Quarantine 2: The Terminal

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When a plane leaving LAX is found to be carrying a deadly virus that turns those it infects into rabies infected zombies, the same virus effecting an apartment building in downtown Los Angeles, the plane is diverted to a quarantined terminal where it’s passengers must struggle to survive against not only those already infected, but a hostile CDC that will do anything to make sure the virus doesn’t reach the general population.

I hate flying, I mean I really, really hate flying. I hate flying the way some people hate being stabbed in the eye with a red hot poker. I’m a firm believer in the old adage “If man was meant to fly we’d have wings.” There is something so terrifying about being trapped in a steel cylinder thousands of feet in the air, a cylinder that could plummet to the ground at any given moment. It’s a horrifying prospect. And I don’t want to hear about how you’re more likely to die in a car crash, or how 90 percent of people involved in an airplane crash survive. That doesn’t make me feel any better about hurtling through the sky in a flying death trap. You will never be able to convince me that flying is a good idea. Now if you don’t mind, I need to get on with this review. I’ve got a plane to catch in a little bit. What? You don’t expect to drive cross country do you? I don’t have time for that.

Our plague on a plane film begins with two stewardesses, excuse me, flight attendants, boarding their plane after hurriedly rushing to work. As they get things ready for the flight, the plane’s copilot joins them looking like he’s got some kind of sickness that should have been eradicated in the middle ages. The haggard looking man explains that he’s got an awful head cold he believes he caught from his dog. His reasoning for this? Apparently all the dogs in his neighborhood have been acting strange, which in his mind translates to they are all sick (though, if remembering the first film, the sickness started from a dog bitten by rats, so he might be right, just strange reasoning). People soon begin boarding, including an elderly doctor crippled by Parkinson’s, a twelve year old boy, and a teacher who is trying to get his hamsters loaded into the overhead storage. He struggles for a bit before another chubby passenger (because there always has to be at least one) comes over to help him and ends up with a rodent bite for his troubles. The plane departs LAX without further incident, but during the flight the teacher happens to catch a news report detailing a quarantined apartment building in downtown Los Angeles, thus letting the viewer know that our sequel is happening concurrently with the first film. While he and another flight attendant believe they’ve dodged a bullet by getting out of LA, the chubby passenger that was bitten earlier begins to grow ever sicker, eventually vomiting all over a stewardess before trying to break his way into the cockpit. The other passengers frantically subdue the large man while the captain radios the recently departed LAX, who seem to have some idea of what is happening to the sick man but are unwilling to share the knowledge. Our sickly fat man is knocked unconscious and the captain begins emergency landing procedures to bring the plane back from whence it came. Unfortunately for one very unlucky stewardess, before they can get the sick man strapped in for the landing, he bites the poor woman right in the face, directly over her lips in fact, like a freshman getting their first kiss but with much more force. The plane is finally able to land while everyone stuffs the now zombified fat man into the lavatory, but they find the entire terminal disserted and quarantined upon departing the 747. It seems that whatever virus infected the passengers has the CDC so terrified that they are unwilling to risk letting anyone from that plane leave while they’re attempting to find a cure. This does little good though for our trapped plane goers who have to find a way to survive the infected and a CDC willing to do anything necessary to keep them locked inside.

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{Bites to the face are never a good thing, now nibbles, that’s a different story}

First thing you have to understand is that Quarantine 2, while still a sequel to Quarantine, has nothing to do with the film Quarantine was a remake of, REC. While it does continue Quarantine’s story and therefore technically REC’s story, it goes in a completely different direction. REC 2 keep the first person perspective and the locale of the apartment building, Quarantine 2 drops both. As you can see from above, other than a small mention of it, this sequel has nothing to do with the quarantined apartment building, taking place on a plane and in an abandoned terminal instead. They also ditched the first person view point for this one, choosing to go with the classic third person view. I set out watching Quarantine 2 thinking I was going to eventually be doing a movie matchup between this and REC 2, but with them being such entirely different movies I can’t see the point. I actually think it was a good idea for the filmmakers to take the series and make it their own. If it had been another carbon copy like the first Quarantine was, I don’t think it would have attracted many viewers. By keeping it fresh they brought in a new audience and gave them a unique story, so I’m glad they made a whole new movie. It’s not a bad movie at all either, but it does suffer from a few flaws. For everything the movie did right, it did something wrong in the exact same category. I’ll explain.

