Month: February 2015

Throwback Thursday Movie: Quarantine 2 Terminal (2011) (Contains SPOILERS)

For those of you that don’t know, the Quarantine movies are American remakes of a series of Spanish horror movies called [REC]. The first Quarantine movie is almost exactly the same as the first [REC]. The only real difference is the nature of the virus. In the [REC] films the virus is demonic in nature, while in Quarantine the virus is basically rabies on steroids. Quarantine 2 takes a different turn than [REC] 2 did. While [REC] 2 actually takes place in the same apartment building as the first film, and takes place just minutes after the first film ended, Quarantine 2 takes the virus to the sky.

Quarantine 2: Terminal begins simple enough with people boarding a late night flight from Los Angeles to Nashville. Soon it becomes clear that one of the passengers is very ill. Unluckily for the other passengers, it is the same virus that ravaged the LA apartment building that has been all over the news. The flight gets grounded at a different airport, but the passengers soon learn that the terminal has been quarantined, trapping them in the maze of a terminal with the infected.

Even though this film came out in 2011, this was my first time watching it. I loved the first Quarantine, as well as the first and second [REC] movies. They all were quite terrifying. I was always reluctant to watch this one not only because the trailer makes it look horrendous, but there was something about the concept of the virus on a plane that just seemed very lame to me. Now that I have seen it, while it isn’t anywhere near as good as the first film, I will say they did a pretty good job of it. As with most movies, there are aspects of it that I thought worked really well. Then, of course, there are those aspects that don’t work so well.

-SPOILER ALERT-

One of the main things I was worried about was how they were going to manage to get the virus on the plane in a logical way. They did this in a fairly good way. The film had a passenger on the plane who deliberately brought infected animals onto the plane (although I don’t believe what happened after was as deliberate). While I loved this, and the guy that they chose for it was on the more unexpected side, the reason behind it was not great. The reason the virus was supposedly even created was all part of some doomsday cult that wanted to spread the virus all over the world as a messed up form of population control. That just seemed completely ridiculous to me. I would believe something as simple as it being a simply mad scientist or maybe even if he was altering the virus to cure some disease, but this was a stretch. I also didn’t like that the guy who was on the plane was also the some person who lived/worked in the LA apartment building from the first film. He just seemed much too young and his character would have worked better if he was an assistant or follower of the true scientist.

If you want to watch a terrifying film about a virus that turns people into violent killing machines, then I would watch Quarantine, [REC], or [REC] 2. This movie had a couple scary moments, but it is nothing compared to the first film or it’s Spanish predecessors. Despite that, it is still a fun movie that has it’s good moments. It will definitely creep you out just because of the sounds the infected make and the way they move around. Just be prepared for a few predictable scares and some rather ridiculous parts to the plot.

OVERALL RATING: 5/10

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Horns

Poor Ig. He was just a young guy in love until the love of his life, Merrin, was raped and murdered. Now the entire town thinks he was the one who killed her, especially since his love had dumped him that very same night. In his despair, Ig turns his back on God and wakes up one morning to find that he is growing horns. These horns give him some rather interesting powers. The people that look at his horns feel the need to divulge their deepest darkest secrets to Ig, and he can make them do things, and when he touches a person he can see their secrets. The best part is, no one remembers this once they can’t see the horns anymore. Ig uses these new powers to try to find out who murdered his beloved and clear his name.

This was definitely an entertaining film. The story was your basic murder mystery, but they gave it a very interesting twist. Something else that I really enjoyed was the story had flashbacks woven throughout the film. Sometimes movies do this and it gets boring because the flashbacks can be irrelevant to what is going on in the present. Horns did a great job of making sure the flashbacks not only gave your really excellent back story so you better understand the characters, but the flashbacks also were important pieces to help explain what was happening in the present.

When it came to Ig’s power that makes people tell him the truth, he definitely gets some mixed results. Most of the time what people tell him is funny. Things like “I want to burn this place down to get the insurance money” and “I think about this person naked” are the types of humerus secrets usually heard. On the other hand, some of the confessions are far more serious. The scenes where Ig confronts his parents and they confess how they really feel is both very believable and very heartbreaking to watch. It makes the whole situation more realistic in the sense that you could imagine that is what his parents were really thinking but would never speak in a normal situation.

