#1  
Old 11-09-2009, 12:19 PM
Quarantine - plot holes (Spoilers)

Alright, so I watched Quarantine the other day. Okay movie. I haven't seen [rec], the original movie, but in my old age I'm not that worried about it. Quarantine succeeds or fails on its own. It started off alright, with a nice segment to introduce the main characters and make us care about them. This was good.

But partway through the movie, my suspension of disbelief began to fail. Therefore I felt the need to stop in here to complain about it.

The first problem is that the audience figures out what if going on much faster than any of the characters do. When the crazy sick lady attacks the rescue worker, we think "zombie". When the rescue workers begin to get back up after being attacked, we know "zombie". And while, in real life, you don't expect to get attacked by zombies, and so would probably be likely to dismiss such things with a "there must be a reasonable explanation for this" (at least for a while), the characters here seem willfully ignorant to the fact that the people around them are turning into freaking zombies.

The second problem I had was the idea that the Center for Disease Control just happened to have a crack paramilitary team on standby in Los Angeles at 3 in the morning. Their explanation is that the little girl's dog, taken to the vet late at night by her father, attacked the other animals, and spread its disease to them within a matter of minutes. The CDC is called in, can't recognize the disease, and follows the dog's tags back to the address at the apartment building. Therefore they immediately seal off the building and shoot any humans who try to leave. Huh? How does that make sense? Shouldn't they be looking for infected dogs? Shouldn't they come inside to speak with the humans and see if they have the right building? If anyone has seen any rabid animals?

And that brings us very rapidly to our third key problem. Where is this vet located? I'm presuming somewhere in L.A. So there's a vet that's open at 3 in the morning, and loving father brings little girl's dog in to have it treated. Dog goes crazy, bites other animals, CDC is called in, etc. When the firemen arrive to treat the crazy old woman, loving mother is up with sick little girl, waiting for loving father to come home. In fact, she's on the phone with him. Did father somehow fail to mention any of this?

"Hey, babe. Oh, the dog? Yeah, it went rabid and attacked the other animals here at the vet. Yup, the CDC came in and had to put down all the animals. Big mess. Yeah, they looked at the dog's tags, and got the address of our apartment. I think they're gonna quarantine the place. Nah, nothing to worry about. Sleep tight. I'm just gonna hit Taco Bell for a couple of hours til this whole thing blows over."

After all, the mom is still on the phone with the father when the CDC somehow uses its magic powers to stop all cell phone and radio communication inside the building. And he never mentions anything about any of this? Never even says "we need to get a new dog?" Unlikely.

Finally, we have the biggest problem (not necessarily from a plot hole perspective, merely as an "oops"). We are shown bits and pieces at the end that make it seem as if the entire thing was intentional. Crazy guy in the attic has newspaper clippings indicating he was aware of the virus, possibly a member of a doomsday cult, and he's got hundreds of (presumably infected) rats. We also have seen at least one infected rat roaming around the building. And we know that there's an entrance to the sewer in the basement. Hmm... rats carry the disease. Rats go in the sewer. The sewer connects the rest of the city. Oops.

I don't mean to sound as if I didn't like the movie. It was okay. But it has tried to be a smarter type of zombie movie. If you try to be smart, you better actually be smart.
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  #2  
Old 11-12-2009, 03:19 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
The first problem is that the audience figures out what if going on much faster than any of the characters do. When the crazy sick lady attacks the rescue worker, we think "zombie". When the rescue workers begin to get back up after being attacked, we know "zombie". And while, in real life, you don't expect to get attacked by zombies, and so would probably be likely to dismiss such things with a "there must be a reasonable explanation for this" (at least for a while), the characters here seem willfully ignorant to the fact that the people around them are turning into freaking zombies.
You just contradicted yourself in the same sentence. You say they are "willfully ignorant to the fact that the people around them are turning into freaking zombies" But then you also say this "in real life, you don't expect to get attacked by zombies, and so would probably be likely to dismiss such things with a "there must be a reasonable explanation for this" Nevermind your 'at least for a while' crap, nobody would think they are Zombies, cause zombies have only ever existed in fiction. Believing that you would call them Zombies in the same situation is ridiculous.

