QUARANTINE 2 (October 7th)


YOU'VE GOT RED ON YOU TAKES PART IN THE 31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE; WATCHING ONE HORROR MOVIE A DAY THROUGHOUT OCTOBER. SOME OF THEM OLD, SOME OF THEM NEW, SOME OF THEM HAVE JUST BEEN ON OUR SHELVES FOR YEARS GATHERING DUST, STILL IN CELLOPHANE...

As well as using the 31 Days challenge to watch a bunch of films that I've never seen before, I'm also planning to rewatch a couple that I haven't seen in a long time. I quite often find that my opinion of a film, after a period of time, can be revised and often in a positive way. Sometimes the hype and expectation of a film can influence the initial viewing experience and it isn't until you've gained some distance that you can be a little bit more objective. Another thing you should know about me is that I am pretty terrible at picking films to watch. I've been known to spend so long trawling through streaming platforms that it becomes too late to realistically start watching anything. Choosing something from my own DVD collection is no less painful, but I have a system which helps. I get out my phone and open up a random letter generator website. I then randomly select a letter and have to pick a film that begins with that letter. Now let me tell you, when it lands on the letter Q, it narrows it down quite significantly. Turns out I only have two genre films in my collection that begin with Q – and they are both Quarantine movies. The last time I watched the first one was only a couple of years ago but it's been getting on for ten years since I have seen the (straight to DVD) sequel.


Although there were several sequels to the REC series (which Quarantine is obviously a remake of), Quarantine 2 is not a remake of REC 2. In fact, it takes the series in a rather different direction. The film starts with a group of characters boarding a plane set to depart LA for Las Vegas. We've got about a dozen or so characters covering a wide spectrum of stereotypes, from smart ass kid, old couple, big leery guy, work obsessed business dude, a medic and the handsome stranger (amongst others). However, the central protagonists are a couple of Flight Attendants who do their best to make everyone comfortable and ready for take off. Before they are in the air, one of the passengers boards with a carrier containing several rodents and one of these little cuties nips the finger of another passenger. Unfortunately for him – and everyone else, it appears that the rodent is infected with the same stuff that caused the outbreak in the apartment building in the first movie. It isn't long before the bitten passenger has turned and attacking his fellow airplane buddies. After an emergency landing, the passengers realise that worse is to come as they have been locked out of the terminal and are surrounded by soldiers and CDC scientists. To compound this, the rag tag gang have to deal with the fact that several members of the group are beginning to turn...

I pride myself on my film memory recall but I have to say that besides the basic premise and a couple of key scenes, I had forgotten most of this film. That doesn't sound like much of a compliment to be fair, but the truth is that this is actually a solid little sequel. I remember thinking it was perfectly fine first time around, although I was in my 20's back then so I probably found a lot of other stuff decent which I now think are shit. Quarantine 2 isn't one of them however. Ok, things I liked about it. Right, the leading lady, Mercedes Mason (from Fear the Walking Dead) is really quite good and a bit more easy going than the intense journalist from the first film. And although it doesn't reach the ferocious heights of the Spanish original (or the creepiness of the final few minutes), it's still a pretty frenetic and violent horror with some decent practical effects and a couple of good jumps. That ultra fast, superhuman style of the infected is also maintained and to good effect. I also liked the way that they altered the mythology surrounding the virus. In the Rec series, it controversially swerved into demonic possession territory and Quarantine is ambiguous enough that it can also be viewed in the same way if so desired. However this sequel specifically changes that detail and spins the franchise in another direction. It's not a particularly new or original direction, but hey, at least it tries. It's not hamstrung by the found footage format either, which helps separate it even more so in effect what it does is use the first film as the backdrop to set the story against, but retains very little in terms of plot, characters or style.


It does take its time to really get going and objectively, there's not much here that elevates it above every other half decent zombie (although they aren't zombies!) flick. However, it's somewhat underappreciated and surprising in its competency and ambition and if you haven't seen it, there are worse ways to spend 90 minutes.

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