Old 03-06-2010, 03:56 PM
Breck Eisner's The Crazies

Here's the link to the published version of the review in my column at The Richmond Examiner:



The Crazies (2010)

Breck Eisner's "The Crazies" has been advertised as a kind of horror/thriller, which makes it rather strange that the film is somewhat lacking in both of those areas. There is some horror to the situation in which the characters find themselves, but if you're looking for horror in terms of something that will scare you, then you'll probably be a bit disappointed.

The film takes place in a small, seemingly normal, town in which everyone, including the local sheriff, David (Timothy Olyphant), have turned out to watch a local baseball game. Suddenly, Rory Hamill (Mike Hickman) walks onto the field carrying a loaded shotgun. David tries to talk him down, but is forced to shoot him after he points the shotgun toward David. Not long after, another strange incident occurs in which a man burns his own house down.

The discovery of a dead pilot in a nearby swamp only causes more questions, but before any of them can be answered, the military rolls in to quarantine the area. Now it's up to David, his wife and local doctor, Judy (Radha Mitchell), and his deputy, Russel (Joe Anderson) to uncover what's happening and find a way out of town before it's too late, all while trying to avoid crazed townspeople and the military bent on keeping everyone inside the quarantined zone.

Some people have been calling this a zombie film, which is partially true, but the way these creatures, or "crazies" as they are eventually dubbed, act is not the way you expect a normal zombie to act. By "normal zombie" I mean the way George A. Romero established them with his series of films starting with "Night of the Living Dead" back in 1968. Ironically, this film is based off of a Romero film of the same name from 1973, which I never saw, but have not exactly heard good things about.

Anyway, back to how zombies act. These zombies aren't the lurching type that you would find in Romero's films, nor are they the Olympic sprinting type you would find in "28 Days Later" or the remake of Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead.” They are able to carry out regular actions and even talk, so in a way, it's misleading to even call them zombies, but to tell you what they actually are would be a spoiler.

This film plays out like a hybrid of "28 Days Later" and "Outbreak." The first in the sense that the creatures are crazy, killing everything they can. The second in the sense that the military eventually comes in to try and contain the situation, shooting everyone that tries to get outside the quarantine zone.

The thing is, most people have seen those films, or ones like it, and since this film doesn't really add anything new to them, there's really not any big reason why you need to see this one. It's well-made, with the gore and surprise moments you would expect from any standard horror film of this type, but there just aren't really that many thrills here.

If you haven't seen that many horror films, you might find it thrilling as it tries to surprise you over and over with a creature suddenly appearing out of nowhere with a sudden burst on the soundtrack, but for those of you who are familiar with the genre, more specifically with the kind of film just described, you will most likely find yourself bored, and wishing for something more original. 2.5/4 stars.
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:02 AM
I been puttin' a bug in the Drive-In owner/operators ear each week for this one to be shown at the first "Dusk to Dawn" (all-nighter 5 movies)show on May 30th. I would luv to see this on the big screen.
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:09 AM
I PPV'd The Crazies last night. My wife and I watched and agreed that there have been way more memorable horror films. It was an okay way to kill 100 minutes of my life but overall it was pretty forgettable.
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Old 08-22-2010, 01:42 PM
I pretty much fell asleep during this film. I've seen my fair share of horror films, good and bad but I think this would be in my worst of list. Nothing about it was engaging, I felt like I was watching a tv show, the horror was not scary, schlocky or shocking in any way. In fact you could only watch blank faced as things 'happened'. It had nothing to add to a much mined and exploited genre. I didn't care about any of the characters nor why The Crazies came into being. It'll make you want the 100 mins back.

Your 2.5 is generous.
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:53 AM
Not one of the greatest horror movies out there for sure, and a lot of the film was dragged out and was a little boring. I did enjoy a few scenes though, and Timothy Olyphant is a decent actor in my opinion, so he seemed to carry the film more than any of the other characters.
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