Sunday, September 27, 2009

Quarantine (2008)

I just finished watching QUARANTINE which is the American 2008 remake of the brilliant Spanish horror movie [REC] from 2007. I read somewhere (in Fangoria I think) that it's a re-interpretation of the story, not a remake as such, and that it's a really good film on its own. Gee, whoever wrote that could have fooled me! To me it looks like a scene-for-scene remake!! And yes if you haven't watched the original you're probably gonna think it's somewhat semi good but if you've actually watched [REC] you're most likely not gonna wanna watch the American version again but stick to the original Spanish one! Yes, the story is still good, and yes the location (the house) looks really good too, and the FX is equally good. But that's about it. Altho the dialogue in the remake follows the dialogue in the original version it seems to me that these director wanna-bees who churn out these remakes of old horror classics all believe that as long as their actors deliver the same lines as in the original it's all fine and on par with whatever they're trying to copy. Unfortunately, they often miss the whole fucken point about making the dialogue BELIEVABLE!! And in this movie it just isn't! It was the exact same problem with the remake of THE OMEN! There is not ONE moment in QUARANTINE where the female main character is believable! She overacts as if she been paid to do so. And her lines are delivered as tho they were uttered by an actor from a local 3rd rate amateur theatre! She's probably an okay actress but you don't believe for one moment that she's for real! The actress in [REC] was believable! Altho you know it's a film she stood out as if she were a real reporter in a creepy house! The entire cast of the original was believable. The whole movie was fucken believable. QUARANTINE on the other hand is a fucken cartoon. Oh, and one more thing that annoys me greatly is the lack of credit where credit is due! If you watch the documentaries on the dvd there isn't one single moment where any of the actors, director, producers, or other people behind the camera even start to mention that their film is actually a remake. They all keep kissing each other asses and talk about how they came up with everything for the film. Duh!! It wasn't very hard; they watched the original film and took it from there! Unfortunately, I'm probably gonna have to watch this plastic clone again for another upcoming review but otherwise I wouldn't wanna touch this turd again. I highly recommend the original Spanish film as it's well played and pretty bloody scary. If you MUST watch this then do yourself a favour and save it for AFTER you've watched [REC] . After having finished with the DVD I turned on the TV and one of the crappy commercial channels was showing RETURN TO THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL (a sequel to the remake of HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL [1999]) and altho it's probably a crappy sequel to a crappy film at least it looked a lot more fun (in a crappy, guilty pleasure way!) than QUARANTINE. Obviously I've ordered the UK disc that contains both films right away. £5 from Playcom. Yay!

PS: Hello to the Flying Maciste Bros. Thanks for subbing. :o)


  1. Isn't the actress in REC a "real" TV-host with these kinda shows?

    And yes, after check on IMDB she seems to be a tv-host who turned to acting :)

    REC is a fantastic movie. The remake is just so boring because it's a scene for scene remake. They could have done something different with it.

  2. You can't trust Fangoria anymore! They get paid to give bad movies good reviews!

  3. Actually Fango has become much better the last couple of years and that info was from an interveiw with the people who made the film so you can hardly blame the magazine. And I'd forgotten abut the Spanish actress being a real TV host and yes she's really really good. I haven't watched anything her US counter part has done but in this film she's nothing but a plastic clone.

  4. Patrick B: Actually, I've always found Fangoria quite critical when it comes to horror movies.

    It's seldom I see a really positive review, and they have no problem butchering movies that horror fans should like.

    I think they liked this movie, but on the other side, if they saw it in a dark cinema and didn't see the spanish version first the probably would be a bit positive.

  5. I bought Fango for a while in London around 1989-1990 but got tired of it cos at the time it was hardly any more critical than the advertising material that the film companies released about their own films! However, in the last few yrs they have changed a LOT and I think it's a great mag now.

    Fred, I think you're right. I spoke to a friend of mine (Metin Vardar of "Stay Sick!" magazine fame) who didn't even know it was a remake and he was very exited about it. I think on its own it's a fairly decent film but it's not great and it certainly doesn't come close to [REC].

  6. I agree with you on everything, Jack. I fell asleep watching the remake and although there were some slight minor differences, the Spanish version is easily the way to go with this one. I didn't think the ending was as good for the US version even though it seemed to go on for a bit longer than the one in the original. I also thought the scenes with the zombies were much better shot in the original especially the scene with the little girl zombie; she just stands there in the background with those black eyes till the camera gets in close. I can't wait for the the Spanish original, of course.

  7. You're hitting the nail on the head of one of the most used mistakes in American remakes: MAKE EVERYTHING BIGGER! Often Hollywood filmmakers think that if you make something bigger, more loud or gorier it naturally also becomes better! Needless to say that's not always the case (far from it!). One scene that doesn't work nearly as well as in the original is the first scene where we encounter one of the "zombies"; When they enter the old woman's flat and she's standing at the end of the hall. In the Spanish version we can hardly see her, i.e. she becomes mysterious, dangerous, SCARY! But in the remake this is drawn out way too much and the whole scene is too long. Also, the cops just don't act like cops most of the time (I know-I know, they're in an unreal situation but still; they're cops!! And in the Spanish version they are believable as cops in a difficult situation).

  8. Right again, Jack. That's what disturbs me about remakes, especially ones that follow too closely to the originals. If you've not seen one or the other, it totally sucks the energy out of the experience if you know what's going to happen. It just makes the remake seem sloppy or lazy, at least to me. It's made all the more contemptible when the filmmakers can't even be bothered to acknowledge they've lifted their movie from another source.

    I think it should be mandatory that every remake should have a credit acknowledging what the new film is based on. Some do it, but not enough do.

    The HILLS HAVE EYES remake was a good example of a film that paid homage to its source, but at the same time, went in a different direction to alter expectations for those already familiar with the original. I also thought it was a rare case in that it was a bit better than the original, too, imo.

  9. My turn to pad you on the back and say "by jove you're right old boy". I never really liked the original that much but the remake of HILLS is great.

    In all fairness I should point out that the credits in QUARANTINE actually mention it's a remake of [REC] but all too often it just doesn't happen (or it's written in so tiny letters you can't read it anyway). All the remakes that I DO like are the ones that were different to the original film.

  10. Interesting. I don't remember seeing it in the credits, but that's great to know they at least thought enough to give some kind of notice to the superior version. I hear there's gonna be a QUARANTINE 2 also. I wonder if they're going to wait for the Spanish sequel to hit first so they rip it off, too.

  11. I must admit I don't know anything about the sequels but it'll be interesting (or depressing) to find out. :/

  12. Dreadful film. I wanted to leave after ten minutes. Noisy. Big. Boring. Contained not one drop of what made the original entertaining.

    I must confess, though, that I'm sick of films about things attacking people... and endless war scenes (yes, I'm talking to you, John Woo!).

    Every premise these days is a pretext for non-stop battle scenes that quickly become monotonous and boring.

    Want a good endless battle film? BEACH OF THE WAR GODS.

    LORD OF THE RINGS may be to blame for this.

  13. Hey Jack and freinds :)

    As Jack stated i hadn't heard about REC thus in hindsight the movie Qurantine was watched with no preconditions about the plot. But i will check out REC first chance i get.