Shot with a handheld camera, Quarantine tells the story of a female reporter for a local TV station who's doing a fluff piece on a firestation. Things are going pretty much like every feel-good news story when a call comes into the station. The reporter and her cameraman hop on board the firetruck as they speed off to the apartment building where the tenants reported an old woman locked in her room had been making odd noises. When the firemen break down the door, they find the frail woman cowering in her darkened apartment, obviously terrified of the large men, the flashlights in her face, and the loud noises. She also happens to be foaming at the mouth. Meanwhile, the firemen are called upstairs to another disturbance. Yes, you guessed it. It's starting to spread. The tenants start to crowd the lobby and stairwell, which forces the lone patrolman inside the building to take charge. As the initial commotion starts to die down, the tennants discover that they can't leave the building. The doors have been barred from the outside. Then the lights go out and, of course, our intrepid reporter has to follow the cop into locked rooms in the basement. At least I think it was the basement.
I love a good thriller, and I put up with this nonsense for over an hour before I couldn't take it anymore and fast-forwarded to the last scenes just to see if there was a redeeming ending. Sadly, there wasn't. "Quarantine" tried to be the 21st Century's "Blair Witch Project", but it falls flat on its face. We never get to know the reporter, the firemen, or the tennants well enough to care anything about them. And the endless scenes of following this hapless woman down corridors using the night vision scope on the handheld video camera just get to be obnoxious. The beasties are neither terrifying or interesting in any way. Top it off with an ending that has no real pay-off for the viewer's stamina and you've got a movie that is fantasically disappointing.
Rainbo Electronic Reviews published this review in our February, 2009 issue.
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