Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Quarantine 2: Terminal (2011) Better Than It Should Be

By all rights, I shouldn't have enjoyed Quarantine 2:  Terminal.

It's a sequel to a remake that was virtually shot-for-shot like the original.  While I thought Quarantine was OK - it starred the phenomenal Jennifer Carpenter, after all - it weakened itself by not going with the original's ([REC]) premise of an evil force and instead going with a "super rabies" disease infection.  A sequel, by all rights, shouldn't have been good.

But it was, and I really did enjoy it.  Every so often, dear readers, the movie planets align and a sequel that shouldn't exist, not only does but does it pretty well.

Written and directed by John Pogue, the film takes place a short time after the events of the first film, in which a Los Angeles apartment building is sealed off when an infection runs rampant inside.  A variety of passengers board a plane on its way to Memphis.  After being bitten by a rat in a teacher's carry-on, one of the passengers begins to exhibit signs of infection.  When he nearly bites off an attendant's nose, it's safe to say he's on the sick side.  Making an emergency landing in Las Vegas, the survivors make it into the terminal, but it's soon quarantined (see what I did there?) and that's when the fun starts.  They not only have to evade infected staff, they have to deal with infections to each other, and a betrayal from within.  One of the survivors is not what they seem.

There's a great string of tension running through the movie, even as the sequences run toward the formulaic.  I've always said that sometimes formulaic works because the formula might be good.  You know something will happen at certain times, but in this case it's OK because it falls into place.  The added mystery that ties it to the first movie provides the underlying threat, the insinuation that no matter what happens to this motley group of survivors, the story really won't be over.

Quarantine 2:  Terminal was a pleasant surprise, and it's nice to have one of those every so often.  I'm not sure if the good luck would extend to a sequel, but hey, I'll take this one.