Last year,the movie Quarantine was released in theaters. This was another in the recent trend of documentary style fiction movies (i.e. Cloverfield). However this was also a remake of the Spanish language film REC.
A comparison of these films demonstrates very interesting observations about remakes of foreign films into English.
First off its obvious that something in the original films sparked an interest in making an English language version. However it amazes me that they are never truly simple remakes and that there are always changes to the films sometimes just esthetics’s but many times it is changes in plot lines as well.
Both films are about a two person television crew following firefighters on call for the evening. Both versions are about that call leading to an apartment building which a woman is acting strangely, resulting in some type of infection spreading through the tenants, making them crazed killers.
However the approaches to these films are very different. REC is more brightly, starkly light throughout, and the camera work appears of less quality leading to the belief that this is a real life event. The scenes in Quarantine are much more darkly lite and the picture quality is sharper and clearer. Therefore it is only the camera movements that evenly slightly leads you to believe this is real life.
Also the major plot point of the infection is handled very differently in both films. In REC there is never any clear cause or identification of the virus throughout the entire film. I think this leads to a more suspenseful film. There is also one scene which one victim which was obviously dead suddenly disappears, making this more of a Zombie film.
In Quarantine the virus is identified by the resident Vet as some kind of Super Rabis, I found this to be very silly plot device, and unnecessary.
Also is was odd there was much more swearing in Quarantine than in REC, as though the writers of this version thought it helped in character development for some reason.
As you can read, I feel that REC is the much superior film, and that Quarantine is a poor substitute for an English language version. Its a shame that there are so many people adverse to subtitled films, because there are so many great ones out there. Especially for horror films this seem to be the only outlet for anything of any quality.