The first Quarantine was adapted from the same screenplay as the Spanish film “REC’. The two movies were in production at virtually the same time, though Quarantine was released a little later. Despite this fact, it’s still met with the same level of vitriolic bandwagon minded remake bashing that any other remake receives, especially if it’s based on a popular foreign film that’s suddenly become “cool” because of it’s sub-popculture status. Is it possible to love “REC” but loathe “Quarantine”? I suppose anything is possible, but I think you’d really have to be looking for reasons to hate it in the first place. This mysterious sequel to Quarantine was made for one third of the budget of the original, and appears to have been written as a standalone movie, and then re-written into the world of Quarantine. Like some of the later “Hellraiser” sequels that feels like you’re watching a cookie cutter drama/thriller, then randomly Pinhead appears for a brief moment to justify the title of the film.
I’m not saying that Quarantine 2 is a bad movie, it just would have served it’s makers better had it been crafted as it’s own film, or at the very least adapted from a screenplay that had a little more to do with the events of the first film. Writer/director John Pogue has written some pretty big movies, so it’s surprising to me that the screenplay for this wasn’t a little more solid than it was. I have to wonder though, despite it’s low(er) budget, and the fact that it’s being dumped straight to disc/VOD, how much interference from SONY Pogue had to deal with during the production of the film. A studio as big as that probably has someone breathing down your neck, offering creative “advice” at every step throughout the filmmaking process.
The basic premise of Q2: Terminal is simple – A plane departing from Los Angeles is grounded after one of it’s passengers goes apeshit. Glossy eyes, aggression, foaming at the mouth, and a predilection for gnawing on people’s faces, the other passenger are able to contain the seemingly crazy guy in the plane’s bathroom. They’ve since been forced to land at an airport straight out of Stephen King’s “The Night Flier”, in the sense that nobody is around. No ground control to assist in the landing, and no open gates for them to empty out into the corridors. A gate operator/bag thrower who seems to be every bit as confused as the passengers, helps them into the airport’s terminal. Some failed attempts at opening the doors lead the group to discover that they’ve been quarantined to the terminal, and won’t be allowed to leave.
As mentioned above, an attempt at connecting the two films is made, however half-assed it may seem. Early on one of the passengers is watching the news on his laptop, and they’re playing footage of the swat team planted outside of the apartment complex that the first film takes place in. It does get a little further into the details of the connection later in the film, but it’s impossible to talk about it without spoiling things, so I’ll just leave that for you to discover on your own. Suffice it to say, it’s underwhelming to say the very least. This is my main gripe with the experience as a whole. Had they paid a little more attention to hashing out the details, explaining what exactly these people have to do with the goings on from before, this could have been a much better film than it ultimately turned out to be.
It may sound like I hated this movie, but I promise you, I really didn’t. If I could find any word to describe how I felt when it was over, it would be disappointed. On name recognition alone, this filmmaker had the opportunity expand Quarantine into a franchise film. I realize that he was only working with four million dollars, in comparison to the first film’s twelve million, but give a really passionate independent filmmaker four million dollars to make a franchise project and see what happens. I can guarantee you that it would be much better than this, depending on the filmmaker of course. It’s not like the film was loaded down with expensive computer graphics. The sets were fairly simple, the inside of an airplane, and the inside of a terminal that resembled every other random dingy warehouse I’ve ever seen in my life. What did they spend that four million on anyway? It certainly wasn’t star power.
To close out this long winded review, I have a few words to say about the film Quarantine, it’s relation to REC, and people that like to bitch and moan about remakes before having the details of the project. Despite being almost shot for shot identical to REC, Quarantine wasn’t technically a remake. Both films were in production at pretty much the same time, REC just happened to be the first one out of the gate. It’s an odd situation I know, two different filmmakers adapting the same screenplay at almost the same time, but it happened, so deal with it. I get so tired of virtual hipsters and their shitty attitude towards anything that’s not deemed “cool”. Yes, I am aware that different people have different tastes, and perhaps it’s entirely possible that someone could love REC but hate Quarantine, If you gave the film an honest chance, and still didn’t like it, hey, it’s all good, glad you gave it a try, but I’m not referring to you. I’m talking about the douchebags that were talking about how terrible of a film it was before it was even released, simply because it wasn’t the original, and somehow their circle of friends finds them to be superior to other people simply because they’ve seen a foreign film. I’m getting tired of these people, if you didn’t already realize that fact.
The funny thing about those people though, is that those same people have been bitching since they learned the details of Quarantine 2, that this wouldn’t be a remake of REC 2. What? How can you bitch about originality in one breath, and in the next condemn a film for not being a shot for shot remake of another? It doesn’t make any kind of logical sense, and it’s actually kind of perplexed me. Do they even realize they’re doing it? Or does being an assclown just come naturally to them? In any event, I’ve raved long enough about the subject, I’ll chalk it up to them being republicans, and move on with my life.
Quarantine 2 is not the perfect film, hell, it might not even be a good film in your eyes, but it did entertain me. I can’t see this one setting the world on fire, and it’s probably put the nail in the coffin of any future sequels, but it’s a decent popcorn movie to relax to on a rainy Sunday afternoon. They do manage to build a little bit of tension, perhaps even some subtle hints of character development, but for the most part it’s just another mindless film that fits into the “zombies that aren’t zombies” category. If you dig 28 Days Later, and other entries into the human rabies sub-genre of horror, you may squeeze a bit of fun out of this one. You might actually enjoy it more than I did if you lower your expectations. And no, just in case you were curious, it has nothing to do with, and bears no similarity with “Plane Dead” AKA “Flight of the Living Dead”.