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Jennifer Carpenter
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The remake of Spanish zombie reality satire [Rec] is [half decent]

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Shooting an LA reality show, presenter Angela (Carpenter) and her cameraman (Harris) shadow a crew of firemen on a dullsville evening. But when they follow a call-out to an apartment, they face a virus that turns its hosts into rabid mutants...

just when you thought it was safe to declare Spanish zombie flick
[Rec] one of the year’s best horrors, theHollywoodremake is already upon us. What are the producers after? A fastest remake medal? Columbia clearly see a [Rec] remake as a natural successor to Cloverfield on the reality horror bandwagon, taking a genre staple (a zombie plague) and witnessing it through the immediacy of a handheld camera. And, to keep the wheeze going, [Rec]’s release has been held back until well after Quarantine. For good reason, it turns out. For anybody who’s caught the original, Quarantine’s going to cause a severe attack of the déjà views.

No wonder they got it out so quickly: minus a few tweaks, it’s shot-for-shot, jump-for-jump identical. Even the apartment block’s been replicated with OCD precision. We’re talking Van Sant’s Psycho-precise. It shows the strength of the source that Quarantine is still a clammy, fingernail-scraping experience, strong on sound design which, with its constant background of sirens and choppers, builds a palpable post-9/11 panic. The concept of shady authorities barricading the public in to face a government-made threat fits the national mood and justifies the relocation, but honestly... It’s so slavish you sense John Erick Dowdle isn’t so much directing as handing in somebody else’s homework.

Admittedly, [Rec] itself was hardly unique, an unholy amalgam of Romero homage and Blair Witch, with a dash of Evil Dead. What made it so effective was the crude doc-style that kept all the zombie nonsense queasily feasible (director duo Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza even kept sudden deaths secret from the cast to capture authentic panic). That rawness has been lost in translation: the film stock is too crisp, the gore too cinematic, the performances never quite real enough.

And while Jennifer Carpenter shows she hasn’t lost the lungs from her death-rattling screams in The Exorcism Of Emily Rose, she forever feels like an actress playing a reporter. Any edginess has been painted over with a thick slap ofHollywoodgloss, which begs the question: doesn’t a slick remake of a reality horror rather defeat the point?

As a visceral, camera-shuddery ride into foamy-mouthed zombie hell, it’s efficient enough — but if you’ve already seen [Rec], steer clear...

Reviewed by Simon Crook

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Quarantine
Empire Star Rating

It's that rubbish I'm reading this whilst people are getting slain in the movie. The acting is terrible, the firefighters and police don't follow basic procedure, yeah it's just bad. Something was definitely lost in translation from the pretty decent original to this. A character can be forgiven for going near an infected who's skin is grey and they are foaming at the mouth the first time, but when they are still asking if the grey foaming at the mouth person is ok on the fourth occasion whi... More

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Posted by dfooster at 01:50, 08 February 2014 | Report This Post

RE: !!!!!!!

Instead of tackling the challenge to try and come up with something new, the directors tried to copy somebody elses masterpiece, just so that audiences won't have to put up with subtitles. The same thing you have described is happening to the original creators ofthe ise. They decided to use their 'crafty-ness' to bring in a demonic element to the quarantined building. I won't say much, but prove that ifficult film to follow up because of it's perfection. ... More

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Posted by YouWillBeUnprepared at 00:22, 30 November 2012 | Report This Post

bit boring

Crappy opening 15 minutes. Then fairly predictable hour of gore splatter as our inept cops & firefighters run around like a bunch of clueless mugs. Cool idea but poorly executed. ... More

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Posted by tysmuse at 00:01, 05 October 2010 | Report This Post


This is absolutely unnecessary, frame for frame remake, dont watch it watch REC the originals are always ALWAYS better, next up will be let me in, I wont be watching that either as I have already seen let the right one in which is ace, learn to read and there are some of the best films available in foreign languages ... More

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Posted by Gram Woods at 16:42, 08 July 2010 | Report This Post


SPOILERS   Quarantine is alright but its just the same as any other horror film out there i was disappointed by it and oh what a surprise no one survives! This to me is a big FLOP! ... More

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Posted by deppfanatic at 19:56, 20 February 2010 | Report This Post

Horrfiying Remake.

