Movies & TV / Reviews

House of Quarantine Review

July 21, 2021 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
House of Quarantine
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
House of Quarantine Review  

House of Quarantine Review

Drew Leatham– Parker
Philip P. Carlisle– Vince
Zoey Walker– Brenna
Dylan Garcia– Daryl
Nathan Gayan– Jace
Kelcie Weber– Alicia
King James Chavez– Torrance
Rachel Thweatt– Macy
Chelsea Nicole Howard– Kari
Kevin Brown– Cop 2
Alan Blume– Cop 1

Directed by Mitesh Kumar Patel
Screenplay by Randal Lee Smith, based on a story my Mitesh Kumar Patel and Randal Lee Smith

Distributed by Gravitas Ventures

Not Rated
Runtime– 81 minutes

Available in select theatres and on all major Video on Demand platforms starting July 20th, 2021


House of Quarantine, directed by Mitesh Kumar Patel and playing in select theaters and on all major Video on Demand platforms starting July 20th, 2021, is a low budget thriller about a group of strangers trying to survive the apocalypse by holing up in one location. In a sense, it’s almost like a zombie movie without the zombies. Instead of zombies (or aliens or whatever), the inciting incident is a worldwide quarantine lockdown caused by the arrival of “Covid-19.” Now, it was an inevitability that we would start to see movies about the still-happening-as-I-write-this Coronavirus pandemic, either in a literal sense of a metaphorical sense. House of Quarantine tries to use Covid-19 as a literal threat to its characters. The problem with that plot strategy is that the Covid-19 that we see in the movie bears absolutely no resemblance to the Covid-19 of the real world. As a result, the threat the characters face isn’t as deadly or cinematically scary as it should be. I mean, the important part of the movie, the focus, is what happens in the house between the various characters, but because the outside threat is a fictionalized Covid-19 you’re going to spend most of the movie wondering why these freaked out people are acting the way they’re acting.

House of Quarantine features a group of people working in a house in Los Angeles making some sort of movie. There’s the director Parker (Drew Leatham), who no one seems to like or respect; Vince (Philip Carlisle), one of the movie’s producers; Brenna (Zoey Walker), a mouthy makeup artist who really doesn’t want to be on the set in the first place, Torrance (King James Chavez), the sound guy who seems to think everyone hates him; Jace (Nathan Gayan), one of the movie’s actors, and several others (Alicia, played by Kelcie Weber. I think she’s one of the actors in the movie being made. Kari, as played by Chelsea Nicole Howard. Macy, as played by Rachel Thweatt. I’m not entirely sure what these people are doing on the movie set. Crew maybe?). In the midst of making a movie, the crew finds out that there’s a seriously contagious disease running rampant in the city, country, and world (that would be Covid-19) and the federal government has initiated a nationwide quarantine lockdown. This news freaks everyone out because what exactly does a nationwide lockdown mean? What does it look like? What does it involve? What are they supposed to do about food and supplies and whatnot? There are no real instructions on the news or on social media. The crew decides to just keep making their movie, figuring that whatever is happening will resolve itself in a few days and everything will be okay.

And that’s when one of the crew starts showing symptoms of the infection. That person is immediately quarantined within the house. Did the crew get the infected away from everyone else in time? And what will happen to the infected person? Will that person die?

Almost as soon as they all decide to keep making the movie they decide to stop making the movie because, really, who cares? It could be the end of the world. So the crew starts arguing about what to do next. Should they try to call the authorities to figure out what to do? Should they try to make a run for it, leave the house and go somewhere else? A few days pass. The crew still doesn’t know what to do. Daryl (Dylan Garcia), a member of the crew and diabetic, tries to leave the house to find more insulin as his insulin supply has run out. As soon as Daryl leaves the house the police show up and shoot him dead. What the hell is going on? Why would the cops kill someone trying to leave their house?

