residents. The firemen, police officers, and crew enter where they are attacked by an aggressive elderly woman. The woman bites a policeman and is killed, Fletcher also mysteriously falls to the base floor. As the residents are ordered downstairs for their own safety, the team finds a second woman in a similar condition and bring her downstairs with the others.
Those wounded by the women become sick and delirious. Angela interviews a sick little girl who states that her dog is at the vet because he was sick too. The authorities and CDC suddenly quarantine the building, not allowing anyone to leave and claiming they swept the inhabitants. A resident veterinarian recognizes the symptoms as similar to those of rabies.
CDC officers wearing hazmat suits enter the building and begin working on the two victims on the ground floor but chaos ensues as the victims attack. It is revealed that the little girl's dog is the reason the CDC has quarantined the building, as it was infected before being taken to the vet. The little girl bites her mother and later attacks a pursuing police officer.
All the other infected break loose and start attacking. The team retreat upstairs and lock themselves in a room but discover two people who have been bitten. A panicked resident who rips through the window covering is shot by a sniper to prevent him escaping and spreading the infection which reveals the outside of the quarantine apartment. The landlord reveals that the basement, which connects to the sewers, may be the only way out. The two infected then attack, forcing Jake, Angela, and Scott to flee the room.
Jake is eventually bitten as the trio find the basement key. Angela and Scott now appear to be the only human survivors. Rather than making their way to the basement, the pair are forced upstairs to the attic apartment by the remaining infected, where they find lab equipment and newspaper clippings about a doomsday cult and a break-in at a chemical weapons lab where a virus was stolen.
A trapdoor opens from the attic and Scott loses the camera light as he investigates it, the light broken by a small infected boy swatting at it. Scott turns on the night vision before he and Angela hear loud banging noises inside the apartment. The source of the noises is an emaciated person, apparently unaware of them, blindly searching.
Scott attempts escape but trips and drops the camera. Angela retrieves it and looks around the room, only to see the infected person eating Scott. In fright, she cries out and is attacked. Angela drops the camera, unable to locate it; as she is crawling in pain. Angela is then dragged screaming into the darkness, presumably killed.
After the success of Spanish horror film, REC, in 2007, Sony Pictures and Screen Gems had begun working on a remake of the original film. Duo filmmakers John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle were hired to write and direct the film, while Roy Lee, Sergio Aguero and Doug Davison are serving as producers.
Unusually for a Hollywood production, Quarantine does not feature a musical score. The apartment complex was a set but a fully functioning one with four floors.
Jennifer Carpenter and Steve Harris portrays reporter Angela Vidal and cameraman Scott Percival. Both Carpenter and Harris have starred as comic book characters in the Batman saga. Carpenter would go on to voice Selina Kyle in Gotham by Gaslight (2018) and Harris voiced detective Ian Bennett/Clayface in The Batman (2004-2008)
Principal photography on their film began on January 2008 and wrapped in March 2008 in Downtown, Los Angeles, California. The film was shot in chronological order and the average shot was between 4 and 6 minutes long.
Quarantine was released in the United States on October 10, 2008, by Screen Gems.
On its opening day, the film grossed $5,379,867, ranking #1 in the box office. The film opened at #2, behind the second weekend of Beverly Hills Chihuahua, earning $14,211,321 in its opening weekend. Its total gross is $41,319,906 worldwide.
The film was not screened in advance for American critics.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film reports an 56% of critics gave positive reviews based on 85 reviews; the average rating is 5.68/10. The site's critical consensus reads "Quarantine uses effective atmosphere and consistent scares to stand above the crop of recent horror films."Metacritic reported the film had an aggregate score of 53/100 based on 14 reviews, which indicates "mixed or average reviews".
Quarantine received a 3.5/5 stars from Bloody Disgusting, which wrote, "A study in claustrophobia, expertly cast, edited and staged with expert meticulousness and precision, the film's only major flaw is the need to explain that which never needed explaining." Michael Gingold of Fangoria rated it 3/4 stars and called it "an acceptable substitute" for the original film.Empire was lukewarm in its response but critical of the rushed and copied-verbatim style of the remake.
Paul Nicholasi of Dread Central rated it 1.5/5 stars and called it hard to watch, both because of the shaky cam and the pacing.Joe Leydon of Variety described it as "a modestly inventive, sporadically exciting thriller that nonetheless proves too faithful to its central conceit for its own good."
Jaume Balagueró, who co-wrote and directed the REC series, expressed distaste for Quarantine by saying:
"It's impossible for me to like, because it's a copy. It's the same, except for the finale. It's impossible to enjoy Quarantine after REC. I don't understand why they avoided the religious themes; they lost a very important part of the end of the movie."Paco Plaza stated that Quarantine "helped REC to become more popular than it was. It moved a spotlight onto our film. You know, the fact that it was going to be remade in Hollywood, it was big news in Europe. Everyone knew that it existed, this tiny Spanish film."