After seeing the terrifying REC, I wasn't keen to see Quarantine after being left seriously scared and not wanting to go through it again. But I went ahead and rented it out on Blu Ray with the lights off and the volmue high for the scare effect. If anyone has seen REC would probably know the story but if they haven't, be peparted for spoilers. Angela is a reporter at the Fire Station when their alarm goes off and they follow to a apartment buliding that is hiding a shocking secret and gory deat... More

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Posted by joanna likes films at 10:17, 11 April 2009 | Report This Post


How the fuck did hollywood fuck this film up? REC the original had it bang on perfect, how did they mess this up?! are they totally fucking stupid?! they always do it!!!! ALLL THE TIME!!! no matter what, the remakes just turn out shit! and this remake is awful. I hate the original REC, but if you see this first it will most probably ruin the original as well ... More

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Posted by dante_roderigo at 12:19, 07 February 2009 | Report This Post

RE: Quarantine

need more script and less shock theater and less screaming  ... More

Posted by Worldz at 17:15, 22 January 2009 | Report This Post

RE: a bit pointless

I've only seen the original version (I guess I'm cool enough) and I just wondered what people think of the remake as I was hoping they would fix some crucial mistakes from the original ke, what is their excuse not to go out of the building once things start getting bad? 'cause in the spanish version that part destroyed the whole movie for me it was lame and non-sense and it made it look stupid 'cause it could have been very easy to fix but I suppose they were just lazy; ruined the whole movie. ... More

Posted by Kismet_85 at 12:02, 10 December 2008 | Report This Post

RE: a bit pointless

It is a good film.  Ignore people who dismiss it for being a remake thats just being bloody minded. Is it as good as rec?  as good I suppose there isn't much to it  there are some differences but the overall effect is the same.  i think it is worth remaking foreign movies to cater for a larger audience as far too many people are too dumb to read subtitles. ... More

Posted by genejoke at 14:33, 08 December 2008 | Report This Post

a bit pointless

The first hour of this film really wasn't needed as it was highly pointless and boring! After that the film really kicked into the gear and the end was quite good (even though you kinda saw it coming) ... More

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Posted by Empo at 17:50, 28 November 2008 | Report This Post


... ... More

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Posted by gloppy at 19:52, 25 November 2008 | Report This Post


What the fuck?! ... More

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Posted by gloppy at 19:52, 25 November 2008 | Report This Post


Double post, sorry. ... More

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Posted by gloppy at 19:51, 25 November 2008 | Report This Post


All I can say is I'm glad I've seen , given the chronology of their respective releases, those not in the know might think Quarantine is the original version... ... More

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Posted by gloppy at 19:49, 25 November 2008 | Report This Post

Loved it!

I haven't seen the original (maybe I'm not cool enough) but forgetting its another remake of a foreign, I loved it and got everything I want from a horror; scares and suspense. Acting "real" on movies filmed in this mockumentary style is usually pretty shoddy like blair witch n diary of the dead but surprisingly I didnt find anyone annoying and thought they were well portryed! ... More

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Posted by StevieE at 19:52, 23 November 2008 | Report This Post


I only saw the trailer for this in the cinema 2 days ago and this review confirms exactly what I was thinking them - just the trailer was enough for me to comment on the fact that it looked shot for shot the same as source movie now also confirmed to be less authentic (as is to be expected with a Hollywood remake - just begs the question why??? Get yourself a copy of the Spanish original if you're a zombie movie fan. ... More

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Posted by Mooncalf at 07:37, 17 November 2008 | Report This Post


Double post. ... More

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Posted by Mooncalf at 07:36, 17 November 2008 | Report This Post

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