• Quarantine 2 : Terminal

    Released By: Sony Pictures
    Released On: 07/02/2011
    Director: John Pogue
    Cast: Mercedes Masöhn, Josh Cooke, Mattie Liptak, Ignacio Serricchio, Noree Victoria

    The Film:

    It’s somewhat bandwagon and trendy to say, but man, I hate remakes. Though this lazy Hollywood trend has produced a couple of decent flicks, most of them are garbage and don’t hold a candle to their original counterparts. With Quarantine, essentially a shot-for-shot remake of the fine film [REC], it seemed like the studios were getting even lazier; kicking out a remake about 5 minutes after the first film because they were under the impression that North American audiences were too impatient to read subtitles of people screaming in Spanish. And who knows…maybe they were right. Regardless, Quarantine got made, and the studio made enough money to want to do a sequel.

    In a surprising show of almost originality, Sony didn’t decide to remake Paco Plaza’s film [REC] 2, instead opting to have writer and Director John G. Pogue pen a new script. Good call. Whereas [REC]2 is more true to the original, but a bit of a plodding mess, Pogue’s script for Quarantine 2 packs a decent punch with some nasty violence, a good buildup of suspense, and scares that don’t just rely on loud noises and bright lights.

    Taking place at the same time as Quarantine, the sequel finds two flight attendants heading back from a concert to make their flight out of Los Angeles. With the exception of a brief blurb on the news, the events unfolding in a quarantined downtown apartment building are largely unknown, and with a light passenger load, the flight looks like it will be an easy one. In fact, with the exception of a pilot who appears to be suffering from a cold, and a massive, jolly passenger, not to mention a crate of hamsters, it seems that it will not be a memorable one. Unfortunately, that all changes when overweight guy (names are inconsequential in this film) suffers from what seems to be an overabundance of alcohol, and blows a mighty torrent of chunks all over one of the flight attendants and pretty much the rest of the plane. More unfortunate is his refusal to stay in his seat, which he demonstrates by screaming like a banshee and firing blood and mucous in all directions as he charges for the cockpit. A couple of bites and an emergency landing later, and all hell has broken loose as the survivors find themselves in a quarantined airport terminal with bloodthirsty infected maniacs on the inside with them, and machine gun-toting soldiers from the Center for Disease Control on the outside.

    Quarantine 2 is not a masterpiece of modern filmmaking, but it is surprisingly well done. Pogue’s script starts off strongly, seems like it’s going to lose steam after the first half hour, and then changes location and picks up again. It does trip and stumble along the way, but breaks out a few surprises and some genuinely eerie scenes. Considering that it takes place in two locations for the most part, and is devoid of pretty much any character development, it’s an accomplishment that the film manages to remain entertaining for the run time. The writing, direction, and cinematography all have a solid hand in its success, and breaking away from the handheld camcorder reality TV Blair Witch style of filmmaking was a good call. Set design can be applauded as well; the airplane and terminal are a maze of effective set pieces and claustrophobic cubbyholes. All in all, despite the fact that I was looking forward to this film about as much as I look forward to waking up with a cold sore, Quarantine 2 ended up being one of the better horror flicks that I’ve seen this year.


    Sony brings Quarantine 2 to DVD in a 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer that looks amazing considering the number of dark scenes, and stays punchy and detailed in brighter moments with nary a speck of artifacting or noise to be found, unless you’re really looking for it. The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track makes heavy (HEAVY) use of the surrounds and sub, and hey, that’s what we’ve got them for. The levels are balanced nicely with a good range of sound.

    Unfortunately, if you’re looking for extras outside of subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing, you will not find them here; Sony has presented the film in a completely barebones edition.

    The Final Word:

    It will require putting aside an intense hatred of remakes, and a more intense hatred of sequels of remakes, but Quarantine 2 is worth the 90 minutes spent. The lack of extras on the disc is a disappointment, but the transfer is solid.

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Ian Jane's Avatar
      Ian Jane -
      Needle to the eye! Eeek!
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      I actually had to look away. I can't handle that stuff. :D Nadene told me it was nasty.