Parasite Quarantine | Movie reviews

I was finally able to see the latest full-lenght feature of the Naantali-based TR Productions, called Parasite Quarantine. Parasite Quarantine is a sequel to the shortfilm Parasiitti, which they released a few years ago, where a group of soldiers run into a supernatural enemy during a training mission.

Right off the bat I have to mention, this movie caught me by surprise. Even though TR's last full-lenght feature, TNT:Merchants of death, was an entertaining piece of independent filmmaking, this one showed considerable progress on every area. And overall, the feel of the movie was a lot more serious than the cheesy 80's tribute of TNT, even though the campiness did fit the B-movie feel of TNT.

In Parasite Quarantine, a group of soldiers wake up in a military base, accompanied by a splitting headache, only to find out that the base has been locked down and sealed. Not only that, but the rest of the people in base have turned into zombies craving for human flesh. Okay, nothing we haven't heard before, and on paper, it sounds pretty boring. I'm not a great fan of zombie movies myself, but I have to admit, this movie entertained me through the whole running-time. The balance between action and suspense was just right. So it's not just non-stop shooting and gore effects, but the makers had managed to fit in also some strong, quiet moments. I won't talk any more about to plot to avoid spoiling it.

The acting in the movie was surprisingly good, with only a few weaker moments. Not bad at all for an 80-minute moive. The young age of the actors was a bit distracting at first, but once the wheels started rolling, it didn't bother much anymore. A special mention goes to newcomer Petri Hagström, whose performance was excellent. Kuisma Väänänen is worth mentioning as well, as his whining sissy character reminded me of the worst losers I saw during my tour at the army.

As you'd expect from a movie of this genre, Parasite Quarantine contains lots of graphic violence; there's enough bloodshed and guts to satisfy the gorehounds. Best of all, the effects are very well done, better than in any other Finnish independent film I've seen. The tone is set during the first few minutes with a graphic autopsy scene. Along with the gore effects, the movie has some gorgeous zombie makeup, with torn flesh and rotten skin. It's a shame that there are also some zombiemasks that seem to be just white and black paint, which looks more like traditional low-budget stuff. The inconsistency of the make-up is bothersome. Another problem is the occasional unmasked neck or arm here and there. With so much effort put in the make-up work, I wasn't expecting to see "old-school" problems like these.

I have mixed feelings about the wardrobe of the actors. On the other hand, it achieved the necessary army-feel, but the mixed uniforms were annoying. Every soldier had different equipment, and especially the differences between the camouflage, from the Finnish M/62 to the US Tigerstrip and the Swedish single-color jacket, bothered me. Same with the weapons used in the movie. Even though it's a big flaw, I'm willing to overlook it, as with the budget the movie was made, having a matching wardrobe for all the actors if practically impossible. In contrast, the set design and locations were very good.

Technically, Parasite Quarantine is good findie quality. Cinematography and editing work well, and I can't find anything to complain about them. The mood achieved with the lighting works, and isn't distracting at all, which I thought it would be when first seeing still images of the movie. Music is excellent, and supports the mood of the movie seamlessly. Great work from composer Michael Law, although I would give credit to Esa Jussila, who edited the movie, because the editing and music work together stylishly. I do have some complaints about the soundwork, though, as in one scene, the dialogue is too quiet compared to the music. Also some of the sound FX could've used more oomph. And while we're at the subject of technical stuff, I havo to mention that the movie had some pretty terrible CG smoke, but luckily it was used only in one, very short shot.

In the end, Parasite Quarantine is a suspenseful zombie film, that manages to achieve the feel of claustrofobia and survival horror very well. Every aspect of the movie works well, and it's also one of the best Finnish indie movies I've seen. It has great suspense, and stylish splatter, and I can easily recommend it to all movie fans also outside the low-budget scene. At least for me, it's an essential addition to my DVD collection!

4/5 - Rauli Ylitalo,


Arguably the best zombieflick to come out of Scandinavia.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am, what they call, a gorehound. I've been eating, watching, drinking and shitting gore ever since I watched Bad Taste as a 10 year old. I live for, and will probably die for, watching people die in the most gruesome and goriest ways possible on screen. And as I write this i've just finished watching the movie that has a reputation like "Most likely the goriest scandinavian movie ever!". Now, is this movie that meaty and juicy as it sounds like? Well, let's tear this movie apart and see what fun we can find inside it.

First of all, there was as stylish character development in the beginning I did enjoy a LOT. It doesn't win in terms of originality, as i've seen this kind of character presentations earlier in movies like Snatch & Feast, but it works here and that's what counts the most.

The director also makes great use of sounds, shadows and LIGHTING. The movie is packed with very moody (I have to admit, the lighting isn't top notch, but i'll get there.) scenes thanks to very Argento-esque lighting.

How about the acting? you may ask and well, it works. My favorite character in this flick was Kuisma's role as a whiny alcoholic. He did a lot cringe-worthy performances, including the soon to be famous ARMSAWING scene. All I can say is ouch!

The acting overall felt very dedicated and even though there are a couple of very strong performances to be found, there are a couple of weaker ones, so the acting does not succeed on all levels.

Now, how about the real meat of the film? The gore? Well, it's there allright. The movie didn't really disappoint me on the gorelevel, as every brains gets blown out, every victim gets ripped apart and every wall gets covered in blood. What? It's true!

All in all, the movies gorelevel is awesome. The effects are very well done (even though some in the beginning I didn't find exactly brilliantly executed) and come out great on screen along with the obligatory sound effects.

The script is obviously very thought through and well worked on, and there's a couple of awesome lines ("Kill them all!", "Don't tell me we're going to the swamp!") and a couple of cheesy ones ("We can't let it out of here.", "We're not alone.") to be found.

If you're looking for original zombieblasting, I am daring to say that this is the movie of your dreams.

There's hardly any obvious cliché's to be found, and there are a couple of extremely unpredictable and original moments here. I won't spoil them for you, but all i'll say is that they're there allright, and they kick ass.

In all its awesomeness, the movie still isn't flawless. There's a lot of plotholes and the lighting simply doesn't work on some places. It's quite disorientating at times and there were some places that had me rewinding and scratching my head thinking "what the fuck is going on?". And as i've said, the acting is a little weak at times, and the soundtrack (which is VERY strong and VERY awesome) makes the dialogue a little hard to hear because of it being louder than the actual actors, which was very annoying. That's a true example of no matter how awesome something can be, it's still annoying if you use it wrong/too much.

Not to forget, the direction is overall very good and strong, and this movie (along with the cheesy 80s actionflick TNT) proves that Esa Jussila is a director to keep an eye on. You never know what he'll cook up with in the future.

To sum this review up, Parasite Quarantine is a hard movie for me not to love, considering it has all the ingriedients for a gorehound to howl in delight and squirm in... Uh... Delight.

For all fans of zombiemovies, this I can say is arguably the best zombieflick ever to come out of Scandinavia. It kicks all around ass, and will always have a special place in my moviecollection.


- Jesper Ahl,