Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Quick Review:The Crazies

Directed by Breck Eisner. With Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Joe Anderson

Fear thy Neighbor,that's the punchline.Which I guess I would if my neighbor started acting strange and wanted to kill me.
That's the plot of the crazies as a mysterious virus infects the population of small town Ogden Marsh turning the residents into "crazies"intent on killing one another,and which soon leads to the military showing up to of course make matters worse.This is of course the remake of George Romero's original The Crazies(shame on me but I'm yet to see that one).
Timothy Olyphant plays David Dutton,sheriff of the small Iowa town,Radha Mitchell plays his physician wife.Both of them really are on their game here,both really likable and very believable,which was something this movie needed to be taken seriously.

The film had a lot else going for it,the opening scene in which the alleged town drunk roams into the outfield of a minor league baseball game with gun in had is compelling and gets you interested right from the get-go. Another great element of this film was the feel of small town America,the movie really nailed that look and feel. The one sheriff,one deputy law enforcement,the town doctor and the fact that everyone seems to know each other and each others business also conveys that general feeling.The wide shots of characters walking through open fields of nothing really are breathtaking.

Then of course there is the military element,busing the residents to concentration like camps,separating kids from parents and family members from one another,gas mask wearing soldiers just gunning down helpless civilians including a mother and son and of course the fact that they won't give any insight as to what is happening.

I like the tone here as well,it was like there was a real sense of hopelessness ,each time they think they maybe found something positive to build on..boom their hopes are dashed.
There isn't a ton of gore on display but there is some nice scenes including a bad-ass knife kill and a kill with some kind of surgical instrument.

The movie is well paced,entertaining,smart and has a few really nice set pieces.There are of course the jump scares but there are also some real gripping moments of tension as characters are stalked by "the crazies". It's definitely a nice entry into the horror genre.

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