Sunday, 30 November 2008

Q1: Quarantine

Ever since The Blair Witch Project, every punk with a camcorder thinks they can make the next Citizen Kane.

The latest in the don’t-worry-about-the-cinematography-cos-its-all-real-don’t-you-know genre is Quarantine, which actually owes as much to 28 Days Later and I Am Legend as it does to Cloverfield.

We follow the adventures of reporter Angela, as she in turn follows the adventures of a group of Los Angeles fire-fighters, with the disembodied voice of her trusty camera guy in tow.

A call to a city apartment block leads them to a sick old lady, and enough stereotypical residents (mother+daughter, check, grumpy middle-aged guy, check, non-English speaking couple, check) to generate a bit of incidental confrontation along the way.

The shit goes down when the building is quarantined by the Centre for Disease Control, and all of a sudden everyone is looking for a way out and wondering who’s going to get infected next.

If you ignore the plot holes (why, when infection is such an obvious risk, are the sick not being isolated?) and forgive the telegraphing of what-happens-next, there’s a lot to like here.

Jennifer Carpenter is very good as reporter Angela and the supporting cast is strong. The action sequences are reasonably well-framed (particularly given the restrictions inherent in the format) and there are some genuinely suspenseful moments.

On the downside the camera work is probably a bit too messy, and the film loses some points because it becomes pretty clear early on that some key plot developments had been given away in the trailer.

Also, they pinched the final scene from Silence of the Lambs (where it was done much better).

But still, good horrible fun.

3 out of 5