Monday, March 1, 2010

The Crazies

Release Date: February 24th, 2010

Click here for The Crazies Trailer.

In the small farming town of Ogden Marsh, Kansas, things remain fairly quiet for the most part. That is until one day when Rory, the former town drunk, strolls out onto the high school baseball field in the middle of a game armed with a shotgun. David Dutton(Timothy Olyphant), the town's Sheriff, evacuates the field and goes out to reason with him but when Rory raises his gun, David has no choice but to shoot him. When it turns out that Rory was not drunk like suspected, David can not determine why he did it.

Later on, another citizen of Ogden Marsh burns down his home with his wife and son still inside, seemingly unaware of what he had done. As the citizens of Ogden Marsh begin to act stranger by the hour, David struggles to come up with a logical explanation until a plane is found crashed in a river that connects directly to the town's water supply. Believing this to be the cause of the strange behavior, David requests that the mayor shut off the town's water until it can be figured out. But when the mayor refuses, David takes matters into his own hands.

While David is trying to convince his wife, Judy(Radha Mitchell), to leave, military forces arrive and place the entire town under containment, seperating David from Judy. David escapes and rescues Judy as well as her assistant Becca(Danielle Panabaker) from containment with the help of his Deputy Sheriff Russell Clank(Joe Anderson). The citizens of Ogden Marsh are becoming more hostile and crazy with each passing moment and David and the others must avoid both the military and infection in order to escape with their lives.

Loosely based on the classic tale of the same name by George A. Romero, The Crazies is one of the edge-of-your-seat thrillers that has scares around every corner and a fairly smart plot. Upon seeing the trailer for this movie you may be expecting something about zombies or a similar threat. However, it is something entirely different all together.

The story focuses around a crashed government plane that has somehow affected the water supply of a small farming community turning its citizens into insane shells of their former selves, attacking anything that moves. The plot made you think a little bit before that true cause was revealed and the cause itself was still a little unexpected. However, the story itself does not focus on how or why the incident happened. The main focus of the story is the attempt of four people to escape both "the crazies" and the military with their lives and make it to safety.

Most thriller movies need intense scenes to back them up and The Crazies delivered just that. While there wasn't full on big-budget action in this film, the scenes of suspense were just that, suspenseful. They really gave the audience the same sense of desperation as the characters in the film were experiencing. Around every turn there was a growing tension that makes your heart start racing. This is where the film really shines. It keeps you focused the whole time and really gets you involved.

The movie was a gore-fest but not to the point of absurdity or sickness. It struck the right balance between making you feel creeped out but not to the point where the movie was unenjoyable to watch. The amount of gore in this film also added a sense of reality to the story. The character designs and amount of gore applied to each individual made the crazies seem like a viable threat, one that could actually happen to any of us.

I thought Timothy Olyphant did a fantastic job in the lead role. He had a certain presence about him that let you know he was the lead but at the same time didn't throw out a sense of arrogance that some celebrities display. Olyphant delivered a very real character, one that many people out there may be able to relate to. But he wasn't alone. Solid performances from both Radha Mitchell and Joe Anderson helped propel the story as well as the individual characters and each of the three stars seemed to feed of the others.

Fans of George A. Romero's original can't really compare the two films. The classic depended a lot on dialogue to work the plot through but director Breck Eisner allows the tension to push you along. Eisner put in enough feasibility into the film to make you believe that this could really happen. And, as I'm sure many of you know, watching a scary movie that could actually happen is way more terrifying than watching one that is grounded in mythology, nightmares or ancient curses.

Overall I really enjoyed The Crazies. I thought the plot was good and even slightly unexpected and I also thought that the actors did a great job in making believable characters as well as one's you can relate to. The gore level was set to the perfect setting and the scares were placed in just the right places to make you scream. Definitely a movie for horror fans.

I give The Crazies 8 "Did Peter Call?" Grandmas out of 10.

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