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Horror - Quarantine

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Jennifer Carpenter, Steve Harris, Columbus Short
Directed by John Erick Dowdle
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2009
89 minutes

If you’re looking for a horror/thriller ride kind of DVD, look no further. You’ll find it all in Quarantine. There’s horror, terror, gore, heart thumping non-stop action, and plenty of screams. It had been a while that I hadn’t seen a movie that kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end.

Quarantine is filmed in a pseudo-documentary style. Therefore, most of the movie looks like it was filmed in 2 or 3 takes. This really helps you get in the action and really understand what the characters are going through. It really makes you feel the terror of what goes on in the quarantined building where the story takes place. One of the bonus “making of” features of the Quarantine DVD shows how this effect was created and let’s just say, it is quite impressive technically.

The beginning of the movie shows us Angela (Jennifer Carpenter) being filmed by her cameraman Scott (Steve Harris) in front of a fire-station in Los Angeles. We can then understand that she will be following two of the station’s firemen in their activities for the night. When the first call of the night comes in, this is where the action starts. Angela is all excited to be riding in the fire truck with the sirens screaming… Little does she know, she’ll be the one screaming soon.

Once the fire crew gets to the call, they are greeted by the first police officers to arrive on the scene. They think they are responding to a routine medical call, but the building holds a few secrets that no one originally expected. Some of the tenants seem to be infected by a strange disease. This brings the CDC to quarantine the building even before the police, firefighters, TV crew, and tenants can be evacuated. What follows can only be described as a paranoid fight between “the infected” and the rest of the people who are trying to find a way out of the building. All this is documented by the TV crew, and so we, as viewers, can see all the action from the eye of the camera.

If this movie doesn’t give you the creeps, nothing will. Some critics have called this film the best horror movie of the year. I’d say it’s the best I’ve seen in years. The DVD offers decent bonus features. I’ve already mentioned the “making of” part, there’s also the usual commentary by the directors, a nice feature on makeup called “dressing the infected”, as well as a feature called “the anatomy of a stunt”.

The Quarantine DVD is well worth the purchase price, so these are simply great added value.

Vincent Lemire

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