Friday, February 26, 2010
Last night I was fortunate enough to see The Crazies but not fortunate enough to catch Shutter Island. I remember encountering the original movie back when I was younger but I was too scared to watch and I never really took the time to hunt it down. So, I am doing this review as though The Crazies was a stand-alone film rather than a remake. My friend saw the original and he said that this remake is barely like the first movie, that they are two different movies. He went on to say that you couldn’t really compare them because they did a lot of new things in this remake that weren’t in the original. Which is great because if you want to remake a movie, update it and add some new things into it. Don’t do a straight copy of the original.
The movie starts off when a deranged man with a shotgun walks right onto the fielding during the baseball game. The Sheriff (Olyphant) insists he puts the gun down but instead he raises it up to him and the Sheriff shoots him. The next day, a group of hunters find a dead man with a parachute attached to him in the marshes and soon they discover a large aircraft that crashed into the swamp. After this, the military comes into the small town and starts quarantining people they believe are ‘crazy’ and infected. When the Sheriff’s wife gets separated from him, he decides to team up with his Deputy to save her and another man’s wife. Now, they have to make it out of Peirce Country alive and not get killed by the infected crazy people.
Right off the bat, this movie is very brutal but it’s not full on brutality… it’s very slow paced at times and it breaks up the horror parts into sections almost. There were some really awesome scenes that take place at a funeral home, a quarantine lab and in a baby’s room. The one scene that was really freaky, not because it was jump out scary, but because of the way it was handled; the Sheriff’s wife was being strolled through a school while men in hazmat suites were wondering around and inside classrooms people were going insane. It was just a creepy scene. The scene in the funeral home had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. It definitely had it’s moments and it really seemed to scatter them.
The way things played out seemed a little sloppy and sometimes it didn’t make sense. I don’t really know how to explain it but the way the military just came in and started to quarantine things was a little random. Early on in the movie, it was foreshadowed but it just seemed way too random. I guess in most movies, you would see the military infesting the town and dragging people out of the stores or out of their homes but in this film, it’s all from the perspective of the Sheriff and his wife. It’s not necessarily a bad thing; it’s just a little different for me. I would have loved to see how the town went from this Small Town, USA look to a heap of burning metal and paper.
At times, this movie can get really heavy in emotion, which I really liked. One scene in particular finds the daughter of a man (She was one of the survivors that got away from a really nasty hospital scene) reunited with her boyfriend. As the boyfriend explains that his mom and dad are still in the house while he’s out in the barn getting things, the army comes in and shoots and kills the dad for resistance. The boyfriend then runs out to the army in anger just before he gets shot down. The mom then runs towards her son before she too is also shot and killed, both of them are later incinerated. It’s really sad and you really feel for the girlfriend character. Another person, who provides much emotion, is the Deputy. I don’t want to go into details cause I can write an entire post on him but I will say he is one of the most fascinating characters in the whole movie.
Out of everything that I love about The Crazies, the one thing that I found really hammy was the dialogue. There were so many times throughout the film that the dialogue was terrible. Case in point: when the phones have no service and the Internet goes down, Olyphant’s character says, “You know what… we’re in trouble.” It sounds so stupid. Or another time when the Deputy pulls off a sheet to reveal a cop car he says, “Fuck yeah” in such a bland tone and the car isn’t even that good. HOWEVER, the Deputy had some of the best lines in the movie that sort of made up for the campy phrases. He throws a spike strip out and causes a government car to topple over itself. The man inside struggles to get out and the Deputy, in all his glory says, “Welcome Peirce Country, friendliest place on Earth, asshole!” BEST LINE IN THE MOVIE.
A lot of people might complain that this movie is like a zombie movie (zombies being the typical Romero zombies or the 28 Days Later ‘zombies’) but I want to stress that this is not a zombie movie. Sure, it owes a lot to zombie movies but these people don’t eat you… they brutally kill and torture you. Plus, zombies don’t talk to one another. The makeup was amazingly done and it really made the people look like they were infected with something. Just, don’t go in thinking they are zombies but rather go in thinking that it owes to the zombie genre.
Overall, I liked The Crazies. Not the best remakes but far from being a terrible remake. It’s average but pretty enjoyable if you have some time to kill. I would recommend this to horror fans if you are bored but I wouldn’t really be in too much of a rush to go see it. Since it is different (I guess) from the original, just go in with an open mind. I would see it again, but I would have to think about actually buying it.