Sunday, February 28, 2010

Review: The Crazies

A remake of George Romero's classic, The Crazies is a flawed, but sometimes effective horror film, that's first half especially is eeries, exciting, and intriguing, but eventually gives way to a cliche-ridden second half that dissapoints.

The Crazies is the story of a small town where a mysterious plane wreck has infiltrated the water supply, and has cause the residents of the town to become deranged, blood thirsty killers. Those that survive are shuffled away by the US military, and meet a semi-suprising conclusion. The three main protagonists are David and Judy Dutton (Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell), the town's sheriff and doctor, and the deputy sheriff Russell (Joe Anderson), who try to outrun both the crazed townspeople and the government operatives who are searching and destoying everything in their path. The story takes many twists and turns, full of blood, gore, and scares to a less than stellar conclusion that leaves you wanting more.

Compared to most horror movies nowadays, The Crazies has a good amount of positive aspects that make it stand out. The acting is actually pretty decent, led by the charming and smooth Timothy Olyphant, with a host of supporting characters that are believable and play along with director Breck Eisner's vision. The imagery and effects are pretty cool themselves and the director does have a nack for delvering some great scares, and some enduring creepy, yet satisfying moments. Furthermore, the only side of the story we see are of the three protagonists. We know only as much as they do which gives the film some pull on the audience.

Where the film slips however is in the narrative. While it initially pulls you in from the get-go, the second half turns into a more predictable, out-run-the-bad-guy tale that dissapoints consdering the potential it had. Furthermore, there are large plot holes, and to be honest, I can't tell if these Crazies are supposed to be zombies or just deranged individuals. Futhermore what seemed as an important part of the story, the virus itself, is either left out or mentioned only in passing.

To be honest, The Crazies is a solid, not great movie, where much potential is wasted. I was genuinely scared at moments, but left the theatre wanting more to be said, more to be done, as if it was almost cut short. But for movie goers who are looking for a good scare and a good time, The Crazies is the best we can hope for at the time of the year that usually shows simply rotten movies.

Grade: C+

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