Judge Alice Nelson has horrible memories of being quarantined as a child. Oh wait...that was just high school detention.
I believe I've found something you could encounter on your next flight far worse than the TSA proctology pat downs you've grown accustomed to.
A few months back I was looking to spend some 'me' time doing something completely mindless while the children napped, so of course I went to my dear friend Netflix for help. Sure I could've done something more productive like start dinner or wash dishes, but heck, I needed an hour or two of sheer slothfulness or I would've gone mad. In searching the streaming options, I found a little ditty called Quarantine, a nicely done scare fest that had me squealing like a scared little girl more than a few times. So, seeing that there was a sequel, Quarantine 2: Terminal, I jumped at the chance to review it. What I got was another well done horror flick, maybe not as terrifying as its predecessor but a fine film just the same, with enough scares and surprises to make me squeal yet again—to my husband's utter delight.
Facts of the Case
Jenny (Mercedes Masöhn, Three Rivers) and her best bud Paula (Bre Blair, The Unit) are flight attendants working a late night flight from Los Angeles to Kansas City. After one passenger is bitten by the 'hamster' of another commuter, he goes from jovial nice guy to drooling red-eyed flesh eater in a matter of minutes. The pilot is forced to make an emergency landing to have the unruly man removed. However when the plane lands, instead of getting help from police, the crew and the small group of passengers are locked in an air terminal with no explanation from the outside world. What's more worrisome is that Mr. Jovial isn't the only drooling flesh eater on the flight, more and more of the passengers are starting to turn, and the others must try to survive as well as escape their captivity, before they all become a victim of this strange virus.
I love when movies scare the dickens out of me, it's exciting when a film gets my adrenaline pumping and has me on the edge of my seat, when all the while I know that I'm in the safety of my home or a movie theater. Quarantine has that kind of creepiness, with jumps and spooks in all the right places and a satisfying terror that causes your heart to occasionally skip a beat. With the storyline revolving around the normal everyday activity of taking a flight, it makes it far easier for the viewer to get involved in the film without having to use a lot of energy suspending disbelief. I know, we don't meet too many red-eyed flesh eaters on the connector to San Diego but the normalcy of the activity makes what happens to the passengers just that more frightening. Quarantine 2 also does a nice job of connecting itself to the first film and doing it in a clever way without it feeling forced.
Mercedes Masöhn and Bre Blair do a fine job as flight attendants who have to up their game and keep a frightened group of strangers calm after one of their own turns into something similar to the walking dead. Masöhn as Jenny, has the key role as a woman who is normally paralyzed when under pressure but must overcome that fear in order to save the life of a young teenage boy in her charge, George, played by Mattie Liptak 21 Jump Street. The character Jenny realistically transforms into a much stronger person who takes her responsibility of George very seriously and gains her strength in the fact that George is depending solely on her to help him get home. He becomes more important than her bouts with fear and it is believable to see her gain confidence in order to keep him safe.
Quarantine 2 has an eerie quality that makes you a bit anxious even before the real scares begin, though not the same claustrophobic feel of the first film, which made it just a tad less scary. Still, it provides enough thrills to satisfy the horror movie adrenaline junkie. One of the most intense frights are the visual effects used to make the infected humans move in this fast kind of herky-jerky motion when they chase after an intended victim. Those scenes just made my skin crawl—and yes, I squealed like a school girl. I'm not proud, but it is what it is.
Quarantine 2 was shot in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen with a surprisingly clear picture quality considering a good chunk of the movie took place in a dark, dreary air terminal. Sound quality was just fine in Dolby Digital 5.1, good enough to hear the shrieks and wails of the infected passengers. One disappointment was there are no special features on this DVD release, it would've been nice to see how it was all put together.
What I don't care for in horror is the overabundance of gore that seems to be the mainstay in films of this genre. Quarantine 2 provided thrills and some gory moments that fit with what was happening in the story. What it didn't do was show revolting scenes of blood and guts just for the sake of it, and I appreciate that. Each and every uncomfortable attack by the virus laden passengers was done with a style that showed just enough to make you jump but not so much that you rolled your eyes in disgusted disbelief. Not a well known franchise this Quarantine thang, but I'm looking forward to Quarantine 3. How about this time it takes place in the halls of Congress? They sure could use a nice virus or two.
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