Saturday, October 25, 2008

To discuss a movie review: Don't see "Quarantine" if you value all things holy and good

Coming to theaters this Halloween season:
A movie that will make you completely uncomfortable, wish you had your mommy, make you wish you were next to a toilet and make you question if your dog is going to murder you.

"Quarantine." Rated R.

Friends, if there's ever a time I need you to trust me, it's now. Quarantine is the murderer of restless sleep and of relaxed stomachs. If you see it, you may never be the same again.

Capricorn and I wanted to celebrate our faux holiday, Fall Fest 2008, a night early, so we went to see a scary movie. Makes sense, right? Halloween + scary movie= good times. Sweet fancy Moses we were wrong. It was the first time I've ever apologized to a girl on the way out for making her watch a movie I chose.

Let me make this clear: Quarantine is not a poorly executed movie. It might just be the worst movie and the best movie I've ever seen in the horror genre. I love zombie-type movies, too. 28 Days Later, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, even Shawn of the Dead. This movie is freakier than all of them, but not necessarily in a good way.
As Capricorn eloquently put it, Quarantine is "Excruciating."

There are spoilers in here, mostly because I am telling you not to see this movie, so spoilers shouldn't be an issue. If they are an issue, that means you are going against my advice, and in that case, say hey to Satan for me, because that's where your soul is headed after watching Quarantine.

The official description, off of Sony: On March 11 2008, the government sealed off an apartment complex in Los Angeles. The residents were never seen again. No details. No witnesses. No evidence. Until now.

Andy's official description:
Quarantine starts off like most scary movies- you get to know the main characters in a normal environment. In this case, a TV reporter and her camera guy (who is mostly only heard and not seen the entire movie- he does do a good job of acting in that limited capacity, however) are doing a profile of a city fire department.

They shoot the whole movie documentary style. Now, I've had no problem with that before, despite the shaky camera movement-- I saw it with "The Blair Witch Project" and was fine. This time, for whatever reason, it left me feeling nauseated the entire time, to the point where I had to look at stationary objects offscreen just to regain composure.
They do an excellent job of making the filming of the documentary part of the plot, I'll give them that.

Back to the plot- Eventually, the main dudes go on a call to an apartment building, where an old woman has been screaming and acting all Linda Blair. As they try to help her, she freaking bites a cop in the neck. A few minutes later, as the tenants gather downstairs, one of the firefighters who remained upstairs to help the woman seemingly throws himself down three flights of stairs, where we see that the old lady chewed half his leg off and gashed his neck.
This marked the last time Capricorn and I felt comfortable at all. I can handle blood and gore-- "Hostel" was a decent movie, for instance, and that was all kinds of nasty-- but this takes it to a different, queasy level.

Everyone wants to get out of the building, but emergency crews and eventually the Center for Disease Control block off all exits to the building and have snipers covering all the windows. It's then that the people quarantined (hence the title) inside start freaking out.
After a few scary trips to investigate other apartments in the building, where a few more sick residents are found and effing murdered, the CDC comes in to investigate what disease is afflicting people. Now, a vet in the building already believes it's some strange form of rabies (If only Michael on The Office had been successful in his Race to Prevent Rabies).

Turns out, the vet is right. Too right. The almost dead firefighter attacks a CDC dude, and it's FREAKING ON.
Within a minute, it goes from "Hey, this movie is making me feel nauseous, uneasy and frightened, but I think I can handle it," to "OH SWEET GOD IN HEAVEN WHEN WILL IT END! IS THERE NO JUSTICE IN YOUR EYES!"

Soon, everyone is biting each other. A rabid dog attacks one resident in the elevator, as you hear him scream for God's mercy as the dog rips off his skin, while the doors close. A core group of people escape, but even they are screwed, as a few of them had been bitten and soon try to munch on flesh in the most disgusting ways imaginable. I wish I had the words to describe how disturbing it gets. Even a little girl becomes infected (It turns out it was her dog that started this whole thing) and she gives her mom a death hickie.

With only a few characters left- firefighter, TV reporter, TV camera dude- they try to make a run for it. Let's just say it doesn't end well for firefighter.
TV reporter (Who does a nice job emoting this whole movie) and camera dude are forced to murder people left and right just to make it to the attic.
If you're life depends on killing zombies just to get to the dark, desolate attic, let's just say things aren't going well.
Capricorn has, at this point, covered her eyes with her hands, which will remain there until the end of the movie. I haven't breathed in 10 minutes. The duo discover that some crazy dude invented a doomsday virus and they are now in his laboratory, which has rats everywhere. Camera guy's light finally gives out, making him go with night vision on the camera (effectively used in 28 Weeks Later, also). TV girl can't see a thing, which is just as well, because a crazy baby pops out of nowhere before vanishing, and then crazy dude lurches in, eventually hears and slaughters camera guy, leaving TV girl all alone.
And let's just say that doesn't end well for her either.


That last half hour was the most intense, horrifying, unpalatable, disgusting, ghastly a sequence as I've ever seen in a movie. That's not to say it was the best concept ever for a scary movie, or the most well-executed scary movie ever. But there was something about Quarantine that had me completely incapacitated to have rationale thoughts. I think what truly made it horrifying is that it is not that insane to think that a virus could spread quickly that would make people do terrible things. That's one reason I like movies like "28 Days Later," but in this case, I got what I wished for...real fear.

