Grim, gory, gooey--and a hugely effective bit of Hollywood hokum--Quarantine is a winner that will undoubtedly please horror fans this Halloween season.
A Los Angeles apartment building falls prey to something very nasty--won't you come along for the ride? A TV news crew accompanies a fire company to a Los Angeles apartment building where something has gone wrong. VERY wrong. For the next 90 minutes, the characters--and the audience--embark on a grimy, gritty, shock-filled rollercoaster ride through the hallways of an apartment building that is soon under siege, by both a threat inside and the obligatory threat (i.e. the authorities, who are always interested in keeping the lid on things) outside. It's never really explained what the pesky pestilence is that kick-starts this horror thriller, nor does it really matter. As seen through the lens of the TV cameraman (Steve Harris), the audience gets a good jolt of high-concept horror in the tradition of The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield--but certainly more effective and better-rendered than the latter. It's a pure, edge-of-the-seat, horror-fied (and horror-fried) adrenaline rush, which should find great favor with fans of the genre.
This is not a movie about acting, unless acting is determined by how well people play under pressure. This is a concept movie, a gimmick movie. The actors are merely there to fulfill their functions--show up, scream, and die--which they do with solid dispatch. Dexter's Jennifer Carpenter, as the TV reporter-cum-heroine-by-default, looks dynamite and screams even better. Jay Hernandez, as a friendly fireman, portrays manly panic quite well. He's a hero and he's a hunk, but oh boy, are the odds stacked against him! The majority of the ensemble cast ends up as fodder, but they manage to make a positive impression that hurries this film along. This is not an actor's movie, but the actors most certainly do their part to keep the proceedings moving along.
The real star of the show is Minnesota-born filmmaker John Erick Dowdle, who maintains a relentless pace that serves this story--and the intended audience--very well indeed. If the intent was to make a gory, paranoid rollercoaster ride that never lets up, then the director has succeeded. You want to read more into it? Go ahead. I'm going for a drink to settle my nerves!
Hollywood.com rated this film 3 1/2 stars.