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Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 2 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Quarantine: A divisive but entertaining clone of Cloverfield, with solid Blu-ray perks.

    Quarantine Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • Quarantine's Blu-ray transfer retains the film's intended gritty, dark aesthetic with realistic colors and contrast, despite its less-than-spectacular visual sharpness and detail.

  • Audio
  • Quarantine boasts a dynamic Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack, immersing listeners with crisp ambient sounds and robust action effects, despite intentionally muffled dialogue to mimic handheld recording.

  • Extra
  • 'Quarantine' Blu-ray offers an insightful commentary, behind-the-scenes features on filmmaking, makeup, and stunts, but lacks depth in exploring its remake origins.

  • Movie
  • 'Quarantine' delivers frantic horror with a gripping first-person view, yet struggles with originality, drawing mixed reactions for its unremarkable remake of '[Rec]' and its motion-sickness-inducing camerawork.

    Video: 67

    Sony's "Quarantine" Blu-ray brings a 1080p, 1.85:1-framed transfer that stands as a testament to the film's original shooting style using high definition video. The visuals, reminiscing of the gritty reality seen in movies like "Cloverfield" and "28 Days Later," aim less for gloss and more for authenticity, setting it apart from the hyper-polished sheen of other high definition transfers. This decision faithfully channels the director's vision, creating a unique blend of urgency and realism with its first-person action perspective. Despite the film's inherently drab aesthetic, which deliberately tones down brightness and saturates details, noteworthy elements, such as the vibrant hues of L.A. firefighter jackets and the intricate textures of the fire station's exterior and interior, still mark their presence. However, blacks remain predominantly deep, with slight inconsistencies, and minimal noise intrusion mainly relegated to darker scenes.

    Given "Quarantine" was intentionally shot on digital video to evoke a TV news footage atmosphere, the presentation's "video-ish" quality fits the bill perfectly. Utilizing a Sony F23 camera, the output, while branded at 1080p, occasionally resembles a softer 720p detail level due to creative choices in lighting and focus. This stylistic fidelity poses a challenge for displays with lesser contrast capabilities, as much of the film luxuriates in shadowy realms punctuated by sparse light sources or is engulfed in total darkness save for the camera's guiding light. The resultant effect is one of stark contrasts and naturalistic colors, which, despite occasional color banding artifacts, enhances the film's raw documentary feel.

    Overall, "Quarantine" on Blu-ray may not emerge as the quintessential demo disc in a home theatre showroom, but it exemplifies the format's prowess in preserving a motion picture's intended appearance. Its competent handling of dark visuals coupled with sporadic yet effective bursts of detail and color underscores Blu-ray's capability to bring filmmakers' visions straight into the living room. The transfer's adherence to authenticity over spectacle underscores a growing trend that prioritizes directorial intent, making "Quarantine" a notable entry in Blu-ray's diverse catalogue.

    Audio: 72

    The audio presentation of "Quarantine" on Blu Ray is brought to life through a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack that is as robust as it is immersive. Crafted with a keen attention to detail, the soundtrack excels in its use of the full sound stage, creating a convincingly realistic atmosphere that places listeners directly into the movie's heart-pounding scenarios. From the ambient sounds of a fire station’s mess hall, complete with the clinking of silverware and distant conversations, to the more intense auditory experiences such as the rumbling of an idle fire engine or the piercing sirens of emergency vehicles, the audio track maintains a fantastic level of immersion. The track’s ability to handle both subtle ambient noises and more aggressive sounds with equal finesse is commendable, providing a balanced and engaging listening experience.

    Directional panning effects further enhance the sense of space and movement within the soundstage, painting a sonic picture that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats. The soundtrack’s handling of background noises—such as helicopters circling overhead and the constant blare of sirens—contributes significantly to the building of a creepy, tension-filled atmosphere. The sounds of violence, from gunshots that crack with authority to the unsettling screams, are delivered with a clarity and power that heighten the movie’s impact. However, it's worth noting that the dialogue occasionally suffers from a lack of clarity, intentionally designed to mimic the acoustics of on-the-scene recording methods, which sometimes results in muffled or faded speech. Despite this, the sound mix remains impressive, skillfully balancing sleek production values with the raw, unfiltered essence of its found footage style.

    In essence, "Quarantine's" audio is an exemplary showcase of surround sound design, demonstrating how adeptly an aggressive 5.1 mix can create an enveloping atmosphere that both complements and enhances the visual experience. While the dialogue clarity may occasionally falter due to its adherence to authenticity, this minor flaw does little to detract from an otherwise expertly crafted auditory experience that engages, excites, and terrifies in equal measure.

