Occasionally a film comes along that is well received, that a sequel in instantly ordered, in order to capitalize on the momentum of the original. Other times, a film is so original that it spawns remakes. Sometimes, the remake is produced in an entirely different country and language (see Japan’s recent remakes of Sideways (Saidoweizu) and Ghost (Ghost: Mouichido Dakishimetai), for example).
Often times, a sequel or remake will match, or in some cases surpass, the excitement found in the original (see Aliens, Spiderman 2, or Godfather 2 for more examples).
Other times, you have today’s film.
In 2007, spanish directors Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza gave us [REC], a brilliantly crafted found footage film. It quickly was followed by an American remake in 2008 titled Quarantine, from John Erick Dowdle, and a direct sequel from Balagueró in 2009 titled [REC]2.
The US remake closely followed the original in story, style, and direction. It was as equally frightening and enjoyable as the original, much in the same way Let Me In (2010) was to Let the Right One In (2008).
Why then, did they go the direction they did with the US sequel?
31 Days of Films and Frights – Day 25: Quarantine 2 – Terminal
Director: John Pogue
Cast: Mercedes Masöhn, Josh Cooke, Mattie Liptak, Noree Victoria, Erin Smith
Country: United States
Specs: 89 mins. / Color / OAR 1.78.1 / MPAA Rating: R
Rating: ★★ / D
A deadly virus infects the members of an airliner, causing a quarantine to be placed on the jumbo jet and its inhabitants. The infected must work together in an attempt to overcome the virus, and escape safe and sound.
B-level acting, absurd character actions (the sneezing scene alone is worthy of a Razzie), and horrible camera work are only the beginning that I found wrong with this film. The most bewildering aspect of the film was Pogue’s lack of style. Jump cuts, extremely close and crazy close-ups, simply amateurish staging, and consistent shaky-cam are all inconsistent enough to bother even the most die-hard fan of those music video hold-overs.
If the script were any better, I may attempt to overlook those aforementioned problematic elements. Instead, it simply adds to the unfortunate air of a student film that this production delivers. For instance, why during a power outage does the plane also lose its power? How is it possible for a lockdown of that magnitude to be instituted that quickly? How did the airport possibly know that the airplane was infected? Why was this film completely unrelated to the first film? Why did they not follow the storyline of the sequel to [REC]?
If you want to see how NOT to make a sequel, then by all means give this a rental. Otherwise, get the superior spanish language [REC]2 instead. You won’t regret it.