Hi, I'm Sam, I love movies. My main interest is science fiction and zombie movies. Pessimistic and survival films I also enjoy a lot.
And with REC 2 resuming the action just minutes later in the exact same location, the sequel to Quarantine seemed destined to redo its carbon copy structure.
But that wasn't the case. You can say anything about Quarantine 2: Terminal, but never that it's a copy to its original Spanish counterpart, REC 2.
Quarantine 2: Terminal follows its own American path, completely abandoning the religious route of demonic possessions shown in the Spanish movie.
Here, the premise is more scientific. This is about a new powerful and accelerated rabies virus that infects people in a matter of seconds through biting and contact with blood or saliva. It is similar to what is seen in 28 Days Later.
Quarantine 2: Terminal moves away from the setting of the contaminated building. This is the story of Jenny (Mercedes Mason), a flight attendant who, along with her friend Paula (Bre Blair), is about to start her work on a flight from Los Angeles to Nashville.
On the flight, which is conveniently half empty (extras are hard!) thanks to a large church group that canceled at the last minute, there are several characters. Among them is an unaccompanied minor named George (Mattie Liptak), a military medic named Shilah (Noree Victoria) and a young teacher named Henry (Josh Cooke), who has hamsters for some reason.
Through the laptop of one of the passengers, we see the news of the Quarantine building, and we realize that this story is happening only hours after the events of the first movie.
A huge passenger named Ralph becomes the flight's zero patient, presumably because of the bite of one of Henry's hamsters.
Ralph is a lethal killer locomotive inside the plane. He bites Paula's face, crushes several passengers and brutally kicks the door of the pilots' cabin. With the assistance of virtually all the passengers, Ralph is temporarily restrained and locked in one of the bathrooms.
Quarantine 2: Terminal surprises us by landing the plane and changing the location almost immediately. By that time, we were all convinced that this movie would be a Snakes On A Plane kind of a thing.
But it made sense. There would not really be a chance of survival in the air and the movie would end really fast. The plane is forced to make an emergency landing. Of course, all are quarantined, without the possibility of leaving the plane.
The survivors manage to expand their possibilities by circumventing security thanks to the help of baggage handler Ed Ramirez (Ignacio Serricchio), who manages to take them off the plane to the terminal.
But said terminal has been sealed by the authorities, in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
Perhaps to further distance itself from the Spanish version, Quarantine 2: Terminal also decides to completely ignore the found footage genre, even though its posters tried to fool the audience with the night vision filter that is a hallmark of the franchise. Here, there are no characters with Handycams or TV crews recording the action. Just regular cinematic omnipresence work.
That doesn't mean that director John Pogue and cinematographer Matthew Irving tried to emulate the feeling of a handheld camera. After all, the action, confined to small spaces, demanded a documentary feel. Even on a couple of occasions, there are brief uses of character's POV shots (usually when they are being attacked) to better emulate the intimate feel of the found footage.
Only in the last minutes of the film, Pogue decides to briefly take up the found footage and use it as a gimmick, through some thermal vision goggles that allow the survivors to see and move in the dark. Alternating this POV with his omnipresent camera, Pogue certainly achieves an interesting sequence.
Quarantine 2: Terminal tries to develop Jenny, her main character, with a mini backstory about how her strict father forced her to "take the stick" of a plane in mid-flight so that she finally took control of a terrifying situation. The effort is cute, but it feels completely decontextualized and foreign to this movie.
Quarantine 2: Terminal expands its history by revealing that Henry is really part of the so-called "doomsday cult" destined to spread the new strain of rabies throughout the world. According to the organization, with thousands of followers, the planet needs a "cleanse".
This is how Quarantine 2: Terminal takes a route focused on biological terrorism a la 12 Monkeys. And using an airport as the main location, it's clear that the intention of this US version is to cheaply stir up the post 9/11 fear.
It didn't quite work. Quarantine 2: Terminal marked the end of this American remake/saga.
The movie is an OK low-budget horror story, but the personality of what aspired to be a franchise ended up too thinned to catch the attention of the audience.
Title: Quarantine 2: Terminal
Release Year: 2011
Director(s): John Pogue
Actors: Mercedes Mason, Josh Cooke, Mattie Liptak, a.o.
© 2019 Sam Shepards