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Film / Quarantine

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Quarantine is a Found Footage zombie film. It's the US nearly-Shot-for-Shot Remake of the Spanish horror film [REC].

News reporter Angela Videl (Jennifer Carpenter) is trailing a local squad of firemen when they get called to a nearby apartment complex. Unbeknownst to them, Angela and her cameraman Scott (Steve Harris) end up filming the discovery and progression of an apparent zombie outbreak, which forces the CDC and military to seal off the building, trapping everyone inside.

In 2011, a sequel, Quarantine 2: Terminal, was released, that is completely unrelated to any of the [REC] movies.


Quarantine contains examples of:

  • Ankle Drag: The last scene and the the trailer's signature shot.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The film itself.
  • Big Bad: Henry in Quarantine 2.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Averted twice in that the cameraman is black, and so survives most of the movie, while of the two policemen, the white dude is the first one to get zombified.
  • Blatant Lies: When the remaining survivors gather together in a room, every single one of them says that they aren't infected.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Bernard is shot in the head by a sniper when he desperately tries to escape.
  • Camera Abuse: And how. At one point, it's actually used as a weapon.
  • Closed Circle: Enforced. One guy rips open the plastic sheeting that the Center for Disease Control has put over the building and gets shot by a sniper for his troubles.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Most of the deaths. Some much worse then others.
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  • Dead Line News: Angela becomes the unwitting first line correspondent of a zombie outbreak.
  • Death by Adaptation: Played with. The ending of the film is the same as the original, with Angela being dragged away to her presumed death. However, whereas the sequel to the original revealed that Angela survived, the sequel to Quarantine doesn't touch on her fate, leaving her presumed dead.
  • Death by Pragmatism: An aggravating instance of it. Randy declares he's going back to his apartment and lock himself in. As soon as he gets off the elevator, he encounters an infected dog and runs back into the elevator. The dog follows.
  • Demoted to Extra: Since the cause of the virus was changed from the biological cause of demonic possession to a rabies-like rage virus for the remake, the Medeiros girl from the original film becomes a generic zombie in this film.
  • Demythification: Unlike in the original film, where The Virus is hinted to be a form of demonic posession (later confirmed in the sequel), the plague in Quarantine is a strain of rabies fabricated by a doomsday cult.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: For the first 15-20 minutes, the movie is focused on just hanging around a fire station filming a documentary called "The Night Shift". Then the fire department is called to the apartment complex and the film shifts into gear.
  • Downer Ending:
    • The last shot of the film is the lead character being dragged into the darkness. Or, rather than illuminating the spoiler, look at the top of this page.
    • In Quarantine 2, the female lead sacrifices herself to save a kid who manages to escape. However, a cat is seen walking around carrying the infection.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The victims of The Virus.
  • Final Girl:
    • Averted with Angela, who doesn't make it.
    • Jenny in Part 2 doesn't make it either.
  • Foreign Remake: Of the Spanish film [REC].
  • From Bad to Worse: Systematically, every time the situation seems to get somewhat under control, all hell breaks loose.
  • Found Footage Films: The first film involves the In-Universe recording of a "behind the scenes" special on a firefighter brigade that runs into the Technically Living Zombie situation.
  • Gender Swap: The zombie in the final scene was female in the original (although played by a male actor), but male in this version.
  • Genre Blind: At least half the carnage could have been avoided if the characters had simply closed the doors behind them or restrained the people who had been bitten. They can kind of get away with it when they don't know what was happening, but once it's made clear, they still fall victim to the genre. Even the CDC officials, who know exactly what's going on, are shockingly genre blind.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Really the reason the quarantine is even deployed. Especially when they all but double down on security after the two CDC agents never come back out and Bernard rips some of the protective tarping down, making it clear the only thing left to do is let things play out on the inside. This is effectively confirmed in the teaser trailer in which 48 hours after the events of the movie a HAZMAT team carefully goes inside to investigate.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: In the sequel, played straight then subverted. The CDC officer shoots himself a split second after the camera changes its focus, then, towards the end of the movie, Jennie bashes in the head of an infected Henry with a metal bar with every gory detail shown.
  • Hollywood Darkness: Played with. The lights in the building go out much earlier than in [REC], shrouding the cast in darkness, but the lights coming into the apartments from outside preserve the trope.
  • Hope Spot:
