The Crazies (2010)

It’s probably unfeasible, but I’ve decided that over the course of 2012, I’m going to try to watch 100 movies. This is the first.

Film #1: The Crazies (2010)

The Crazies is a horror/thriller remake of the original 1973 film. I’ve never seen the original, so I can’t do any comparisons. This movie takes place in a small Iowan town of 1200, where attractive town sheriff Timothy Olyphant and his attractive town doctor wife Radha Mitchell try to escape a federal lock-down after a plane crash infests the town’s drinking water with a chemical that’s turning its inhabitants violently insane. Accompanying them is the attractive town deputy Joe Anderson and his handlebar moustache.

The Crazies joins 28 Days Later and other similar films as a zombie movie without zombies. The heroes have to survive a town full of ever-dwindling survivors, who fall to the sickness or the lethal containment methods of the feds. The stock characters are all pretty boring, and the dialogue is perfunctory at best, but The Crazies manages this really precarious balancing act between being cheesily bad and awesomely entertaining.  It’s not a super-intelligent, well-scripted work of art, but it’s not trying to be. What it’s trying to be is thrilling and exciting, and on that level, it succeeds. For every scene that has a character acting irritatingly irrational, the follow-up is sure to be an intense action sequence with tons of surprising moments.

The car wash scene works as a perfect microcosm of the film in general. The surviving characters are driving down a barren country road when a government helicopter flies by, so they hide in the car wash to escape it. While they’re in there, the car wash starts up and the crazies attack. The set-up to the scene is questionably convoluted, but after it starts, you just don’t give a damn. The scene’s full of jumpy moments, good choreography, and plenty of violent bits that make you cheer and/or yell aloud, so you don’t care that things were stupid a couple of minutes ago. After the intense scene ends, the movie dips back into hack zone for a while only to break above the surface again later on. It rides this wave for the whole 100 minute run time, but its peaks more than make up for its valleys.

The Crazies flips a coin and lands on the good side, at least as an entry to its genre.

Final rating: 7/10

–James A. Janisse

Stray Observations:

  • I did have a problem with what I felt were inconsistencies among the crazies. It seemed like the first couple people infected were more lethargic and absent-mindedly violent, while the later infected took some form of higher pleasure from the violence they were committing, even going so far as to tie up the sheriff’s wife instead of outright killing her when they had the chance. A simple line could have explained this, but the movie forewent including any such rationalization, which in my mind cements the fact that they were out solely to entertain and didn’t give a damn about making the story airtight. Fair enough, The Crazies. Fair enough.

One response

  1. Pingback: Paranormal Activity 3 (2011) « The Analytic Critic

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