Quote:
The second problem I had was the idea that the Center for Disease Control just happened to have a crack paramilitary team on standby in Los Angeles at 3 in the morning. Their explanation is that the little girl's dog, taken to the vet late at night by her father, attacked the other animals, and spread its disease to them within a matter of minutes. The CDC is called in, can't recognize the disease, and follows the dog's tags back to the address at the apartment building. Therefore they immediately seal off the building and shoot any humans who try to leave. Huh? How does that make sense? Shouldn't they be looking for infected dogs? Shouldn't they come inside to speak with the humans and see if they have the right building? If anyone has seen any rabid animals?
What, do you think that the SWAT teams and other military teams are off every evening? Don't be silly, ofcourse they would get their fast, it's a quarantined bulding with a mysterious goings on inside. You don't send the nearest foot patrol do you? They know NOTHING about this disease, ofcourse they are gonna seal off the building. They do have to concentrate on keeping the disease at bay as well as finding the cause of it.


Quote:
And that brings us very rapidly to our third key problem. Where is this vet located? I'm presuming somewhere in L.A. So there's a vet that's open at 3 in the morning, and loving father brings little girl's dog in to have it treated. Dog goes crazy, bites other animals, CDC is called in, etc. When the firemen arrive to treat the crazy old woman, loving mother is up with sick little girl, waiting for loving father to come home. In fact, she's on the phone with him. Did father somehow fail to mention any of this?
The father and the Vet are most likely dead or infected. You think the dog went wild, infected the other dogs, but decided to leave the two humans alive and well? somehow I don't think so.

Quote:
"Hey, babe. Oh, the dog? Yeah, it went rabid and attacked the other animals here at the vet. Yup, the CDC came in and had to put down all the animals. Big mess. Yeah, they looked at the dog's tags, and got the address of our apartment. I think they're gonna quarantine the place. Nah, nothing to worry about. Sleep tight. I'm just gonna hit Taco Bell for a couple of hours til this whole thing blows over."

After all, the mom is still on the phone with the father when the CDC somehow uses its magic powers to stop all cell phone and radio communication inside the building. And he never mentions anything about any of this? Never even says "we need to get a new dog?" Unlikely.
See above

Quote:
Finally, we have the biggest problem (not necessarily from a plot hole perspective, merely as an "oops"). We are shown bits and pieces at the end that make it seem as if the entire thing was intentional. Crazy guy in the attic has newspaper clippings indicating he was aware of the virus, possibly a member of a doomsday cult, and he's got hundreds of (presumably infected) rats. We also have seen at least one infected rat roaming around the building. And we know that there's an entrance to the sewer in the basement. Hmm... rats carry the disease. Rats go in the sewer. The sewer connects the rest of the city. Oops.
Why oops? What have they done wrong. Creating a possible plotline for a sequel on the lines of infected city? Come on now.

Quote:
I don't mean to sound as if I didn't like the movie. It was okay. But it has tried to be a smarter type of zombie movie. If you try to be smart, you better actually be smart.
It was a remake to a better film, watch the original before you rip into the idea. I have a feeling you will change you mind.

Last edited by Heisenberg; 11-12-2009 at 03:22 PM..
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  #3  
Old 11-12-2009, 09:09 PM
Nah the original poster has it right. This movie is full of holes. If not zombies, then the people might think "look at these enraged vomiting sickos, maybe I'll put on some gloves before I touch her". I sure as hell wouldn't go in a touch a clearly ill person who is attacking people.

They didn't treat them like zombies, sure, but they didn't treat them like anything abnormal despite appearances and behavior.
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  #4  
Old 11-12-2009, 09:17 PM
The Remake actually made it more clear than the original did.
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  #5  
Old 11-13-2009, 12:25 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
You just contradicted yourself in the same sentence. You say they are "willfully ignorant to the fact that the people around them are turning into freaking zombies" But then you also say this "in real life, you don't expect to get attacked by zombies, and so would probably be likely to dismiss such things with a "there must be a reasonable explanation for this" Nevermind your 'at least for a while' crap, nobody would think they are Zombies, cause zombies have only ever existed in fiction. Believing that you would call them Zombies in the same situation is ridiculous.
It's like George Clooney said in From Dusk Til Dawn. I don't believe in vampires. But I believe what my eyes tell me, and what my eyes tell me is that these are vampires.