    • Near the end of the first film it's mentioned there is maybe a way out of the building through the sewer system. The keys are on the top of the building. None of the survivors make it down again.
    • The second film has an even stronger one: Henry is a member of the doomsday cult that created the virus, and has the anti-virus with him. Unfortunately for him, the virus has evolved to be resistant to the anti-virus... not even the men who engineered the damn thing are safe.
  • Idiot Ball: After seeing the little girl is infected and attacked her mother, the cop (so far, probably the most competent of the cast) decides to try to reason with her while she stands there, covered in blood, giving a Slasher Smile. His last words are "give me your hand."
  • Improvised Weapon: Notably, the video camera, at one point.
  • In-Universe Camera: Understandably because it's a found footage film, the entire movie is filmed through the camera that Scott is carrying.
  • I've Never Seen Anything Like This Before: Straight and subverted with Lawrence, who is a vet. The virus turns out to be similar to rabies.
  • Jitter Cam: Seeing as this is an American production, the amount of jitter in this remake is so intense, it puts the Jason Bourne films to shame.
  • Jump Scare: Quite a few.
  • Kill 'Em All: Not a single person inside the building survives, be it because of infection or otherwise.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: Averted. The little girl is a Zombie Infectee.
  • Ms Exposition: The reporter, explaining everything that we see to the camera.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Angela wears a white tank top after discaring layers of clothing and tight pants by the end of the movie.
  • Not a Zombie: The cops refuse to accept that the people are becoming zombies, even after being all but told this outright. The last one dies when he turns his back on a zombie he knows is there, for no good reason.
  • Not Using the Zed Word: "Infected" is used a few times, but nobody ever says "zombies".
  • Oh, Crap!: Angela, when she makes the connection between Briana's story of her sick dog and the health inspector's story about the infected dog who became violent...
  • Open Heart Dentistry: First aid is provided by the only resident with medical experience: a veterinarian, who notices the virus's similarity to rabies.
  • Police Are Useless: Like in the original, one of the cops is the first one to get infected by the old lady. Though in this case, the police are at least trying to keep their distance from the old lady and ready to shoot to kill (though not for the expected reasons - American policing isn't as laid back and carefree as Spanish one, and it shows).
  • Poor Communication Kills: Repeatedly.
  • Quarantine with Extreme Prejudice: In both films in this series, the infected buildings are surrounded by a cordon of snipers and men with guns ordered to kill anybody who puts one foot outside of them. Anybody.
  • Room Full of Crazy: The attic room, with walls covered in newspaper clippings
  • Shot-for-Shot Remake: Aside from Doing In the Wizard and putting the blame on a doomsday cult that created a bio-weapon instead of a demon and an exorcism attempt Gone Horribly Wrong, the first movie is a near-perfect replica of REC.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: In the first movie all of the survivors die. In the second all of the survivors' sacrifices do nothing to stop the virus from spreading, and only one little kid makes it out of the quarantined building.
  • So Much for Stealth: When the reporter and her cameraman try to evade the creepy girl in the dark, of course they give their location away by knocking something over.
  • Sound-Only Death: The man who backs into the closing elevator, chased down by a zombie dog.
  • Stairwell Chase: Several, as the infected increase in number.
  • Synthetic Plague: The rabies infecting everyone in the building is revealed to be a "super rabies" created by an apocalyptic cult.
  • Title Drop: The CDC blockading the building on both films explicitly tell the survivors that they are under quarantine. When they try to get out anyway, it turns out to be Quarantine with Extreme Prejudice.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The last shot of the movie is in the trailer, the official site, one-sheet and DVD cover as well as the lack of any survivors being stated in all those forms. For the main theatrical trailer, there are actually two versions, one longer and containing more spoiler-y content than the other but otherwise being identical.
  • Unbreakable Weapons: The camera that was used to beat a zombie dead, lens first and hit by a zombie several times without so much as messing with the video quality, let alone damaging it.
  • The Unreveal: The origin of the virus is implied to have something to do with "the man from Boston," who has newspaper clippings about a Doomsday virus on his wall. When the survivors discover a dictation machine in his room, you'd assume that it would reveal the virus's origins and the man's motives, but the speed is set too low to be comprehensible. Rather than adjust the speed, the survivors simply abandon it, leaving the details unknown until the sequel. The newspaper clippings supply enough information to piece together the story, which the sequel expands.
  • Vader Breath: The CDC personnel.
  • The Virus: What makes the zombies.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We see a dog running from the building when Angela and the firemen arrive. Uuhhhh oh.


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