So it was solely by accident my wife and I ended up renting Quarantine LA from the local RedBox. I saw the cover and said, “That looks like a zombie movie” and somehow she heard, “That’s supposed to be good.” Click.
Since she generally hates horror movies and such, I was willing to take a chance.
I have since suggested she clean out her ears. Okay, I’m lying about that.
The truth is, though, within the first few seconds it was obvious this was a very low-budget film. Now, I don’t fault a film for being low-budget. I have had an Amazon Prime account for years and just now started using the “Prime” video services since I discovered a ton of horror flicks. Most are low-budget, but still fairly good. This film . . . not so lucky.
In short, seven people are trapped in Los Angeles after a virus decimates 75% of the population in the first few days.
Something I learned from this movie is that Los Angeles is far more rural than it was the last time I visited. There are a lot of woods and shacks and such, but no high rises, office buildings, etc. There may actually be one business building in the film, but for something supposedly set in LA, it was incredibly rural.
How good was the acting? Think cheesy 70s or 80s porn. Now think worse.
I write fiction and poetry, but not screenplays. That said, I found this movie a perfect example of what not to do in a screenplay. Screenplays are to be visual, but there was a lot of useless (and unrealistic) dialogue.
Here is an example.
A man carrying a shotgun goes into a house and follows someone or something upstairs to a closet. He informs the person in the closet he is going to count to five and then fire every bullet from his rifle through the door if they don’t come out. (I had to rewind and watch that again. I thought Okay, maybe people in LA don’t know the difference between shotguns and rifles.) Then came this exchange (at least this is how I recall it):
(little girl) “Hi.”
“What’s your name?”
“I’m Flynn. When is the last time you ate?”
“When my parents went away.”
“When did they go away?”
“Two days ago.”
“How old are you?”
“I have a daughter about your age.”
“Is she here?”
“No. She went away.”
A “soldier” (a captain no less) saluted his CO with his left hand.
The rifle/shotgun mentioned above
The main character–Command Sergeant Jake Miller–rescues a doctor and then later allows her to go into her house alone to see if her husband is still there. What the heck??? Yes, of course the hubby is there and infected and manages to get a bite out of her before she kills him.
Treat this one like the flu. Do all you can to avoid it unless you want to study it as a how-not-to-do-it example.
I hate to give bad reviews, but this one cannot help it. Everything worked against the film: the acting, the writing, the setting.