“The Crazies” That’s a Good Zombie

Genres: Suspense/Horror, Thriller and Remake
Running Time: 1 hr. 41 min.
Release Date: February 26th, 2010 (wide)
MPAA Rating: R for bloody violence and language.
Overture Films

Director: Breck Eisner

JJ Rating: A-

At the high school baseball field in a little town a crowed enjoys a great game cheering their team. They are surprised when someone walks on the field with a gun. They’re even more surprised when Sheriff Dutton (Timothy Olyphant) goes to confront him. The crazed man’s told to put the shotgun down, but points it at the sheriff instead. Sheriff Dutton asks him to put it down, he doesn’t, and the sheriff shoots him dead. Then the little town gets more crazed people. Then things get worse when the government noses in. The Crazies.

I like all kinds of zombie movies. I like the old walking dead kind. I like the new disease ridden human kind. They can all be appealing as long as the story is strong enough to support the entire idea. The Crazies’s story supports not only a great idea, but a great cast. It has that Resident Evil (video game) feel to it (the original came out before Resident Evil ever existed) but it’s more methodical than the game. It progresses slowly then speeds up and then slows down again. So if you’re looking for a fast paced thriller with zombies at every corner, do not waste your money because The Crazies does not do that.

Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell (plays Judy Dutton) and Joe Anderson (plays deputy Russell Clank) act very homespun. Chaos is ripping and swirling around them and they keep a decent amount of country cool. They slowly change in a subtle and controlled manner as the film progresses. If it were not for their acting this would have spiraled into a cheesy mess. Breck Eisner did a great job directing. He also has a great cinematic eye for beautiful shots that anyone into film should sit down and see for themselves.

I do not jump at films or in real life often, so when I do it’s a great moment. In The Crazies there’s a scene that made me jump and I laughed afterward. I like being scared or shocked, but it’s rare. It means something unexpected happen, something out of the ordinary occurred. I usually can see when things are going to happen based on camera angles or by the lines, not this time. There is foreshadowing in The Crazies and that was shocking. When seeing a zombie movie I’m use to killing the zombies that just keep on coming. It was different with The Crazies because the infection did not progress like other films have shown. This infection is more cunning.

The Crazies scares me with the realization that the United States Government could do every single thing that is shown in this film to any small area and justify it with hollow words. This might be a remake of an old movie, but the implications that the government would go out of their way to contain a situation like this is frightening. It might sound overboard on worrying for some, but during WWII the United States Government decided it was ok to lock up those that looked like the enemy they were fighting. They justified it enough that the public went right along with it. Technology as it is today with government wanting to see and know everything—the line between fiction and non-fiction is being blurred.

That is another reason why I love movies. The amount of thought that could go into creating them to present a perspective that’ll get the viewers thinking is powerful. I would see The Crazies again; I want it in my collection. The way Olyphant says his lines makes it worth watching again. He has a very subtle, smooth calmness to his tone that creates a sense of security; that everything will be alright if you just stay with him. There was not a lot of screaming and running going on which charmed me into liking the entire film.

The Crazies isn’t a typical zombie movie. It’s not even a typical modern day zombie movie (that uses diseases and infections as a reason why people are turning into the walking-dead). It introduced characters that show up again later in the story. It was a well-rounded film that used every moment to push the story along. Who’s a good zombie movie? The Crazies is a good zombie movie. Yes it is.

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