Quarantine 2: Terminal (2011)

Quarantine 2: Terminal is surprisingly good. It knocks out a thousand clichés and holds very few surprises, but it’s a decent sequel to a decent remake and well worth a watch.

The original Quarantine came out it 2008 and was an almost shot-for-shot remake of the award-winning Spanish horror Rec (2007), albeit with a more annoying protagonist and some added dog. When Rec 2 came out in 2009 and stunned people by being as good – if not better – than the original, many thought Quarantine 2 would follow as an exact replica. It doesn’t. At all.

In Rec 2 the events take place in the same setting as Rec 1, following a fireman and some kids into the apartment building to experience the aftermath of the disease-riddled, claustrophobic madness. Quarantine 2, however, is set on an aeroplane. See the difference?! Also one huge difference is the disposal of the “found footage / handicam” approach, with Quarantine 2 filmed like a standard film, only using the camera-eye view with a very effective and disturbing use of thermal vision towards the end.

So, to clear this up – Quarantine 2 has literally nothing to do with Rec and Rec 2 and is a direct follow on from Quarantine, referencing it heavily but never visiting the same characters / scenes. So dust away any preconceptions you may have and any hatred of sequels and remakes – Quarantine 2 is its own beast.

Set during a small interstate night flight from L.A. to Las Vegas, the crew of four let on their eclectic mix of passengers; a dangerously overweight guy, a troubled child, a horny couple, an absolute bastard and his pregnant wife, a kindly doctor, an old lady and her cat, a bloke with a box of hamsters and some other zombie fodder you’ll instantly forget. This may sound like the cast of Snakes on a Plane, but it’s done well and the characters genuinely have character.

Right from the get-go we realise the co-pilot is sick – uh oh! – but can still fly, so they take off into the night. The fat dude, however, has been bitten by one of Henry-the-hamster-guy’s hamsters, and anyone who’s seen the first Quarantine (okay, and both the Rec films) will know animals can also carry the disease. Hence the concern of the hamster box and the old woman’s wandering cat…

So what happens when a humungous fat bloke turns into a psychotic zombie mid-flight on a tiny plane? Carnage, that’s what. Quarantine 2 goes to places I hadn’t expected, but then I didn’t read the blurb or anything about it – I just dived straight in. Perhaps this is why it surprised and delighted me so much, as it travels an interesting and exciting route that works on a number of levels. It also fails on a number too…

Quarantine 2 is bulging with clichés, from the range of broad characters on display to the twisted motivations of the characters, it is seeping with awkward decisions and “why are they doing that?!” moments – especially towards the end. Most of these problems (and positives!) can be attributed to one man: John Pogue.

John Pogue is the writer / director of Quarantine 2: Terminal, and the fact the film wasn’t a diabolical mess is perhaps a shock considering his previous canon of “work”. Although Quarantine 2 is Pogue’s directorial debut, he has been responsible for writing the scripts for The Skulls (1, 2 and 3!), the remake of Rollerball and the godawful-but-I-still-weirdly-enjoy-it horror flick Ghost Ship. Quarantine 2 is by far his best film, and perhaps it’s his directorial flair or ability to personally craft his cast that has meant Quarantine 2 is a likeable, fresh, fast and enjoyable little horror film.

Cast wise, Pogue eeks the best out of a relatively unknown cast, getting decent performances out of Mercedes Masöhn (our cabin crew protagonist Jenny) and Josh Cooke (the hamster guy), as well as genuinely likeable turns from Ignacio Serricchio and youngster Mattie Liptak. In Quarantine 2 there are the occasional brutal moments and genuinely terrifying scenes – ensuring it wins its 15 certificate – and proves that Pogue has grown up a lot since he helped Titanic Ghost Ship in 2002.

Quarantine 2: Terminal is a solid follow-on from Xerox horror Quarantine, and it references and links in the original film very well, but still remains its own unique beast. It has some major flaws, but it also works on an incredible number of levels. Not a patch on Rec 2, but this doesn’t matter – this franchise has stepped away from its Spanish original. This is something else. Fast, fun, exciting, brutal but awkwardly clichéd, Quarantine 2 is certainly worth a watch.

Rating: ★★★★★★½☆☆☆

One Comment on “Quarantine 2: Terminal”

  1. natalie says:

    its been said to be that the creepy person at the end of the first movie is the man who lived upstairs who hadnt been seen in months. he had created the virus in an attempt to destroy the human race and caught the virus himself. if this is so, how can the hamster man in the second movie be the man who created the virus (as it is sugessted)?

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