The Crazies: Review Essay

The Crazies: Review Essay

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Based on George Romero’s 1973 original, Sheriff David Dutton watches as the denizens of Ogden Marsh, Iowa start going … well, crazy as you can ascertain by the title. Starting with a lone old coot gunned down on the baseball field after brandishing a shotgun, more and more people begin acting erratically and lashing out with extreme prejudice against their families and the neighbors. Before long, the entire town is affected by the water supply tainted with a military-grade biological weapon and all hell breaks loose when the military places the town under a quarantine. As David, his wife, and a small band of survivors attempt to vacate the area, they run across resistance from many different fronts. If all of this seems spoiler-ish, don’t fret. All of this is revealed in the first twenty minutes or so of the movie.
The mess that unfolds is so well paced and while it seems that it takes some time before the real threat is identified, the drama is slowly unfolding in the background. Rather quickly we go from scenes of an idyllic farming community to utter chaos. The lead up to the bulk of the film seems to speed by, leaving the rest to unfold very naturally as our gang of heroes tries to get the hell out of Dodge without being killed by the infected, the military, or some other random assholes. The story progresses quickly, but it feels very leisurely which allows the viewer time to absorb the horror of what is happening without a smash cut to the next scene. There is little if any footage of this movie that could have been excised and that makes every second on scene count so much more without all of the filler that normally accompany these types of stories.
Casting wise, everyone was top-notch. I am an unapologetic Tim Olyphant ...


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...s film is tense enough that you are on edge from the production company logo to the ending credits. Having been horribly desensitized to fictional violence over the years, it is refreshing to see a movie that is not afraid to invoke the natural emotion during a horror film to its most extreme. This also leads to the knowledge that not everything will come out rosy for some, if not all, of our core group.
Really, I have very few issues with the movie and to share them here would spoil the greatness but they are so minimal and fleeting it almost feels silly to think about. In a world of PG-13 “horror” films, it is rather nice to know that The Crazies earned its hard R rating fair and square. It may be lacking in underlying social commentary (as I’m sure the original did, thanks Romero), but this is one hell of a movie that will shock you enough, you won’t even miss it.

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