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{Having a new movie plot was a good way to grab the viewer}

I did enjoy the story, it’s nothing amazing, but it is enjoyable for what it is. At least with it being a new story you don’t know what you’re getting, so you can watch both this and REC 2 (assuming you’re following bother franchises) and get two completely different films. The main problem the film suffers from, and this is where they should have followed with the original franchise it’s based on, is a severe lack of the tension so prevalent in the other films. This is more your standard zombie fare versus a movie that’s going to keep you on the edge of your seat. That’s not to say it’s bad, just don’t expect the tension that you got from the other two previous films (and to a much lesser degree REC 2). One thing that that both helped and hurt the story was the further explanation of where the disease came from. I’m going to give a little spoiler here so if you don’t want to read it, I’d stop here and just continue from after the picture underneath. I’ll give you a little break just so you can scroll ahead if you’d like. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

You still here? Okay, I’ll continue then. You find out a lot more about the doomsday cult that was mentioned at the end of the first film, and why they released the virus. See, it turns out our teacher from the beginning, the one with the supposed hamsters, is one of the key members of the organization responsible for the virus. Those “hamsters” were actually rats (thus my referring them to as rodents for most of the description), and he’s infected them with the virus in the hopes of spreading the disease further. It seems his doomsday cult is really a group of ecoterrorist intent on decreasing the human population in order to save the world from overpopulation. The apartment building was just their testing area, and when our “teacher” was warned of the authorities coming, he grabbed his gear and hit the road, thinking he’d fly out of the country before anyone would have a chance to catch up to him, a plan that hit a snag when the plane was forced to land. It was interesting to have the virus’ origin fleshed out further but the problem was that it turned the movie into a zombie ecoterrorist film, and it didn’t feel right. While it was interesting to have things fleshed out, it added an unnecessary angle to the film that just didn’t need to be there. I felt like there was going to be an action hero busting in at any moment to save the day. Imagine my disappointment when John McClane never showed up.

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{No place is safe inside the terminal…imagine that Tom Hanks movie but with zombies}

The effects and makeup are great examples of things done right, things done wrong. For the most part they’re great, with some truly amazing death scenes, some great gore, and well done zombie makeup, but there are times where you they get ridiculous, even laughable. Just as an example, the rat bites. As mentioned, the bites help spread the virus and they are shown biting people a couple of times throughout the film and each time I couldn’t help but laugh my ass off it looked so bad, like those plastic rats you buy from the Halloween store with the remote control. It was bad. There’s also the zombie eyes. I don’t know who picked the contacts but they went a little crazy. The zombies’ eyes are bright red, bright, bright red and it look almost cartoonish. Speaking of the zombies…

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{It’s a well known fact that chubby zombies are the ones to be the most afraid of}

Much like in the first one, I don’t think they’re zombies of the undead variety, once more akin to the 28 Days Later zombies. They’re still able to take a ridiculous amount of damage, much more than they should be able to if they were really still alive, but one zombie is simply choked to death so they have to be alive. The nature of the virus seems to change from person to person though. One zombie is choked out, then another has to have its head smashed in before it will go down. One person turns within an hour, another within minutes, yet another takes several hours. Hell, for one person suffering from Parkinson’s who can’t walk, talk, or even move, the virus basically cures him to the point he’s able to sprint across the terminal. It was just all over the place. I loved how well every actor portrayed a zombie, showing a vicious savagery in their mannerisms, but how wild the results of getting infected were was a bit confusing.

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{Zombie choke out is a new one}

Last but not least is the acting, again not bad, but dampened by the fact that no one seems to be as panicky as they should be. Much like in the first film, everyone seems much more collected than I would imagine people would be in a situation of this type. That’s not to say no one is freaking out, they’re just not freaking out much even though there are a bunch of pissed off zombies trying to eat them and a group of armed men standing outside ready to shoot them. There’s also the problem of actor Mattie Liptak’s character of George, the twelve year old passenger. He is excruciatingly annoying. I can’t say it’s the actor’s fault, that just might have been how his character was written, but it’s grating having to listen to his character, and I almost wish he had been left out of the script.

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{I kept hoping for this kid to get eaten, not turned mind you, just completely eaten}

In the end, this isn’t a bad movie in the slightest, it’s actually an enjoyable one time watch, but it is most assuredly a very flawed film that you most likely won’t want to watch again. Give it a go for sure if you’re looking for a fun zombie movie on an uneventful night, just don’t expect to be as impressed with this one as you may have been with any of the films it’s related to.

 

The Undead Review

 

Directed By: John Pogue (The Quiet Ones)

Starring: Mercedes Mason (Three Veils, Red Sands), Josh Cooke (Arts & Crafts, I Love You Man), Mattie Liptak (The Odd Life of Timothy Green, Ghoul), and Noree Victoria (The Ricky Smiley Show, A Place in Hell)

Released By: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Stage Six Film, Andale Pictures, Vertigo Entertainment, RCR Media Group, and Third Street Pictures

Release Year: 2011

Release Type: Straight to Video

MPAA Rating: Rated R

About The Undead Review

When I was alive I was an asshole and after I died remained pretty much the same, if not a little worse. You’d think becoming a member of the walking dead would mellow a person out, no more worrying about awkward small talk with people, no more having to be politically correct, and the entire world is your upright, bipedal buffet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun as hell to be a zombie, just somewhat irritating at times, especially those times you have to watch a lame movie or read a lame book. Thankfully, when I am forced to watch these films or read those books, I’ve got places like The Undead Review to bitch and moan to my heart’s content. {When he’s not devouring the living or sinking his teeth into a good film The Undead Review (Andy Taylor) spends his time writing his own stories or hunting down the paranormal. Oh, and did we mention his blind dog once saved the world?)
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