I’m a big fan of the Spanish found-footage film, [REC], and encourage anyone into zombies, religious horror, and/or cinema verite to give it a shot. Quarantine was an American remake of [REC]. Although I’d recommend sticking with the original, the English-language version isn’t a bad film. It’s just exactly the same, shot for shot, and painfully unnecessary. What’s better than an unnecessary remake? A sequel to an unnecessary remake. A sequel that diverges so far from the Spanish films that one might suspect a separate property was co-opted into the franchise. One might.
If you’re not familiar with the original film, [REC], or its near-identical copy yet want to watch this sequel for some unspeakable reason, here’s the gist. A zombie-like infection breaks out in an apartment complex. The goverment quarantines the building trapping the tenants and rescue workers inside with the frenzied murderers. Although there are key differences, neither version ends well.
Quarantine 2 abandons the traditional found-footage aesthetic and events of [REC] 2 entirely. We follow an airline stewardess as the infection from the first film sneaks its way onto a passenger plane. The claustrophobic environment of a plane interior has great potential for tense “locked room scenarios” and when the zombie outbreak occurs mid-flight, this film is decent. The problem is that we leave the confined setting (the selling point I’d say) far too soon.
The survivors soon enter a dark and spacious hangar and your generic zombie film proceeds as usual. I will always prefer the Exorcist flavor of the Spanish films lacking in the American counterparts, but veering so sharply away from the previous material could have been a good move. They just didn’t pull it off. Quarantine 2 is a terribly mediocre horror film. If you’ve seen a fair number of zombie flicks, it’s nothing new. There’s a strong female presence in the film and I appreciate that, but it’s not enough. It’s fine. Bland. It’s utterly forgettable.