The sequel to a decent remake of a successful Spanish horror film, Quarantine 2: Terminal goes the direct-to-video route but could have easily survived in theaters. The cast is unknown, but director John Pogue keeps the action intense and retains the novelty of the rabies-infected walking dead without a huge budget in his directorial debut. In this outing, passengers on a flight leaving Los Angeles become infected by the deadly virus, and the survivors once again find themselves under quarantine.
Quarantine 2: Terminal is set on the same night that a bio-terrorism lab is found in a Los Angeles apartment building, the story explored in Quarantine, a remake of Spanish film [REC]. Quarantine 2: Terminal bears no relation to that film's sequel, [REC] 2. Inexperienced flight attendant Jenny (Mercedes Masöhn) preps the plane before the arrival of the captain and passengers, several of whom exhibit flu-like symptoms. Once in the air, one of the passengers begins to vomit profusely. Before Jenny is able to get the situation under control, the man runs toward the cockpit, howling in terror. Exhibiting great strength and lacking in rational judgment, the man is subdued by others on board before the pilot makes a rough emergency landing. Once on the ground, the sick man and injured passengers find themselves under CDC quarantine inside the desolate airport.
I really like the direction the filmmakers took with Quarantine 2: Terminal. Starting the film with the harrowing flight really raises the tension. The aircraft used reminds me of the regional jets in service from my hometown airport to Charlotte and Atlanta. These no-frills planes are tight and sterile, and the aisles can just barely accommodate zombie killers. The plane isn't full, but there are enough passengers and red herrings to keep viewers guessing who will bite it next. Among those on board are travelling minor George (Mattie Liptak), kindergarten teacher Henry (Josh Cooke), no-nonsense Shilah (Noree Victoria), and immobile Parkinson's patient Doc (Tom Thon). Once at the airport, the passengers are joined by baggage handler Ed (Ignacio Serricchio).
Quarantine 2: Terminal gets off to a great start, but loses its momentum as it moves forward. At the airport, the action mostly consists of the passengers running up and down various halls and ramps to find an escape. More people get infected, so there are a few intense chase and death sequences, but nothing is particularly memorable. Budget constraints are evident in the unconvincing effects and makeup, and the transition from human to zombie is as simple as adding a bit of shoe polish to the cheeks and putting in red contacts. The filmmakers open up the world after leaving the confines of the aircraft, and, by doing so, greatly reduce the tension.
There is a lot to like in Quarantine 2: Terminal, however, such as the way the story further develops the background and origins of the virus at play. The cast is also quite good, especially for a direct-to-video thriller. Masöhn and Serricchio are believable leads, and each must overcome personal fears in order to help the other survivors. I'm not sure how much replay value Quarantine 2: Terminal has, but it's definitely worth a late-night spin.
Sony's 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is above average. There is a lot of detail and depth to the image, along with bold colors and natural skin tones. Because it was shot digitally, Quarantine 2: Terminal exhibits the slightly smeared look common to the format, especially during quick pans. There is no grain, and objects occasionally look a bit soft. Much of the film takes place at night, and, while blacks could be slightly deeper, there is little crush to ruin the gory fun.
The film's Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack gets the job done. The track is quite active, especially during scenes of gunplay, chases and the emergency landing. Directional dialogue and effects are common, and the track makes good use of the surrounds. Dialogue given amid more chaotic scenes is occasionally hard to understand. Whether this is due to its level in the mix or production limitations I cannot say. A French 5.1 track is also available, as are English, English SDH and French subtitles.
Although it got sent directly to video, Quarantine 2: Terminal is an entertaining sequel that moves the story forward in an interesting way. The opening reel on the airplane is most effective, as the confines are tight and tension is high. Once the survivors are on the ground, it's only a matter of time before more are infected and become flesh-eating zombies, but a bigger universe means fewer scares. Sony's DVD provides adequate picture and sound but no extras. Fans may want to pick it up on sale, but the replay value for Quarantine 2: Terminal is low. Rent It.
William lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, and looks forward to a Friday-afternoon matinee.