After a strange and insecure plane crash, an unusual toxic virus enters a quaint farming town. A young couple are quarantined, but they fight for survival along with help from a couple of pe... Read allAfter a strange and insecure plane crash, an unusual toxic virus enters a quaint farming town. A young couple are quarantined, but they fight for survival along with help from a couple of people.After a strange and insecure plane crash, an unusual toxic virus enters a quaint farming town. A young couple are quarantined, but they fight for survival along with help from a couple of people.
Director Breck Eisner's Crazies is moody and smart with a great sense of humour about it. It never delves into self-seriousness, not tries to be overtly political. It evokes a sort of mash-up of Dawn of the Dead and Outbreak. There are some unapologetically relentless sequences propped by unbearable tension and horror and others of pure adrenaline fuelled mayhem and action. The marriage of horror and action that worked so well in films like 28 Days/Weeks Later succeeds here as well and has enough of a personal moral stance to not seem like a cookie-cutter studio product.
In the quintessential hick town of Ogden Marsh, the small populous go about their normal hick activities; prepare for the spring plant, attend the popular town baseball games and for one young couple, prepare for the birth of their first child. David and Judy Dutton (played superbly by Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell) are the town sheriff and doctor respectively both of whom are well liked in the close-knit township. Suddenly, strange things begin to happen. Townsfolk begin acting odd, prone to violence and murder and bodies begin to pile up. Soon, the town is in disarray and thing go from bad to worse fast with the arrival of government forces who quickly cordon off the town and become more terrifying then the crazies themselves. With his deputy, the sheriff does everything in his power to get his budding family out of hell in time.
One of many things I admire about The Crazies is it doesn't pussyfoot around. There is no dull build-up in which all key characters are given an introduction. We are thrust into the action right off the start and get to know the characters as the panic ensues. Joe Anderson as the deputy gets the most interesting character arc; again I will make a comparison to 2004's Dawn of the Dead this time regarding the character of CJ which one could attribute a number of similarities, including a killer moustache. Radha Mitchell who is no stranger to horror films having starred in flicks such as Rogue, Silent Hill and Pitch Black among others is perfectly suited for the role of strong female protagonist. Olyphant who has ample charisma is also pitch perfect as the compassionate but driven Sheriff and I hope roles like this will get him the leading jobs he deserves.
The Crazies also benefits from having to real villain; it is more a movie of circumstances than black and white, good vs. evil. The shortcomings of this film are those found in many horror movies. We get jolts of sound that accompany boo! moments, but thankfully this is secondary to the impending sense of dread that makes up the movies core. The very final scene is one we have witnessed so many times before and the only thing that's comes to mind as I continue to see it is that the director does not have enough confidence in the films effectiveness. Small quibbles aside this is one of the best horror films of the last ten years and stands as proof that if care is taken all horror remakes don't have to make us crazy.
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- Mar 12, 2010