Monday, October 13, 2008

Drinking Quarantinis

Well, how about that? Quarantine was actually decent. I was fully expecting it to suck and it didn't. Well, I didn't expect it to suck with the full on certainty I felt for An American Carol or Beverly Hills Chihuahua but the ads had so many horror movie cliches in it that I didn't see the movie rising above them. But it did.

This is one of those Found Footage movies like Blair With Project and Cloverfield where the whole movie is told from the point of view of someone's video camera (in this case, the camera of a news crew involved in the movie's events). One thing that really surprised me was that the movie had recognizable actors, unlike the other two movies I mentioned that had a cast of unknowns. No superstars, mind you, but it had Jennifer Carpenter who played the title character in The Exorcism of Emily Rose and sister of the title character in Dexter. You also had Jay Hernandez from World Trade Center, Dania Ramirez from Heroes and Greg Germann who does so many character parts in movies and television that you'll immediately recognize him as "That Guy From That Thing I Once Saw."

Mind you, the movie has its share of Teh Dum. Dumbness kicks in early and often but the movie is so good at slowly building the sense of Inevitable Terror And Doom that you overlook the stupid parts and enjoy the movie anyway. Here is a little Inside Review Edition (very minor spoilers included, nothing most people couldn't see coming) of Things I've Learned From Watching Movies:
  • A rundown, dirty third floor walkup is an excellent place for advanced biological research.
  • When someone has been infected with some godawful virus that makes them turn homicidal, the best way to protect yourself is to put the infected person behind some flimsy glass doors.
  • When you're trapped in a house full of crazy people, you should leave the relative safety of your firmly barricaded room so you can run to the other end of a dark house, thus making it easier for the crazy people to get you.
  • If you've seen many bodies that appeared to be dead yet later turned out not to be, you should have no fear of hanging out next to what appears to be a dead body.
  • When you are in a room with a monster that would want to eat you even if you hadn't just drilled a hole into its head, feel free to turn your back and ignore it.

I could have gone on but, as I said, the dumb stuff can be tolerated and it gives those people who like to yell, "DON'T GO IN THAT ROOM," something to do.

I don't really need to go much more into the plot, do I? You've all seen the ads about plucky reporter Angela Vidal (Carpenter) who picks the wrong night to do a ride-along with the Fire Department and ends up being forcibly quarantined in a house with people who've been driven crazy by some unknown infection. The nature and origin of the infection are revealed but they're also totally unimportant to the plot. It could have been anything. I do want to suggest Jennifer Carpenter for an Oscar nomination this year, mainly for a 15 minute sequence in which she hyperventilates non-stop. I don't know how she did that without passing out and I'd like to see Meryl Streep try to do something like that.

So, not much left to say except go see Quarantine. It should still be in theaters come Halloween and you can try to convince your friends to see this instead of Saw V, a movie that's part of a franchise that, in my mind, is proof that God does not exist.

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