in an effort to try to blog at least once a week, i will temporarily adopt the style of one of ben's 14 blogs and rate something. knowing that anyone reading this blog will probably be immediately dismissive, let me state that i am a big fan of horror movies and generally hold them in higher regard than the average movie watcher.
last week i watched the movie quarantine, starring jennifer carpenter of white chicks fame*, jonathon schaech (lead singer of the oneders), jay hernandez (starting strong safety for the permian high panthers, also in crazy/beautiful, also i love him**) and also this guy:
you know you've seen him in tons of things and are always like "oh yeah, that guy..."
anyways, the basic premise is a news reporter (carpenter) is filming a ride along with the fire department. they get a call and go to an old apartment building where they find an old woman who is clearly having problems that could be described as horrific. scary things continue to happen all while being filmed by the reporter's cameraman. also, the cdc has blocked off the surrounding neighborhood, completely tarped the building and is opening fire on anyone trying to leave the building. i don't want to give too much away, and would rather explain some of the components of why i think this movie worked and why i really enjoyed it.
as i mentioned previously, i really liked the casting choices made for the movie as i am already a big fan of carpenter and hernandez. they all give very realistic and believable performances and i think that's probably the best compliment you can give actors in a horror movie. they acted and reacted in reasonable ways, similar to how i feel like i would, which is often times a problem in horror movies.
the plot is pretty basic in premise, but the pacing was really well done. things happened at unexpected moments and some main characters bit it when you least expected it. the camera work was excellent in keeping with the documentary style the movie was going for, without the motion sickness from movies like the blair witch project. having the camera rolling while all sorts of crazy shit going on was always sort of an issue in believability for me in movies like the blair witch and diary of the dead. yeah, i understand that as the documentarian, you want to catch every bit of the insanity that is going down around you, but at some point, you have to be like fuck this and just use your camera as a shield or something. everyone has their breaking point, and in most of those movies, the person behind the camera just keeps rolling no matter what and i find that completely unrealistic. in this movie they worked the angle that the power was shut off so it was completely dark half the time and essentially used the camera's light and later the camera's night vision as a way to see and thus making it somewhat believable.
the scares and the scary people are well executed and portrayed. there were fewer jump scares and more a growing general sense of dread and claustrophobia. there were many horrific moments with people with fucked up faces and general craziness. the premise that the government would quarantine people like they do in the movie is pretty messed up and not so believable, but i read somewhere on the internet that this sort of thing has happened before.
so i acknowledge that this is not a cinematic masterpiece. i did recently see let the right one in, which is much artier and more beautiful and i am assuming much more critically acclaimed. this is just a fun and scary movie with a lot of components i wish more horror movies had. it's not perfect, but for me it was really really good. i would recommend it to anyone who at least sort of likes horror movies. i wish i had burned a copy of it before rushing it back to netflix. i might even consider buying it as i know i would rewatch it.
final grade: b+
*bonus video of jennifer carpenter (w/ kim kelly) engaging in a dance battle
**bonus video of jay hernandez being awesome
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