Friday, July 9, 2010

The Crazies

The Crazies is a remake of the 1973 George A. Romero film of the same name. The film revolves around a small town sheriff, David Dutton, played by Timothy Olyphant and his wife, Judy, who just so happens to be the town doctor, played by Radha Mitchell. Their small town begins to fall apart as the townspeople begin to go into a state of homicidal madness. Once the military arrive and quarantine the town we discover a biological weapon had been introduced into the town's water supply when a plane crashed near the town. Those who are infected will be killed. As the last of the survivors, Mr. and Mrs. Dutton are trying to escape the town before the military or The Crazies get to them first.

The film, in general, just seemed off to me. Olyphant's performance as the town sheriff reminded me of his performance as Sheriff Bullock in the HBO series Deadwood. Where his steady, tight-lipped, always angry lawman portrayal worked in that series, it failed in this endeavor. Horror films, to this writer, center around their ability to make you identify and relate to the characters. Thusly, when they get into a life or death situation you feel fear. Not only because what you are watching is scary, but because it feels like it could be you. I couldn't feel for him merely because I didn't feel like he had any real feelings himself. In addition, the film lacked flow. It bounced back and forth from horror set piece to suspense set piece without much cohesion.
In the end, The Crazies felt as if some film studio executive stumbled upon the original film and figured that could make some money off of it. Sadly, it felt generic and cookie-cutter-esque much like a lot of other Hollywood remakes. This particular genre has always been plagued by too many sequels and remakes. The Crazies is a perfect example of a film that should have just sat tucked away in obscurity and never been heard from again. It is not a terrible film by any means, but it is not worth anything other than a single viewing.
I give it 2 out of 5.

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