In terms of the effects, there were really only a few important ones to mention. Obviously, the horns themselves were very well done. Even in the beginning when you are watching them grow it looks pretty damn lifelike. There are also several CGI snakes in the later parts of the film. Obviously a lot of the time you can tell they are fake snakes, but there were many times where I couldn’t tell if the snake was real or not (they did use real snakes in certain scenes but even then it was hard to tell the difference). At the climax of the film there are some amazing CGI effects (which I won’t get too much into, I hate spoilers) that are beautifully done.

The one thing that bothered me was the actual mystery part of the film. Now, I am the kind of person that usually figures out the big twist very early on in a movie. That being said, I think most people can figure out who the real murderer is pretty early on without using a lot of brain power. It definitely made the story a little less exciting when Ig is anxiously trying to find the killer, but it was still entertaining watching everything unfold. I would say the bigger mystery isn’t so much who the killer is, but why Merrin broke up with him in the first place. That was also something that I figured out before it was revealed in the story, but it took a lot longer to figure out than who the murderer was.

I would definitely recommend this movie. If the fact that the film stars Harry Potter isn’t enough for you (it was enough for me), then see it because it’s a good story that is not only dark and ominous but also has some hilarity mixed in. It also has some random things that made me enjoy it like the fact that it took place in Washington state and it had great music. Just try not to be too disappointed if you figure out who the killer is pretty quickly. There are plenty of other aspects of the film that make it fun to watch.

OVERALL RATING: 8/10

Mr. Jones

Mr. Jones… the illusive artist that has been around for decades creating rather eerie looking “scarecrows.” A young couple staying in a remote cabin may have just happened upon this man that no one has ever seen. At first thinking this is a blessing, the couple decides to make a documentary about the artist, even going to New York City to interview people that have dealt with his work. Soon this blessing becomes more like a curse. Most importantly, Mr. Jones is not at all what he seems.

In general, I love “found footage” films. The format makes them seem so real to me that it usually scares me more than any other kind of horror movie. While I wouldn’t really call this a very scary movie, it is definitely unsettling. Similar to films like The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity, the film gives you a slow burn. It takes a while for the creepy things to start happening, but once they do things build quickly into the climax. The climax isn’t what you think it would be either. The things I really enjoyed about this movie is that, while it didn’t have the scare factor that I was anticipating, it had a very original storyline that kept me guessing right up to the end credits.

While there are many aspects of the movie that I loved, there were a couple that I didn’t like so much as well. I’ll start with the good stuff first. As is common with found footage films, there is really great character development. In fact, it takes up just about the whole first half of the film. I’m a stickler for character development. I want to get the back story of the people I’m watching and I want to ultimately care about their well-being, which is practically impossible if the character development is lacking. As I stated earlier, I also loved the overall story. It was something I have never seen before, and I really enjoyed the concept.

Moving on to the things I did not like as much, the first thing is basically just a plot hole. I don’t like unanswered questions. They haunt me. In the film they talk about how Mr. Jones sent a few scarecrows to specific people, none of whom had any connection to each other and there was no apparent reason that they received the scarecrows. They never tell you why! You can kind of put the pieces together on why different people received scarecrows, but they never explain how the people were chosen. The only other thing that bothered me is more about continuity. Obviously, since this is a found footage/mocumentary type of movie, it is mostly shot by the main characters. At one point some of the camera perspectives are not from the two main characters. For the most part, it works and they do a great job of explaining why that is. However, there are just a few times where it is clear that we are not seeing what is happening from the perspective of someone in the film, and that bugs me.

I would definitely say this is a must see movie. It’s creepy, it has great acting, a unique storyline, and it is the kind of film you can discuss with people long after it’s over and still find new things to talk about. I would definitely recommend watching it with someone. I watched it alone, and while I have you fine people to “talk to” about it, you will want to discuss what you just watched with another person. Be sure to watch it in total blackness as well, otherwise I think the unsettling feeling you get while watching won’t be as prominent.

OVERALL RATING: 7.5/10