I think now in these times we can all relate to being stuck indoors. So it made sense that I watched John Erick Dowdle’s Quarantine (2008). This was a solid found footage film that does its job at being scary. Also, the main character is a woman which is a treat for us here at Women in Horror!
Angela Vidal (Jennifer Carpenter) is a television reporter who is covering the night shift of a Los Angeles fire crew with her cameraman Scott Percival (Steve Harris). The crew gets a call to check out a small apartment building in response to screams coming from one of the apartments. In the apartment, the crew documents an old woman who seems to be infected with something. The old woman ends up attacking a police officer. After a few more incidents in the building happen, Vidal and the camera crew try to escape only to find that the building has been locked and is under quarantine. The rest of the film follows Vidal and the survivors as they try and find a way to outlast the infection.
Jennifer Carpenter puts on a great performance as Angela. It’s pretty impressive to watch her range from playing such a strong and aggressive character on Dexter and then transforming into Angela, someone who is afraid and searching for help. Angela does the best she can in the situation that she’s been dealt with. Like every other character in this movie she’s just trying to survive the infection, she just happens to have a camera to accompany her and occasionally act as assistance in helping her see.
Quarantine is effective as a found footage film. The movie wouldn’t have had the same reactions to the jump scares or had that additional tension. The infected people look really good as well. It’s similar to movies like REC (2007). Quarantine tells a good story, nothing worth re-watching multiple times but it’s satisfactory.
Quarantine is just that, a good horror movie. You can check off the good jump scares in the book of horror movie staples, and good special effects too. I’d say give it a watch; you won’t be disappointed, you’re getting pretty much what you expect. And you can count on a great performance from a female lead. Go ahead and give Quarantine a rent.