Daryl’s killing, as you would expect, freaks out the crew even more. What the hell are they going to do now? If they can’t leave the house at all, for any reason, how long are they going to survive? There are still no instructions from authorities or the news media about what is really going on. The crew also notices that there are military helicopters flying all over the place. One of the crew comes up with a scheme to try to leave the area via other people’s backyards. That scheme fails when they realize that their next door neighbor is sitting outside with an assault rifle and, without saying one word, is telling everyone do not try to come onto my property. It’s at this point that the crew realizes they’re stuck in the house.

A few more days pass, and more crew members start to get sick and go into involuntary quarantine. The non-sick then start to argue about who is in charge and what they should do next. It doesn’t take long for the crew to all turn on one another, become uncooperative, and seize power (well, try to seize power). The crew really didn’t get along before the start of the lockdown, and now it’s beyond that in a big way. Everyone is on edge and ready to freak out more than they already have. Will the crew survive? Will they learn to work together?

If House of Quarantine had used some sort of made up disease, something that no one in the real world had ever seen, the story’s tension might be better felt by the audience. The audience would be able to identify with the movie crew and wonder how any of them will survive. A made up disease would also make the whole “the authorities won’t let anyone leave their house” part of the story seem more likely. But, again, because the movie uses Covid-19 and depicts things that never happened once during the actual, real life/real world pandemic it all seems so wrong. People were asked to stay home/work from home, but people were able to leave their homes to get supplies. The government also made sure that supply lines were maintained. The news media also made an effort to get actual information out to people. There was no information blackout. There was no heavy handed lockdown. There were incidents of riots and civil unrest, but that had more to do with racial justice demonstrations and protests against the police than a response to social breakdown because of Covid-19. And while Covid-19 could be super contagious, not everyone exposed to it would get it and die immediately. Sometimes it would take seven days before an infected person showed symptoms. The movie doesn’t depict any of these real world Covid-19 realities. Now, with a made up disease you can do whatever you want and show whatever sort of panic and social breakdown you want. Covid-19 was/is bad and terrible and has killed millions worldwide, but it didn’t lead to a Day of the Dead/28 Days Later/Mad Max type of situation.


Now, if you ignore the inciting incident and focus on the isolated film crew freaking out because they don’t know what to do, the performances are all fairly decent and believable. They all argue, no one wants to be there, and it’s basically impossible for anyone to work together/get along. When a handgun is introduced into the house, everyone’s focus is the gun and who wields it. I don’t think you’ll be surprised by which crew member whips out the gun first, but I do think you will be surprised by how various people use it. Full on despair is a terrible, terrible goddamn thing. You get the sense, by the end of the movie, that if the film crew could see itself some of them might actually band together and stop fighting and figure out a way to survive. But because they can’t see themselves, because everyone is essentially out for themselves, they can’t see that they’re killing themselves. It’s insane.

House of Quarantine also does a good job with the idea of time meaning very little, with the days bleeding into one another. Even with the movie crew making an effort to count the days they’ve been in lockdown time doesn’t mean anything. One days leads into another day with no end in sight. There’s crushing boredom, unending tension about who might die next, and a complete sense of doom about it all. When will they run out of food? Will the power stay on? Will anyone ever get to know what the hell is really going on?

You never really like any of the characters. You sympathize with their plight, you don’t really want to see any of them die, but when people do die you’re not really surprised. There is one death that will shock you a bit because you don’t expect that character to die the way he does, but, in a grand sense, you’re not that surprised that any of them die. The situation seems to necessitate death. In a “judging their performance” sense, Zoey Walker’s Brenna is probably the most interesting because Brenna movies back and forth between being a jerk to being nice to people. King James Chavez’s Torrance is probably the closest thing to a sympathetic character in the movie, at least at first. You start to identify with his feelings of inadequacy and you want to comfort him over his paranoia, but Chavez makes you dislike him quite a bit when he becomes the latest bully of the group. Drew Leatham does a great job as the movie director Parker, a guy who was never really in charge of the movie he was making and then never in charge of the group despite sort of being momentarily voted in as the leader. It’s a shitty position to be in. And Philip P. Carlisle does an outstanding job being one of the worst people in the world as Vince. My God, how could anyone ever work with Vince? Why would they want to?