"Why did we pay money to feel that way?" Capricorn said as we exited. Good question.

Afterward, Capricorn and I sat in her car for a minute trying to calm down. We had to go to Wal-mart just to be among normal things. The cashier, mentioning that she wants to go see "Saw V," said she was even more interested in seeing "Quarantine" now after I described it to her, even though I used phrases like "motion sickness" and "completely uncomfortable." I say, go see "Saw V." It'll be like watching Sesame Street in comparison.

When I got home, I was hoping Bailey wouldn't be infected and try to murder me in my sleep.

The jury is still out on that one.


~Sheila~ said...

Awesome! My husband wants to see that movie.

There were only a couple of movies that scared me:

1. A Nightmare On Elm Street(only the 1st one)- I was about 13 when I saw it. I was babysitting and when the parents came home, I had to walk home...alone. I slept with my mom that night. I kept waking up in the middle of the night frozen with fear.

2. The Blair Witch Project- I know..I know..not really scary but...I was pregnant with Miah at the time and Angel worked out of town. I was alone inthe house for a week. Something about the ending of the movie with a figure in the corner and the camera dropping really got to me. I blame my hormonal imbalance on that one.

Miss Tiff said...

I've decided to see Saw V instead now. I will trust you on this one and not see it as planned this weekend.

bex said...

Now I'm scared to see it!

You know what movie really freaked me out? Monster. I think it was because Charlize Theron had no eyebrows.

Sam_I_am said...

Hostel scared the living bejeezus out of me. I wanted to see it because they said "People had to be removed from the theater on stretchers!" Thank you, now I must fight the urge to go see Quarantine, because I know it will scare the life out of me. :-P

gracie-mel said...

Ladies and Gentle-blog-people: this is the brother who ever-so casually put on 28 Weeks Later ON MY BIRTHDAY to "show off the speakers."
I couldn't sleep right for days.
And he's complaining about a movie he PAID to see?? I just wanted to sit and watch a nice movie with my brothers and boyfriend for my birthday and was instead transfixed by murder-death-kills!! (sorry Sandra Bullock)
Gotta hand it to him: he does know his gore, and if he says Quarantine is no joke, he means it!!

Amy xxoo said...

Holy potatoes.... its not out here yet but when it does start showing, young Amy shall be nowhere near the cinema!

" The Ring " scared the absolute shite out of me and apparently its pretty tame to most horror fans so if your recommend NOT seeing " Quarantine " i'll take your word for it....

Herding Cats said...

Ugh, never ever EVER will I submit myself willingly to a horror movie AGAIN. After I saw "The Descent" a few years ago with my douchebag ex who wouldn't even HOLD MY HAND to comfort me (yah, not bitter). So no more scary movies. I'm sensitive and they make me want to throw up AND cry all at once.

Michael said...

I'm sorry, but this just makes me want to...

...see it even more. Thanks!

Diane said...

Sweet fancy Moses! I couldn't even read your whole post (that's what a big scaredy weenie I am) so there's no chance in ever-lovin' hell I'll see the movie, but it was worth seeing that god-awful picture just to read "Sweet fancy Moses" ;)

Ben said...

The Ring scared the living shite out of my like that the first time I saw it. I then decided being that afraid in a theatre was not something I'd pay money to do.

The Logarithmic Spiral said...

I still haven't forgiven you for bringing Natalie and I to see 28 Weeks Later with no warning of what it's about. "If the world was ever taken over by zombies, I'd just take one of those death pills." Best Natalie Allen quote ever.

Although, I guess if the night ended in telling completely, horribly embarrassing stories that no one should EVER know about...eh, maybe it was a little worth it. But only a little! :)

Katie said...

actually I think I'm going to have to see this movie now. ;)

A fair fairy said...

I'm not a big fan of scary movies. You ask why we pay to feel like that. (well she did but that's a good question). I often wondered about that too and I thought it was because we like to feel that by comparison our life is safe... but I could be wrong since I am not a fan of the genre... so... why do you think?

SouthernBelle said...

Here's my question - why did you stay til the end of the movie???

Husband loves this kind of movie & I hate it. Humanity/life is depressing enough without having extra sicko horrible things made up.

Andy said...

Sheila- I went camping the night after I saw Blair Witch. True story.
Tiff- You won't regret it.
Bex- Even then, Charlize is hot.
Sam- Hostel was freaky, but entertaining. I did not leave on a stretch, thankfully.
Gracie- In my defense, we only were going to watch the first scene.
Amy- See, The Ring didn't really scare me. Static on television isn't scary. Walking on compound fractures, like in Quarantine, is scary.
Herding- At least you're not bitter, cause that would suck.
Michael- You better write back to say how it went.
Diane- Man I love that phrase
Ben- Another reason why you are smarter than I am.
Spiral- Yeah, my bad. But it was fun, right? Right?
Katie- I warned you. Just remember that.
Fair- That's a good assessment. Also, because we all secretly wish we could murder people.
Belle- Because I'm not a quitter.

Anonymous said...

Man, I hate these kinds of movies. However, oddly enough, reading this kinda makes me want to go see it.

Also, did you see Cloverfield when it was in theaters? It had that shaky, Blair Witch feel to it, too. Except it was like the Godzilla version these free cam movies. It wasn't that great, but I alternated between startled and amused.

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