And so it was that cult Spanish zombie horror ‘Rec’ begat ‘Rec 2’ and a virtually shot-by-shot American remake called ‘Quarantine’ which has now, in turn, begat its own straight-to-DVD sequel ‘Quarantine 2 Terminal’ and so it came to pass than an interesting, atmospheric, claustrophobic first-person take on some very old horror clichés becomes, inevitably, a cheap and derivative seen-it-all-before film about people running screaming from drooling zombies. Oh well.
Where ‘Rec 2’ carried on pretty much from where the original left off by setting itself in the same sealed-off house in Barcelona, ‘Quarantine 2’ does its own thing and goes its own way by telling a totally different story taking place pretty much at the same time as the original (there are a few helpful visual references to the events of the first film). Here we appear to be plunging straight into disaster movie territory, as a bunch of stereotypes board a cramped-looking aircraft taking off from LA Airport. Alarmingly it looks as if we’re in for a retread of the cult classic ‘Flight of the Living Dead’ when one of the passengers starts foaming at the mouth and attacking the crew but within twenty or so minutes the stricken plane has made an emergency landing and the passengers and crew escape into the airport terminal… which they find is not only deserted but is also sealed shut with no apparent means of escape. Meanwhile a deadly virus is on the move and before long the ’living dead’ outnumber the unaffected who have to run around for their lives in a quarantined terminal surrounded by armed soldiers and men in bio-hazard suits.
What we have here is a competent and entirely unexceptional zombie movie. ’Quarantine 2’ abandons any of the supernatural affectations of the original - the virus is revealed to be the work of a bunch of fanatical Doomsday terrorists who have decided that “the Earth needs a plague” - and the ’zombies’ are as generic a bunch as we’ve ever seen in this sort of film. And of course they’re not strictly ‘zombies’ anyway, instead being the unfortunate victims of a virus and turned into blood-crazed monsters. But they still do the zombie bit , all red eyes, screeching and biting and running at their victims with inhuman speed. Director John G Pogue does his best with his limited budget, unknown cast and unexceptional script and there’s at least some sense of tension in the plight of the passengers and crew trapped in the vast, echoing terminal, with the ‘infected’ leaping out at them or else roaring away eerily in the distance. But he’s scuppered by dull flat dialogue and dreary characters and the suspicion that the zombie well has run pretty dry and all that’s left are some very familiar scares and very obvious ‘jump in your seat’ moments. In one scene, however, a cat eats some human vomit which is something you don’t see every day.
By straight-to-DVD standards ‘Quarantine 2 Terminal’ is entertaining enough but by abandoning the first-person narrative of the original and everything else which made ‘Rec’ so intriguing, there’s precious little to differentiate it from the dozens of other no-budget zombie cheapos which clutter up the supermarket shelves and, unless you’re a zombie obsessive, it really is emininently missable unless you’ve got absolutely nothing else better to do.
'Quarantine 2 Terminal' is available now on DVD