The Crazies (2010)

The Crazies is the newest movie by Breck Eisner, a remake of the 1973 Romero movie (which I haven’t seen). It stars Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell and Joe Anderson.

A small town in the middle of the US. Nothing much ever happens here until one day, a guy stumbles onto the baseball field in the middle of a game, seemingly drunk, brandishing a shotgun. The town sheriff, David (Timothy Olyphant) shoots him. But that’s only the beginning of the craziness that seems to spread around town…

The Crazies is a mixed bag of beans. There are some beautiful shots, which are promptly used ad nauseam; the acting is mediocre, mostly; there are some frankly scary moments but most of the time, I was too busy thinking about the plot holes to be actually scared.

I know that complaining about plot holes in a horror movie isn’t going to get me very far. It would be a task worthy of Sisyphus. But there are things that are just too much. Like using a virus as the explanation of the sudden craziness and then changing the development of the infection according to your needs (at first, everybody gets apathic, then they start killing, still being very calm. Until a surprise infected person is needed and then the sickness suddenly progresses completely differently). That just made me headdesk.

As I said before, Breck Eisner had some really nice shots, like when David gets knocked out at the pathologist’s and the next shot we get is completely from David’s perspective, lying on the floor, looking up. That was one hell of a scary moment. Unfortunately, Eisner then uses this same shot about 50 times and it just loses impact. And he does that with about 3 different shots.
[Also, the whole “bone saw acting on its own accord” thing… I don’t know if it was meant as a quote, but it’s like quoting “to be or not to be”, only for horror movies. And it just doesn’t work anymore.]

The acting was okay. Joe Anderson actually stood out, giving a very good and very creepy performance that blew everybody else out of the park. [Though I have to admit that I wasn’t really able to concentrate on Timothy Olyphant’s acting because I was distracted by his V-shape. And not in a good way. I was just waiting for the moment where he’d break apart in the middle. Fear not, though! He never did.]

I think the biggest problem this movie had was a lack of focus. It tried to do too much and it might have worked better if they’d stuck with one thing, but very consequently.

This is not to say that it is a complete waste of time. It is definitely one of the better horror movies I’ve seen and – if you like horror movies – you will enjoy yourself watching this. Just don’t think too hard about it.

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