Fear thy neighbour

Something is infecting the citizens of Ogden Marsh…with insanty

by Stephanie Jesuthansan

Where do you go when the ones you trust and care for go…crazy?
The Crazies, a George Romero horror remake, directed by Breck Eisner, begins when a local drunk brings a shotgun to a high school baseball game. Sheriff David Dutton (Timothy Olyphant) is forced to kill him, sending the entire town into shock.  However, Dutton becomes suspicious when the autopsy shows an absence of alcohol in the man’s system and decides to go find the truth of what really happened.

Within days, the town has transformed into a sickening asylum; people who days ago lived quiet, unremarkable lives have now become depraved, blood-thirsty killers, hiding in the darkness with guns and knives. Sheriff Dutton tries to make sense of what’s happening as the horrific, nonsensical violence escalates. Dutton’s wife Judy (Radha Mitchell), the town’s doctor, figures its some kind of virus. After discovering a drowned military plane in the water supply just outside the town, Dutton and his deputy Russell Clank (Joe Anderson) believe that some kind of biological weapon has infected the town’s water supply.

Before they can attempt to escape the madness, the military infiltrates the town herding everyone into a restricted zone for sorting. The infected are funneled into the local high school while those who retain their sanity are bussed elsewhere. After the operation breaks down, Dutton and Mitchell find themselves trapped in the town they once loved, being hunted by the army and terrorized by the crazies.
Despite the overdone storyline, The Crazies does differentiate itself from Romero’s original. The movie bears a resemblance to zombie films because the biochemical agent causes deterioration and revolting physical changes, but these are not zombies—they’re far scarier than the walking dead. The crazies just want to kill but because the infected retain knowledge of weaponry and everyday functions, they are a scarier threat than zombies, whose only concern is to consume.

The film is fast-paced and takes its viewers from one heart-stopping scene to another.  From fathers setting their families on fire to morticians sewing up the eyes and mouths of the living, The Crazies takes its viewers on a thrilling ride.
The movie did do its genre justice but it did not depend solely on jump scares and gore like most horror movies tend to do. Instead, Eisner makes the film suspenseful by showing shots of satellite imagery, letting the viewers wonder what really is happening and reminding them that they’re not the only one watching.

However, the movie does have a few negative aspects. The story was never completely clear. There were a few attempts made in the film where they tried to give details of why and how the disease spread, but those scenes were interrupted by ‘crazies’ behavior and never fully revealed.
The acting was also mediocre and there was very little chemistry between Olyphant and Mitchell. The sentimental scenes seemed forced and distant, making it difficult to connect with the couple.

Furthermore, The Crazies is the kind of film where someonewith their eyes sewn closed is somehow able to tell the hero there is someone sneaking up on him.
In all, The Crazies is not a masterpiece, but its pacing and effects ensure a good time for those in search of an old-school, seventies-style scare flick. Do not go to see the movie, expecting to see some bloody zombies. This movie is not about flesh eating, brain-dead monsters but rather about infected crazy people with violent tendencies. The Crazies will probably be a disappointment to hardcore zombie fans but is a good one-time watch for everyone else.


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