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The Crazies

Posted by admin | Posted in Movies | Posted on 14-05-2011

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Description
In this terrifying glimpse into the “American Dream” gone wrong, an unexplainable phenomenon has taken over the citizens of Ogden Marsh. One by one the townsfolk are falling victim to an unknown toxin and are turning sadistically violent.  People who days ago lived quiet, unremarkable lives are now depraved, blood-thirsty killers. While Sheriff Dutton (Timothy Olyphant) and his pregnant wife, Judy (Radha Mitchell), try to make sense of the escalating violence, the gov… More >>

The Crazies

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THE CRAZIES is not a great film, nor will it likely even enter the “Hall Of Fame” of zombie-type movies. However, it is a tight, well-constructed and reasonably well-acted thriller that is more than worthy of a look.

In the small mid-western town of Ogden’s Marsh, high school baseball season is just getting started. Everyone in town is there to size up the quality of this year’s team…and frankly, life just couldn’t get any finer. In less than 2 minutes, we get learn all we need to know about this little town…we see that it’s a town where everyone knows everyone. Everyone has a place and is contented. Life is simple but satisfying. But when a glassy-eyed farmer with a shotgun wanders onto the field of play (actually, he has what might be described as a zombie-like stare), the sheriff (played at a perfect pitch by Timothy Olyphant) tried to talk him out of his weapon. Their brief, tense confrontation ends in the death of the farmer…and the town is rattled. Things quickly escalate as more and more citizens begin acting weird, violent and yes, CRAZY.

It isn’t quite a zombie movie…no dead person is coming back to life. In fact, it’s more a cousin to 28 DAYS LATER, where the zombies were really just people infected with rage. But whatever the case, we essentially see the very quick collapse of this little society…especially when the government quarantines them and begins to separate the sick from the well.

The movie takes a fairly predictable path from here…there’s not really much we haven’t seen before (although the film does feature the scariest journey through an automatic carwash that we’ve ever seen). But there is seldom much in the way of the truly new in this genre…it’s all in the execution. If the film is constructed well enough, we don’t pay quite so much attention to some of the plot holes (or if not holes, at least areas the stretch credibility, even if we accept the initial premise). THE CRAZIES is well-constructed, and uses its modest budget well. It doesn’t attempt anything it can’t pull off well, so there aren’t lots of cheesy effects. It assembles a small core of characters, and makes us care about them just enough to draw our sympathy at their plight.

The central relationship is between sheriff Olyphant and his wife, the town doctor, played by Radha Mitchell. They are a couple that has clearly been together for awhile, and there are no big histrionics between them. They feel like a couple that has a natural ease between each other, and even when pushed to extremes, there’s never any doubt that they’re comfortable. This reflects the overall ease of the movie…it doesn’t push too hard. Olyphant and Mitchell feel more like a married couple that is comfortably at ease with each other…not the typical movie couple who always have to find a way to tear each other’s clothes off and fool around, even as the world collapses around them. I liked that…and it made me really root for them.

In many ways, the most interesting relationship is between Olyphant and his deputy, played by Joe Anderson (ACROSS THE UNIVERSE). Their interplay, the casual deference of the deputy for his boss, their unshakeable sense of duty all feel natural. These are good guys…but in quiet, unassuming ways. They just do what they feel is right, even if they’re really scared. The movie is not showy about them…it’s not like their Mel Gibson & Danny Glover in LETHAL WEAPON…they’re just a couple of small town law enforcement officers who wear their badges not only with pride but with an instinctive understanding that they have RESPONSIBILITY as well.

The movie has scares aplenty, and lots of tense scenes. There’s a great scene in the latter half when the couple is confronted by a couple of crazies in their own bedroom…we’ve got four people basically clawing and scratching at each other in a tiny room, and it’s maddening to watch.

It’s nice to see a good, honest little film that knows its business, but takes the time to get enough little details right to make it just a bit more than ordinary. If you’re in the mood for a few jump-in-your-seat moments, you could do far, far worse than THE CRAZIES.
Rating: 4 / 5

I knew nothing about The Crazies going into the theater. I didn’t know it was originally produced by the father of the zombie genre, George Romero. And I didn’t expect to see a movie about a sheriff (Timothy Olyphant) and his pregnant wife (Radha Mitchell) with my own wife six months pregnant. Please note: this review contains spoilers.

