Saturday, October 25, 2008
For me, to review this movie is to handle a double-edged sword. I am supposed to tell you what I think is substantial filmmaking. However, I am a fan of almost every single "zombie" movie I have ever seen, so it is hard for me not to wildly endorse this.
So, I am not going to review this movie on traditional film standards. Rather, I am going to review it as a zombie movie. There are things zombie films should achieve, and things they should cover. I will try to grade Quarantine by these guidelines.
The whole movie is shot like Cloverfield. And for this, the director, John Erick Dowdle, had a lot on his plate. For a movie like this, you need to have as little cuts as possible to make it more realistic. This means higher level production design, and better performances from the actors. He pulled it off with flying colors. While the main actress, Jennifer Carpenter, was not the greatest, she at least pulled through the movie without making me hate her.
Quarantine achieves several things Cloverfield did not. For one, it was more realistic. This time, we were not saddled with the burden of watching through a camera that is indestructible and powered by batteries that don't die. This camera has its batteries changed several times throughout, and special care was taken with it. Secondly, the physics of the entire place were handled better than Cloverfield. Gravity applies to these people, and if you fall off of something, guess what? You pay the physical toll.
These days, zombie films seem to ignore one crucial question: how did the infection start? This one doesn't. In fact, it presents you with little clues as to how it started from beginning to end. By the end of the movie, if you have put the pieces together, all you can do is exclaim, "COOL!". I know I did.
The film also explores something I have never actually seen, unless I just can't remember. It shows what zombies do when they are not eating people's brains and gaining their knowledge. There is about two minutes of footage of a zombie on its own - and it's really interesting.
Also: this movie is scary as hell. It's among the most terrifying horror movies I've seen. For me personally, this is great. I think horror movies should give you the jibblies. This definitely gives the movie +1 HP.
In the end, I liked it. It's realistic, it's scary, and it's about zombies. For me, these are three great things. If you want to be scared stiff, or you like zombies, or you just want your date to grab your arm in fright, go see Quarantine.
However, there is one thing I must note. And if you are not an avid zombie fan like I am, reading this will do nothing for you. I do believe they used the word "zombie" in it. Good zombie films try to avoid this at all costs; it takes the realism away. Shaun of the Dead spoofs this beautifully. I am not sure that is what the girl said, but if it is, it saddens me deeply.
Oh well. Had to happen sooner or later.