Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I would never have imagined a remake could be so good.

It's not uncommon for me to sit around thinking. When I do the whole thinking thing, it's not uncommon for me to wonder about movies. And before my head starts to hurt from the effort, it seems that something might pop into my head. Something like 'When the FUCK is [REC] going to get a release over here???' I actually do think with multiple question marks, too.

I think it's a valid question though. I mean, it was REMADE, released, then put out on DVD as Quarantine already. Where is the original? Usually the original is better than the remake, and if [REC] is better than Quarantine then I HAVE to see it, because Quarantine was pretty gorram amazing.

Quarantine has a pretty simple premise. A news crew is doing a feature on firefighters, so they're tagging along for the night. They get a call at an apartment building managed by Boris the Blade. A lady upstairs let out a blood-curdling scream, so they called 911.The police and fire crews don't know much about it, but someone outside does. The place gets sealed up like a dolphin's butt and they cut the cable and jam the phones. Guys with big guns threaten them if they look out the window. It's that kind of a lockdown.

So, you've got a sick old lady, a bitten cop, and a vet. Not a war vet. No, that might be handy. No, this is the 'How's your cat today Mrs Johnson?' kind. And he keeps busy. Especially since it all starts to go to hell when the firman goes over the railing and lands four stories down. Presumably, the old lady threw him. Luckily, one of the tennants has a lot of painkillers on hand.

Like I said, everything kind of goes to hell. The building is apparently infected by a weird zombie/rabies/plague that is infecting everyone, mostly through biting. It's all pretty intense.

I have to say, Quarantine really kind of does everything right. It has the kind of tension that you want from a horror movie. It starts slow and light. It's clearly a fluff piece that the reporter is working on, and as the movie goes, she becomes more serious. Everything just keeps building and building. As the 'first-person' style of movie becomes more fashionable and more common, it becomes less interesting. Few movies do it well. They have lousy reasons for having a camera, and even worse reasons for continuing to film, but Quarantine gives them a reason not just to be there, but a reason to keep filming. Once they're locked inside, even the cop in there with them wants them to keep filming. That this is not only newsworthy, but important is not lost on anyone.

Ju-On, if anyone asks, is my default answer for the scariest movie I've seen. That kid still creeps me out, even after 3-4 viewings. Quarantine might be the second or third on that list though. This is one remake that I have to assume that they got absolutely right.