Friday, April 1, 2011

[REC] vs. Quarantine

Looking at the camera a bit anxiously, a reporter checks her appearance and angles, before introducing her purpose to the audience. So, we quickly learn that we will be following the fire department and they have chosen a specific unit to follow for the evening.

We get a tour of the station, meet a few extra people that stay at the station, and witness our main character playing with the guys, until the alarm goes off. Everyone rushes downstairs to the truck and one of the guys inform us that they take care of other calls aside from fires and that apparently the situation isn't severe.

They make it to the location at a housing complex where we immediately meet the rest of the main cast in the lobby. As soon as the firefighters are about to check out the problem, we are confronted by a police officer with an attitude. But a compromise is made and we head upstairs to check out the situation. The call had to deal with an elderly woman who was displaying abnormal behavior. The officials try to talk to her calmly and suddenly she attacks one of the other officers. They immediately have to take forceful action toward her and quickly remove the injured officer from the scene. Unfortunately, the craziness doesn't end there as a firefighter falls from the same floor and lands on the lobby's ground.

Returning upstairs to the old lady's apartment, we come across some more startling scene that sends the female reporter's heart racing to the point she wants to review the recorded footage to confirm that this is really happening. Everyone talks amongst themselves about what's going on as the situation heightens by the officer's bad attitude and the new found knowledge that the outside officials have closed everyone in due to a quarantine. The events following are suspenseful and disturbing.

I learned this year that Quarantine was actually a remake of the Spanish film [REC] or as the cover says "inspired by". In my words, it's a remake. Nearly every scene and character element is the same. Of course, there are a few differences that make both films enjoyable and equally amazing.

Normally, I would watch the movie in its original language, but I was feeling lazy and watched it dubbed in English. I believe the movie majorly differs after the announcement that no one can leave the complex. Most of the happenings are similar, but executed differently in places.

Honestly, I can say that Quarantine does live up to the standards of [REC]. They both keep me on edge and curious. I'm really happy that it was also shot in first person. Not only does this point of view keep you engaged with the characters, but it keeps you in the "dark" on the unknown that lies ahead. One thing I liked more about [REC] was the resolution, when we find out what's really going on. They slow things down and everything is crystal clear. In Quarantine, the resolution is a bit frantic and you'd have to be a speed reader to catch every little thing to piece the puzzle together. Or you can do what I did, which was pause the movie in places to read things. The results are also slightly different than the inspiration, but the same basic evil concept. It also felt like they prolonged the ending to keep a little more of that heart gripping suspense, until the credits roll.

One thing I really liked about Quarantine was the way we found out the situation outside the complex. In [REC], the officials are straight forward by telling them what's going on and warn them of the consequences of what will happen if they attempt to escape. In the remake, four of the characters seek an ancient form of technology through "rabbit ears" or manual antenna TV. It points out the way America broadcasts some situations by leaving out details and assuring safety for the victims to the viewers of what's really going on. This format seems more familiar and kinda eerie in some ways. But the real reason I enjoy this scene is the epic attack with the cameraman. This is a very tiny spoiler.

In the end, I cannot choose which I prefer. They both have their pros and cons, but they both capture the essence of suspense through an uncommon perspective. Unfortunately, the trailer for Quarantine 2: Terminal seems disappointing, but the trailer for the [REC] 2 seems intriguing. Nonetheless, I recommend you check out both movies!

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