Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Thoughts on the film: The Crazies

There is so very much going on right now. I'm finishing Burnside and working on comic book pitches and meeting people and completing a course for University of Phoenix - it's work related and annoying - and training our new dog. Fortunately I don't actually have to go to my real job right now.

I was very excited when Katheryn Bigelow won. Very excited.

Yesterday I saw The Crazies. I think my very favorite kind of movie, irrespective of genre, is when a film turns out to be way better than it should be. This was one of those films. I remember when I saw the first preview for this and thought, well aside from the fact that includes Timothy Olyphant who is dreamy, this movie looks ridiculous. There was laughter in the theater when the preview ended.

The preview didn't do the film justice, because this movie nearly made me pee my pants. I'm pretty easily scared but I don't like gore, and this film had a nice balance. Lots of violence but no torture porn or really disgusting gory scenes. Good old fashioned scares, that's what we have here.

What really made it work, though, were the characters. Since the story takes place in a small town, they were really able to develop individual characters with just a couple of moments, so that when the shit started hitting the fan all the people who attacked were people who used to be your friends and neighbors. Kind of like a zombie movie, but the crazy people have an agenda of sorts. They're not trying to eat you - they just remember all the reasons you pissed them off before they went nuts and now want to get their revenge, or they're just enacting their natural homicidal tendencies.

And Russel the deputy. Fantastic character. A gun toting tough single guy with a quick whit and an easy going personality. You just really like this guy.


So when Russel starts behaving in questionable ways, you're not sure if he's sick or just reacting to the craziness of the situation. You really really don't want him to be sick, so you start to justify his behavior, and that's where the theme starts to really show itself.


How much of our behavior is crazy and how much of it is just us in our natural state? What if all crazy does is release the roadblocks preventing us from being ourselves? I wish they had gone a little further in that direction and reaaaally pushed this theme, but I was pleased to see some meaning in all these scares.

There were some truly great moments, and some good surprises in the way some of the characters behaved, but there were also some scares that annoyed me. Come on, movie, do we really need for Timothy Olyphant's car to not start the second he really really needs it to when it was running just fine a minute ago?

But overall I enjoyed the hell out of this film, and I'm normally a fan of horror. That's why this was so much better than I expected.


  1. I was also surprised by this film. I actually thought it was a zombie movie (based on the trailer), but to my pleasant surprise, I was wrong.

    good film.

  2. I quite like the original. Most early Romero is worth a look though.

    Romero's "Martin" is FREAKY, though.

  3. I also liked the remakes - but think they made some changes that made it *less* scary than the original (which was made for $1 and sometimes looks it). In the original, sick people didn't look like zombies, so you really didn't know who was just freaking out from the situation and who was sick. Plus, the germ (code name: Trixie) removes your inhibitions... so you do the bad things you've always wanted to do - it's kind of character based insanity. I really liked the remake - better than it ever had to be... and scary, too.


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