When a building is struck by a mutated form of rabies in the movie “Quarantine,” the residents, firefighters and one unlucky team of journalists is quarantined inside to fend for themselves.
Reporter Angela Vidal (Jennifer Carpenter) and her cameraman Scott Percival (Steve Harris) are assigned to follow the night watch of a firehouse. They are shadowing two firemen and follow them out on a call.
Angela is immediately characterized as an uppity, rather obnoxious personality, giggling at every small thing. The two firefighters portray raunchy men but add a certain flare to the plot.
The slightly nauseating and severely irritating sporadic camera recordings prevent viewers from ever being able to quite see what is going on until the last moment. Even though you can see it coming, the scare still has its effect.
When the firemen, journalists and two policemen are conveniently quarantined inside the building immediately after they arrive for the 911 call, they begin to panic and the situation becomes chaotic. A deranged old woman was heard screaming, and, as they go to investigate, strange things begin to happen.
Along the lines of every other horror movie, the suspense is overwhelming. As a seasoned viewer of horror, it can easily be predicted that someone will get injured or killed right away, and the rest will soon follow.
As the story progresses, everyone begins to become infected. The police and firemen do an inventory of the building, concluding that one man has not been seen for months, another is out taking his dog to the vet and yet another has a paralytic father lying in bed upstairs.
The discovery of these missing persons adds a little spice to the plot, making the viewer question in the back of their mind whether the briefly mentioned character will really appear or not.
Each character is briefly interviewed, generating a persona and an expected reaction when they were faced with terror. Angela expectedly screams through every scene, the cameraman is rarely seen at all, the women scream, and the only one to really step up to the front lines is the remaining fireman.
However, unlike all other horror movies, this one throws in one, maybe two, surprises at the end — not extreme surprises but little ‘ah-ha’s’ that define the source of the plague.
Not a failure overall, the movie has its moments of annoyance but is intermixed with a broad array of scare tactics, gore and screaming. “Quarantine” will sufficiently make you jump.
Staff reporter Kelly Bleck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.