It is really disapointing when an initially good film is re-made, virtually shot for shot. It seems so damn pointless. I mean who will ever be able to figure out why Psycho was ever re-made in this fashion? Unfortunately 2007 Spanish horror flick [Rec] was re-made in America, and re-named Quarantine. I'm sure that I'm not telling you anything new here, but when I rented this DVD I didn't realise it was an actual shot for shot re-make.
I saw Quarantine back in 2009 at my local cinema. I think these type of horrors really work as they are more believable than the normal run of the mill slasher flicks. [REC] cum Quarantine, Paranormal Activity, Blair Witch, all have an inherent creepiness that is far superior to any other type of horror movie in my opinion. The Blair Witch Project started it all off with its shaky camera lost/ found footage premise. But I think as the premise has grown, the chills have increased with it. Blair Witch was certainly innovative in its day, but it didn't really creep me out like Paranormal Activity or Quaratine has subsequently managed to do.
[REC] then is a 2007 Spanish horror. Unfortunately I don't think it played here in cinemas but I wish it had of. Quaratine was bloody scary on the big screen, but since it is a remake I would have prefered to see the original. I'm not adverse to reading sub-titles and find it somewhat pathetic, and somewhat arrogant, that many people turn their noses up at doing so. Honestly, besides a few minor script changes, what was the point of Quarantine except to pander to those who won't read sub-titles?
The problem now with reviewing [REC] is that I saw Quarantine first. Also since they are virtually scene for scene it becomes impossible to compare the two. Is one scarier than the other? No. Is the acting better than the other? No. No. No. No to all else. But more importantly is Manuela Velasco sexier and better looking than Jennifer Carpenter??! Ummm...hmmm, dunno! Suffice to say they both get infected last of all, in probably the scariest scene from both movies.
So besides a bunch of people freaking out and screaming in Spanish or English there really is absolutely no difference between the two. The only real change is in the narrative rather than a visual one. In [REC] the infection is demonic in nature, whereas in Quarantine it is actually rabies. Why the change I don't know. I like [REC] more as the idea of a contagious virus from demonic sources is far creepier than a dose of dog bite disease! So maybe [REC] is the superior movie?!
[REC] had a sequel in 2009 which starts at the end of the first movie. Angela Vidal, the female reporter, has been infected by the virus and is possessed by the girl in the attic. Fortunately in America Quarantine 2 took a different story line. I believe there are two more [REC] movies to be made. I haven't even seen a DVD copy of the second [REC] which is probably due to Quarantine squeezing it out due to being in English. This annoys me because we see the few who won't read sub-titles dictating to the many who do. I'd rather read sub-titles than not see a movie at all
Since Quarantine is the shot for shot re-make, I say avoid it and watch the original Spanish version, simply because it got in first. Don't like sub-titles? Harden up! There is really nothing between the two, but I just don't like the thinking behind Quarantine. It was simple arrogance in making exactly the same movie just because the original wasn't in English. ( The Orphanage is another fine Spanish horror and I'm surprised that hasn't been turned into an English language re-make yet either ).
If you haven't seen Quarantine then I recommend you see [REC] instead. Scary, moody, claustrophobic, bloody, original, and nerve jangling. Quite simply a roll-a-coaster of a fright flick.