Quarantine

Movie review by
James Rocchi, Common Sense Media
Quarantine Movie Poster Image
Grim, grisly horror film only for mature viewers.
  • R
  • 2008
  • 89 minutes
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 25 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Extensive depiction of extreme circumstances of horror as the dwindling survivors in a quarantined apartment building are attacked by the victims of the virus; the outside world not only fails to offer help but actively shoots and attacks any of the people desperately trying to get out. Mention of "doomsday cults" and "nuclear, biological, and chemical" attacks.

Positive Role Models & Representations

A mixed bag; the heroes are good role models, but most of the others are not.

Violence

Near-constant, unrelenting horror violence, gore, and tension. The victims of a genetically engineered virus become aggressive, biting and attacking anyone in their path; there are also shootings, fatal falls, bludgeoning, and beatings. The film's central conceit that all the action is being filmed by a news crew leads to a scene in which an infected berserker is literally beaten to death with the camera. Animals are seen attacking humans; animals are seen eviscerated. Wounds and injuries are depicted with grim realism.

Sex

Some sexual innuendo and implied off-screen nudity; a firefighter bets he can "bang" a reporter before the end of the night.

Language

Relatively infrequent strong language includes "damn," "s--t," "f--k," and more.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A character is clearly drunk; another character offers his Vicodin stash to help a veterinarian try to aid injured characters.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this horror movie is absolutely terrifying, full of gore and terror and violence. Grisly wounds are shown in great detail, and tension builds to a fever pitch. The victims -- hungry, angry, mindless zombie-like creatures -- are the stuff that nightmares are made of. Parents should also know that the film's style -- all of the action is seen through the lens of a single news camera as it follows a group of firefighters on a "routine" call -- makes for an upsetting, frenetic, and intense viewing experience. There's also some swearing and sexual innuendo.

User Reviews

Adult Written bywonder dove April 6, 2013

Not as I hoped...

This film wasn't near as good as I'd hoped from the reviews. I'm a huge horror buff, but this one wasn't very exciting. Just a lot of people... Continue reading
Adult Written byNeonKennedy February 3, 2012

Wonderfully scary and convincing.

Quarantine is a great triumph for the found-footage genre. It combines a gritty environment with good actors and an engaging environment. If you and your older... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bydavyborn April 7, 2012

Heart stopping horror film is definitely not for the weak of stomach

Quarantine is an aolmostly shcokingly effective, scary and intense horror film that the faint of heart and weak of stomach should definitely skip. But, that... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byEmilyB123 October 1, 2010
This was a good movie if you don't mind seeing a lot of blood and gore. The bloody images didn't really disturb me either. I think that mature teens... Continue reading

What's the story?

In Los Angeles, a reporter and cameraman for a late-night cable program called Night Shift are shadowing a group of firefighters during their evening at the firehouse. Dispatched on a call, the TV crew and firefighters soon find themselves locked in an apartment building, where a report of an injured woman soon becomes a nightmare: A super-virulent form of rabies begins leaping from the injured woman to other residents of the building and attacking the remaining uninfected survivors. Trapped between blood-hungry monsters on the inside and the threat of death from the outside, will our heroes survive?

Is it any good?

A virtual shot-for shot remake of the Spanish horror film [REC], QUARANTINE is a brutal, terrifying, and wrenchingly tense horror film. Some might say that horror films are pretty much the same, but the fact is that there are well-made examples of the genre and badly made examples of the genre, and Quarantine delivers superbly constructed, remarkably effective scares. The "camera's-eye view" technique constantly plunges viewers into the thick of things and also means that there's always some fresh terror ready to be dragged into view with a simple turn of the camera.

While the characters aren't much more than generic caricatures -- the plucky reporter (Jennifer Carpenter), the stalwart cameraman (Steve Harris), the tough fireman (Jay Hernandez), the conveniently well-informed veterinarian (Gregg Germann), and more -- but the real appeal of Quarantine is the film's concept and its execution, which is superbly handled and never flinches from going for the jugular with scares and gore. Quarantine is far smarter than it looks -- for example, when the outside word cuts off power to the building, it not only heightens the tension but also creates a legitimate reason for Harris' character to keep carrying the camera (which has a light on top) around as the infected victims attack. Quarantine plays like a feature-length version of the initial outbreak that most modern zombie films gloss over in their first five minutes. If you're a horror fan, it's just your kind of nightmare; if you're not a horror fan, it's not a film you'll enjoy or appreciate.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why zombie-style films are so popular. What anxieties do they speak to?

  • How have modern "zombie" movies changed from the original examples of the genre?

  • Also, do you think the movie's single-camera technique makes the film

  • more frightening, or is it a gimmick designed to cover up a weak,

  • familiar plot?

  • Families can also discuss the film's scenario -- what law enforcement

  • and medical procedures are in place in the event of a biological

  • emergency? Would they be effective?

Movie details

For kids who love scary movies

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