Quarantine (or 9021-oh!)

In Quarantine, perky tv reporter Angela and her cameraman Scott are shadowing the boisterous men of a Los Angeles Fire Station when a routine 911 call takes them to a Melrose Place-style apartment block. They learn from concerned neighbours that an elderly woman living in the building is seriously sick but when they try to attend to her, things get bloody. A veterinarian thinks it’s rabies, but it’s a damn fast-moving version of the virus if it is. Chaos ensues.

Cue lots of helter skelter, vomit, toothiness and screaming, as residents and rescuers try to flee the building, only to find that it’s been quarantined by the Center for Disease Control – the entire block is in wrapped-in-plastic lockdown with all phones, internet, cable channels and cell phone access severed. By chance the trapped protagonists learn that officials outside are officially saying the building is empty, which really means they are all terminally screwed……

So I enjoyed Quarantine – except for the incessant screaming in the last quarter (zombie or no, I really wanted to slap some sense into that girl.) It’s tense, chaotic, and there are lots of great cameos from solid actors; too cute Jay Hernandez, professional sleazebag Denis O’Hare, that other one from Ally McBeal, that dude from the Practice. It actually reminded me of a less self-conscious Cloverfield. But then again, maybe I’m easily pleased; as I’ve mentioned before, I’m a bit of an “end of the world” junkie – too many years in South Africa can make a chap keep a fixed eye on the nearest available emergency exit.

Three other things: it filmed on the Sony Pictures sound stage. It’s a remake of a Spanish movie called REC. Now that I’d like to see…..And April 10th’s Time magazine has a fun article on how Zombies fit so neatly into the popular zeitgeist the world over: Zombies are the New Vampires