House of Quarantine’s ending suggests there’s more story to tell, both in the run up to the worldwide lockdown to maybe another story during the lockdown to after the events of the movie. I do think the movie’s world/plot needs to come up with a different inciting incident. A sequel could easily say something like “The world thought it was under siege by Covid-19. It turns out it was something much, much worse” and then move forward. Or the movie can edit out any mention of Covid-19 and make the viral infection something else. I don’t think that’s going to happen. Still, even with that mega glaring issue, House of Quarantine is a decent enough low budget thriller. The movie has its heart in the right place with what it wants to do and what it wants to be. The cast is generally unlikeable but still interesting to watch. That’s a major accomplishment with a “group under siege” thriller.

See House of Quarantine. It’s imperfect but worth checking out.


So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: 6

Explosions: None.

Nudity?: None.

Doobage: A woman walking out of an elevator and to her car in a parking garage, a car following another car, a sudden assault, purse to the face, a movie being made, a home theater, lunch, a phone charger issue, attempted phone confiscation, social unrest and rioting, multiple decisions, hand sanitizer hooey, multiple involuntary quarantines, calendar hooey, stress, a helicopter, sugar water hooey, a lack of 911, a police shooting, serious arguing, a vicious dog, seriously unfriendly neighbors, a gun in a dresser, talk of food rationing, more serious arguing, missing silverware, power failure, a fight over a gun, a wicked punch to the face, handcuff hooey, attempted planning, another struggle over the gun, attempted wound fixing, suicide, dead body dragging, arguing over a phone charger, a big hooha pool fight, hostage taking, a sudden rescue, a big fight, and a nice closing credits theme.

Kim Richards? None.

Gratuitous: People making in a movie in a movie, multiple line flubs, lunch, a lack of group bathroom etiquette, multiple movie crew arguments, Covid-19 that doesn’t resemble the real world Covid-19 in any way whatsoever, a boom mic used to lower food in a bucket, a helicopter, civil unrest, a mega armed neighbor, serious hatred of tap water, crackers for breakfast, snoring, a big hooha pool fight, and a nice closing credits theme.

Best lines: “Well, Vince, maybe you shouldn’t have hired her,” “Does this belong to anyone?,” “She says they’re looting and rioting!,” “I can’t believe this is happening!,” “If you’re hungry go have an energy bar!,” “No! You can’t just leave me down here!,” “We may have to start rationing,” “I can’t believe I’m stuck here with you people,” “Do you think they’re shooting people? Like we saw on TV?,” “Oh, Vince, we love you, too,” “It’s too quiet. That’s what scares me,” “Do I have to put you in a separate room?,” “I should have cancelled on this project when I had the chance!,” “Parker, what are you doing? You are not opening that door!,” “Does the world ‘please’ ever come out of your mouth?,” “You’re not eating again, are you?,” “But why would someone steal the forks, the knives, and spoons?,” “You know, I am sick and tired of your smart ass mouth!,” “Look! It’s something Torrance hasn’t eaten yet!,” “That’s what the world needs. Another writer,” “I still want to know what happened to the knives,” “I hope you don’t mind I had to spread the peanut butter with my finger,” “Have these been washed?,” “What do you want me to say, Torrance? I do make up, I don’t read minds,” “My God, Torrance! You shit him!,” “We’re gonna be fine,” “What did you expect? A happy ending?,” “So, what, now this is my fault?,” “I’ve had it. With all of you,” and “I think he has the virus.”

The final score: review Good
The 411
House of Quarantine, directed by Mitesh Kumar Patel, is a low budget thriller about a group of strangers trying to survive the apocalypse by holing up in one location. It’s like a zombie movie without zombies. The movie’s biggest problem, and one that may annoy the audience, is that it tries to use Covid-19 as its inciting incident but doesn’t depict anything that anyone in the real world experienced/is still experiencing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Had the plot used a made up disease House of Quarantine would definitely work better and feel more authentic. The cast does a good job and there are some nice performances among the group. But the presence of Covid-19 just doesn’t work. Still, even with that major issue, House of Quarantine is worth your time. House of Quarantine is playing in select theaters and on all major Video on Demand platforms starting July 20th, 2021.