Likewise, I don't believe in zombies. But if I see an obviously sick person trying to eat human flesh, who shrugs off injury and continues to attack, and the people she bites start exhibiting similar behavior, I'm going to behave as though they are zombies.

Quote:
What, do you think that the SWAT teams and other military teams are off every evening? Don't be silly, ofcourse they would get their fast, it's a quarantined bulding with a mysterious goings on inside. You don't send the nearest foot patrol do you? They know NOTHING about this disease, ofcourse they are gonna seal off the building. They do have to concentrate on keeping the disease at bay as well as finding the cause of it.
Yes, I do in fact believe that the SWAT team guys go home at night. I know a lot of military guys, Army Rangers, Navy Seals, etc., and I know that they don't just stay on alert ready to do a mission when they're here in the US.

And despite the fact that the actual CDC doesn't operate that way (in real life, there's a very specific list of diseases that the CDC is allowed to issue a quarantine regarding -- if it's not on the list, they can't do it -- and adding a disease to the list requires an Executive Order signed by the President. You also need an order from either a judge or the Surgeon General in order to initiate a quarantine), I'm willing to overlook that. Even if we're talking about movie-land, where the government is one big secret monolithic entity that just does what it wants, we're still talking about a response time of mere minutes.

The response is much, much too fast.

Quote:
The father and the Vet are most likely dead or infected. You think the dog went wild, infected the other dogs, but decided to leave the two humans alive and well? somehow I don't think so.

See above
Except we see the wife talking to him on the phone when the firemen arrive. In fact, she seemed to be having a conversation with him right up until the time the building was quarantined.

And if the vet is infected, who called the CDC?

Quote:
Why oops? What have they done wrong. Creating a possible plotline for a sequel on the lines of infected city? Come on now.
Not as in an inconsistency in the plot. More of an "oops" like they had in Return of the Jedi, where you realize that the exploding Death Star just killed all the Ewoks.

Quote:
It was a remake to a better film, watch the original before you rip into the idea. I have a feeling you will change you mind.
I didn't watch [rec]. I watched Quarantine. I think a movie should stand on it's own. Maybe the original was better. There's a certain group of people who hate remakes simply because they're remakes. I don't really care -- I don't have enough time or energy to have an opinion on it.
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  #6  
Old 11-21-2009, 10:46 AM
I think in most zombie movies, we have to believe that the people in them exist in a world where there has never been a zombie movie. Otherwise, you would recognize it right away and know to shoot them in the head.
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  #7  
Old 11-22-2009, 01:15 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by CyclicNightmare View Post
I think in most zombie movies, we have to believe that the people in them exist in a world where there has never been a zombie movie. Otherwise, you would recognize it right away and know to shoot them in the head.
That makes some sense, unless your'e dealing with self referential horror laced with nods to other films, it's supposed to be a self contained world where Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days Later and the like don't exist in these scenarios, the characters are experiencing these events without any horror movie subtext or knowledge.

The firemen went in there to preserve life and they tried to do that as best they could, as did the police officers. They weren't thinking, uh oh, zombies/mutants, let's start tearing shiite up, that was the job for the military, who kept them in the dark as to the extent of the danger. If they were briefed about how precarious the situation was and how easily it cold spread, i'm sure they would have handled the situation differently, but they were left to their own devices and had to make their own decisions about how to proceed.
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  #8  
Old 01-04-2013, 03:20 AM
OP is 100% right. He was nice to the movie if anything. Why didn't the landlord guy say about the sewer after the balcony was cut off? Why did everyone constantly leave weapons when they clearly needed them. Why are people in horror movies always more idiotic than 14 year old girls? The cop turns his back on the little infected girl, after walking super close to her to mention how her eyes look weird. Yep, I'm pretty sure saying what everyone else has already noticed is really more important than keeping the infected person from infecting you. Also, leaving an infected woman in the same room as you is extremely smart, just like leaving the CDC guy in the room with glass doors was smart.

Anyways, I could go on and on, but there's no point. I just can't even be the least bit frightened since I'm too distracted by their stupidity, and looking forward to the next idiotic thing they'll do.
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