What’s it all about?
A plane is taken over by a mysterious virus. When the plane lands it is placed under quarantine. Now a group of survivors must band together to survive the quarantine.
THE HUGHES VERDICT
To enjoy Quarantine 2 then its best if you ignore REC and REC 2. In no shape or form does this sequel follow the path of its spanish original part 2 and if that is a good or bad thing is up to you the horror fan to decide. While the original re-make was a shot by shot replica of REC, the film itself had many fans moaning at this approach by calling it pointless and were asking the question “why are people so lazy when it comes to reading subtitles?”. I enjoyed Quarantine for what it was even though REC was superior, I think my main problem was I could not get past Dexter’s Sister Debra playing the lead role, and also having lavished the praise on REC, I did not get too much of a thrill seeing it all over again in a typical glossy American re-make.
Of course REC 2 was not bad either, in fact like I said in my review, I thought at times it bettered the original so when Quarantine 2 was announced and the makers put out a message that unlike before they are ignoring the story path of its Spanish counterpart, there were gasps from fans everywhere. But not from me! I actually thought it was a brave move, I mean why try to replicate perfection and besides with REC nailing that side of the story, I was curious and interested to see how what kind of idea the writers had for their version.
Could it be better or is this the dumbest idea since they decided to re-make Halloween?
Signs are not good though before you even sit down and watch the horror! Bypassing the cinema and heading for straight to DVD was once a sign of kiss of death with the studios not confident enough to see their baby flop badly on the big screen. Of course that notion is well gone these days with horror becoming a breeding ground for quality releases on the Monday Morning shelves with such greats like The Torment and The Objective all being released this way and gaining massive critical acclaim from fans and writers all over the world. Yes Quarantine 2 may be a case of the studio having little faith in their new franchise, but there are still fans out with huge expectancy towards this film and will look past the low budget and lack of big name stars because simply deep down they want to be scared, they want that suspense and be thrilled, basically they live in hope that Quarantine 2 can be like REC 2, but a whole new board game.
But with this new path of a story comes new direction and gone is the hand held ‘found’ footage. This sequel bears no resemblance to this presentation style of the three films before this, opting for a more traditional horror film camera set up which may bring a welcome relief to those who are getting sick of this camcorder craze! Also missing is any music, an eerie decision that makes the film stand out differently to what you expect. Honestly there is just silence through out, a real odd vibe comes from watching a film this way and I have to say it kinda works brilliantly. The film somehow gets the tension and suspense by doing it this way and its a real high mark off me for whoever decided to go down this route!
The film introduces us to Jenny and Paula two airplane attendants preparing for a routine flight. The beginning sees the introduction of a new set of characters, all passengers of a plane who are heading off to do their separate business. In a clever scene, we see one of the passengers watching TV on his laptop and seeing a news report of a building in LA under Quarantine, which gives the viewer the link towards the original. Everything is fine on board until one of the passengers vomits and starts to act all crazy and its here we realise that the virus from that tower block is now aboard a plane. After few tussles on board and chaos begins to rage, the plane is forced to land when one of the passengers starts to develop rabies-like symptoms, but when on land the crew and passenger find themselves quarantined inside a terminal and with the infection beginning to spread, murder and bloodshed starts to become a common theme, in other words, its REC all over again, but this time in an airport!
I am going to be honest and say that it only took one moment for Quarantine 2 to piss me off so much that the film lost me and never got me back. When I first heard of this plot I thought it was a good one, REC works because we are stuck in one place and that tower block itself becomes like this suffocating blanket where there is no escape. The idea that this mutant virus is on a plane that is high up in the sky is actually better that the original spanish concept. Think about it! How can you run and hide when you stuck up in the sky? and Quarantine 2 had the most perfect location to match the suspense and claustrophobic feel of the original. Before anyone says “how could they set a film just on a plane?” obviously have not seen the quite wonderful underrated Flight Of The Living Dead which had Zombies run amok on flight and also do not forget the Big Sam film Snakes on a Plane, so there are examples of how this sequel could have approached its concept and when we get the first sign of a customer not feeling too good then things do bode well.
But has soon as the virus starts to have fun the plane lands and we find ourselves in an empty terminal where we get nothing more than a carbon copy of that tower block. Sorry makers, this is not the film I signed up for and hand on heart, the film never recovered from that for me. That is not say the rest of your horror fans will get no enjoyment out of this sequel. It plays out like standard zombie fare, an easy watch for a weekend where fans of this kind of genre will lap up! The main flaws are way too obvious, first it offers nothing new, just loads of people running around in the dark and secondly and most importantly, its not once scary. Maybe because this kind of storyline has been told too many times to register in our horror brain, it lacks a certain bite at times and while it never gets tiresome, you do wish for a mid point twist to freshen things up.
Writer/Director John Pogue (Ghost Ship) tries his best with the limited budget and I have to applaud his stance to offer up something new, but you just do not get the feeling of awe that you get with its much bigger brother and sister. I said at the beginning of this review that its best to ignore REC and REC 2, but its really hard to do and while I really wanted to enjoy this sequel and believe me its not the disaster that you may be expecting, you can not help b
ut get that feeling you had with the original Quarantine which was “this will do but I can not wait for REC 2” which is now replaced with “this will do but I can not wait for REC 3!”, which I suppose is the wrong frame of mind to be watching a film that is trying to please you.
Quarantine 2 is ok, the film flies by even though it sells out towards the end by switching the POV to night cam for what is a no doubt cheap ploy to keep in with the tradition of the franchise, and the end itself hints that maybe next summer we be getting a third film which will no doubt be another straight to DVD release which leaves me with thoughts lingering in the air. Would this film and franchise make the money it does if it was not for the REC link? If this was called anything else like for example “Mutant Virus On A Plane!” would horror fans be queuing up to see it?
I very much doubt it, so to all those who are quiet happy to keep on watching Quarantine III, IV and no doubt V, if you have never watched a subtitle film before, then check out the real deal, you may never look at this American franchise in the same light again!……..