The movie starts out slowly. In these stressful times, we’re all too familiar with scenes of sudden gun violence in an idyllic setting. After sheriff Dutton is forced to gun down a former town drunk on a little league field, the town of Ogden Marsh begins to unravel. Everybody knows everybody else in this small town and a murder leaves emotional aftershocks that traumatize its citizens. This includes Dutton’s wife, who happens to be the town doctor.

The tension slowly notches up from there. These early moments are critical in establishing The Crazies as a superior horror film. The petty rivalries, the secret and not-so-secret grudges, the sadistic bullies – all of the townsfolk’s deepest impulses are let loose through the TRIXIE virus, a military bioweapon that has accidentally (?) contaminated the town.

Unlike so many other horror movies, Dutton and his deputy Clank (Joe Anderson) are precisely the people who should be dealing with an outbreak. The problem is that they are little fish in a very big pond. The movie quickly morphs from a slasher flick to survival horror when the military gets called in, loses control, and pulls out.

What makes The Crazies so refreshing is that it plays on horror tropes, using it to narrative advantage. We find out that the soldiers who are executing townsfolk aren’t faceless, that the TRIXIE virus may or may not be transmitted through the water supply, and that taking one’s temperature isn’t a guaranteed means of identifying who’s infected. The Crazies makes no promises but always delivers.

This ambiguity may frustrate some people who expect everything to be wrapped in a neat bow, but director Breck Eisner knows that there is horror in uncertainty. It’s precisely this lack of clarity that makes the movie so good – the villains aren’t unilaterally evil, the victims aren’t always helpless, and the solutions aren’t always moral. The Crazies wallows in the gray area of harsh decisions, treating an outbreak with all the ethical gravity of a war.

Let there be no doubt, this is as much a war movie as it is a horror movie. The real crazies, Eisner seems to say, is anyone who would trust authority. These days, that may not be such bad advice.

P.S. Stay through the credits!
Rating: 5 / 5

Watch Video Here: http://www.amazon.com/review/RBN4GA89SA41Z Gina from Haunted Flower reviews “The Crazies” directed by Breck Eisner and produced by George A. Romero based on his 1973 version. It stars Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, and Joe Anderson. A contagious mental illness takes over the inhabitants of a small town in Iowa.

[…]
Rating: 5 / 5

Tonight, I had the choice of doing my taxes, or going to see The Crazies… Choosing the lesser horror, off to the movies I went. I left feeling satisfactorily terrorized, though I am still convinced that a single IRS agent has the power to inflict more pain then an entire crew of a horror flick…

Anyway, the premise of the movie is simple: a small town sheriff married to a small town doctor is puzzled when his small town folk start acting odd. Soon, his small town town is overrun with small town zombies being chased by big town soldiers. Can the sheriff save himself and his pregnant wife from the ensuing mayhem?

While not as brilliant and fresh as 28 Days Later, The Crazies is generously sprinkled with truly frightening moments. Yes, it relies on a story that has been told many times before, but does so in an unexpectedly proficient manner: there is no dialogue uttered unless it directly furthers the plot; the gore is aplenty, but never crosses into the realm of disturbing; the experienced actors Olyphant and Mitchell display the confidence of professionals who know we know they are there only for the paycheck, but still they want us to feel they have earned it. I respect that!

Verdict: I DON’T want my money back! (I am still waiting for the refund for Jennifer’s Body… :o( )

PS: For any Midsomer Murders fans: you may have seen Joe Anderson (the Deputy) play the slightly mad scientist in the episode Second Sight.

Rating: 4 / 5

I didn’t see the original The Crazies, but what I liked about this remake is, It waited no time to start the action. Right out the gate “Boom” people just started killing going crazy etc.. when movies start off like that you get my fullest attention. It dragged a little bit in certain parts, but for the most part it was enjoyable. It’s Dvd ownable for my collection of great films. Off the subject hopefully the remake of “Nightmare On Elm Street” doesn’t dissapoint
Rating: 4 / 5

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