Wednesday, 21 September 2011



First there was the Spanish original [Rec], which was one of the better found footage movies on the grounds that there was a decent reason for someone to be filming all this stuff, and then [Rec] 2, which again worked well enough. Then they remade the original [Rec] as Quarantine, not so much shot for shot as pixel for pixel, on the grounds that American audiences were not only so thick they couldn't master the complexities of reading the subtitles, but they needed a poster that gave away the final image of the movie. It was okay, but if you've seen [Rec] you've effectively seen Quarantine as it was exactly the same film. While they're busy continuing the Spanish-language series with [Rec] 3 and [Rec] 4, we now have a sequel to the remake which is NOT a remake of the sequel, in the same way that Rob Zombie's Halloween II has nothing to do with Rick Rosenthal's Halloween II.

And now we have Quarantine 2: Terminal, which mercifully ditches the increasingly wearisome found footage technique and adopts the more traditional techniques of editing and photography that you expect from a proper film (though, curiously, no music score). The Doomsday Virus thing from the first movie(s) gets loose on an aeroplane in mid-flight and starts infecting people, turning them into slavering zombies. Forced to land when the first victim goes royally berserk, the remaining passengers and crew can't get into the terminal itself and, find themselves sealed up in one of the cargo hangars as the disease control people seek to contain the outbreak....

Occasionally it does lapse back into the POV style with the acquisition of thermal goggles but generally speaking it's made as a proper film since there's no reason within the narrative for any of this to be constantly recorded. Eventually it just becomes a standard zombie movie with the dwindling survivors running around the dark hangar and having to kill one another to stay alive. Much of this is frankly pretty mundane and very difficult to get excited about, no better or worse than dozens of other DTV quickies although it does set itself up nicely for a Quarantine 3.

Even as airborne horror goes - surprisingly a pretty thin subgenre - it's undistinguished; the pinnacle is probably the Twilight Zone story Nightmare At 20,000 Feet (William Shatner or John Lithgow) or the 1970s TV-movie The Horror At 37,000 Feet, coincidentally also with Shatner. Quarantine 2 is entirely functional and unremarkable but never gets off the ground, and while the move away from faux-reportage is to be encouraged, it still needs to be better than this.


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