    Extra: 47

    The 'Quarantine' Blu-ray extras provide a comprehensive breakdown of the film’s creation, merging technical insights with firsthand reflections from the creators. The director and writer-producer commentary, delivered by John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle, although critiqued by some for its excessively congratulatory tone, is densely packed with details about the film's production, the challenges of shooting, and the nuances of creating a realistic horror atmosphere. This is complemented by the behind-the-scenes featurette, “Locked In: The Making of 'Quarantine',” which, despite its brief duration and somewhat promotional nature, offers intriguing insights into the film's inventive shooting techniques and the practicalities of achieving its grounded feel. The makeup and stunt work sections, “Dressing the Infected” and “Anatomy of a Stunt,” respectively, shine a spotlight on the gritty details of special effects and physical feats, encapsulating the effort put into creating the film's visceral impact. Trailers and BD-Live functionality round out the extras, providing additional content for fans and newcomers alike.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Audio Commentary: A track featuring Director John Erick Dowdle and Writer/Producer Drew Dowdle.
    • Locked In: The Making of 'Quarantine': A featurette that discusses the film’s production.
    • Dressing the Infected: Robert Hall's Make-up Design: A look at the creation of the film's makeup effects.
    • Anatomy of a Stunt: Examination of a stunt from the movie.
    • Trailers: A collection of trailers for 'Quarantine' and other films.
    • BD-Live: Access to Sony's BD-Live platform for additional content.

    Movie: 57

    Quarantine," a quick American remake of the Spanish horror success "[Rec]," wields the point-of-view (P.O.V.) filming technique popularized by "The Blair Witch Project" and "Cloverfield," to variable effect. Through the lens of a hand-held video camera operated by Los Angeles television reporter Angela Vidal (played with divisive gusto by Jennifer Carpenter) and her cameraman Scott, viewers are plunged into a night of escalating terror within a sealed-off apartment building. Despite drawing on a proven formula, the film's use of the first-person perspective at times fuels the tension but also risks inducing motion sickness in its audience due to its erratic camera movements. Unlike "Cloverfield," its cinematic cousin, "Quarantine" opts for a more restrained approach in its camerawork, nonetheless pushing the boundaries of its claustrophobic and chaotic setting.

    The movie, while not novel in its concept—blending elements of zombie horror with the raw immediacy of P.O.V. storytelling—succeeds in delivering a compelling tale of survival and horror. Once past its somewhat lackluster introduction, the storyline grips the viewer with a frenetic pace, showcasing a blend of horror, gore, and suspense that keeps one’s attention riveted for its brisk 89-minute runtime. It's the interplay of darkness, trapped characters, and unrelenting menace that crafts a visceral experience, albeit one that might not venture far beyond what followers of the genre have come to expect. The performances, particularly those by Jay Hernandez and Columbus Short, inject a much-needed sense of reality and vulnerability into their roles as first responders caught in an unimaginable nightmare.

    Despite criticisms targeting its lack of originality and certain character portrayals, notably Carpenter’s Angela who oscillates between annoyingly naïve and genuinely terror-stricken, "Quarantine" manages to deliver a solid horror experience. The effectiveness of its gore and action sequences speaks to a calculated use of the P.O.V. format that not only aims to horrify but to immerse viewers in the unfolding chaos. It navigates its limited setting and story with a commendable creativity in sound design and scene staging, leveraging its constraints to intensify the feeling of claustrophobia and impending doom. While it may not redefine its genre or match the intensity of its source material, "[Rec]," "Quarantine" stands as a competent execution of familiar tropes, with moments that resonate with fans in search of thrills rooted in the all-too-human fear of containment and unseen danger.

    Total: 62

    Quarantine," as a Hollywood remake of a foreign horror film, navigates the delicate balance between homage and innovation with varied success. While it inevitably draws comparisons to other works in the genre, such as "Cloverfield," due to its stylistic similarities and thematic approach, it manages to distinguish itself as an entertaining entry despite its derivative nature. The film delivers a fast-paced narrative, adeptly mixing tension, violence, and atmospheric horror, supported by commendable acting and strategic exposition. However, it does not entirely escape the shadow of its influences, occasionally slipping into cliché territory, particularly towards its culmination. The Blu-ray presentation of "Quarantine" by Sony is competent, showcasing a video transfer that remains true to the film's intended visual aesthetic. The lossless audio track is a highlight, offering an immersive auditory experience that enhances the film's suspenseful atmosphere.

    The Blu-ray edition's technical offerings merit attention, with the picture quality achieving a good standard that will satisfy most viewers and an audio quality that stands out for its clarity and impact, aiding in the overall horror experience. Nonetheless, the package is somewhat undercut by its limited supplementary materials, which might leave enthusiasts craving more behind-the-scenes insights into the film's production and thematic explorations. For fans of the horror genre and those with a penchant for zombie thrillers, "Quarantine" represents a solid, if not groundbreaking, viewing option, more suited for a rental given its rewatch value and the Blu-ray's presentation nuances.

    In conclusion, while "Quarantine" may not redefine the boundaries of its genre or surpass the impact of its forebears and counterparts, it solidifies its position as a competent remake worthy of attention from horror aficionados. The Blu-ray release complements this with adequate technical merits, though it could benefit from enriched content in terms of bonus features. It's a release that finds its strength in the core aspects of audiovisual presentation rather than in supplementary depth, making it a recommended choice for those looking to explore every crevice of modern horror cinema.