I've posted about my love for REC before. And Quarantine is almost the exact same movie. It is very close to a shot for shot remake, and where it deviates, it does so in a way that understands the first movie. There's the addition of a new zombie attack scene, and a more upsetting interaction with the people who are quarantining them inside the building, but these are scenes that would have fit seamlessly into the original. It's an interesting idea, when someone remakes something like this, but doesn't try to re-imagine it so much as more fully imagine it. I still prefer Rec, but I think this is almost entirely because I saw it first. The characters in the remake are just as great, and the suspense is done just as well in most places, sometimes I felt like they lost the power of a scene, but then there would be a scene that I felt they made better and more creepy.
In an earlier post I gave two examples of remakes I liked, Muppet Christmas Carol, and Dawn of the Dead. These were both re-imaginings more than remakes. And if you had asked me a week ago what I thought contributed to a successful remake, I would have almost certainly said, "a new vision of the story." But Quarantine is a very successful remake, not a re-imagining at all. If you liked REC you will like Quarantine. They are the same movie.
It does bring new things to the table, though. It translates the movie and the context, bringing the story to a market that might not have seen it otherwise because of the language barrier/subtitles. It's easy to dismiss this sort of thing when subtitles aren't an issue for you, but for a lot of people they are a problem. And, while some of my favourite movies are subtitled foreign films (Devil's Backbone, Mother, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance) there are some problems with it that are hard to ignore. Mother, for instance, is a beautiful and haunting film, not least because of a strange and almost dreamlike final scene. But when I was reading interviews with the director, he pointed out that this scene makes more literal sense if you knew that it is actually something that happens, busloads of korean ladies dancing together. It's a part of the culture that seemed almost impressionistic to me because I just didn't know.
Subtitles can't translate the culture of a film with the words. They also struggle sometimes with timing, and it creates a disconnect when you're reading what is said, and seeing the acting, but never at exactly the same time. These problems are hardly enough to keep me from seeking out foreign films. But I watch a lot of movies, and my appetite is pretty wide-ranging. A person with less movie watching time, and so much to choose from, can't be faulted for discounting subtitled films if she thinks she'll get more out of films in her own language. There's already more than she'll ever be able to watch in her lifetime anyway. So, yes, Quarantine is almost the exact same film as Rec, but I think it's valuable nonetheless.