found footage

Shaun vs. Quarantine (2008)


Directed by John Erick Dowdle

Starring Jennifer Carpenter, Jay Hernandez, Columbus Short

A late night TV show hostess rides along with a team of firefighters called to an emergency at an apartment building.  They reach the room of an elderly woman who viciously attacks them and turns them into zombie-like monsters.  To make matters worse, they’re locked inside the building, quarantined, and any attempts to escape is met by an outside force.  Is there any way to survive?


The movie starts off with a TV reporter (Carpenter) and her cameraman doing a late night show and visiting the nearby firehouse to follow the night life of the firefighters.  It’s a fluff piece for sure, but they decide to go along on an emergency call to an apartment building to drum up more excitement. 

They arrive at the apartment building and are told screams came from one of the apartments.  Some of the firefighters enter the building, followed by the reporter and her cameraman, enter the room and are attacked by a crazed, elderly woman.  Soon after the attack, the building becomes quarantined by the CDC and won’t let anyone leave.  More creatures show up to attack the buildings tenants and the remaining firefighting crew.  Trying to find a way out, the survivors happen upon information explaining why they’re in this situation.


That’s some serious pink eye.

I’ll tell you this right at the start if you haven’t seen this movie:  if you didn’t like movies like Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity or Cloverfield.  The entire movie is is filmed “found footage” style so the camera is constantly moving.  That irritates some people and they’ll go out of their way to tell you so.  If you’re one of those people, walk away.  (Or if you’ve seen the original Spanish version, [REC], then prepare to watch pretty much the same movie in English.)


She’s a terrible vampire.

Now, if you’re still here, you’re in for a treat!  If you can get over the eternal question in these films, “Why are they taping all of this?” then the constantly moving camera helps bring a lot of tension to the film.  Things will jump out of the dark corners of the camera lens and make you jump a few times at least.  The creatures look appropriately gross and the movie is quite bloody as well.  There’s even a decent story to tie everything all together! It’s a winning combo for a good time.


Story: 7 – It’s a TV show that literally goes to hell!

Blood: 8 – Lots of bloodletting thanks to biting and clawing, gun shots and even some face smashing.

Nudity: 2 – Jennifer Carpenter in a tanktop? Giggidy.

Overall: 7 – Lots of blood, a few good scares, a nice twist on typical zombie tropes.


-The original film’s director hates Quarantine because it’s an almost shot-for-shot remake. 

-Unusual for a mainstream Hollywood film, the movie was filmed entirely in chronological order.

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