I don’t really know how to start this review, because there is only really one fault about the film that sticks out more than anything else. And its much too early to get to that. I think that suffices as an opening… On to the plot!
Ignore the calendar, we know it’s Spring when baseball starts in Ogden Marsh. Sherriff David Dutton (Timothy “Hitman” Olymphant) and his Deputy Russell Clank (Joe, not “Hitman“, Anderson) attend the opening game and they appear to be having a splendid day out. But leave it up to the town drunk to ruin it; Rory Hamill (yes I had to look up his second name on IMDb) intrudes onto the playing field with a shotgun and a nosebleed. Using world class policing skills, Dutton gets a sense something is wrong and confronts him. The baseball players have noticed him now, and they all flee to grab their rifles. What follows is a massive showdown between all the residents, and there can only be one winner.
Of course not. After shooting Rory in self defence, Dutton encounters more and more residents are acting strangely, and as quickly as he realises what’s going on, the army are flown in to contain and “quarantine” the small town. As more secrets are revealed, Duttons struggle for survival against the violent ‘zombies’ intensifies, whilst he tries to come to terms with the immediate destruction of his home town. And now.. the big, gaping, humongous, colossal flaw.
The trailer is literally a summary of the entire movie.
Each potential scare or jump is predictable because it is in the trailer. Its a huge shame, because The Crazies genuinely seemed to be a fresh addition to an otherwise tiresome genre. And it could still have been, if we hadn’t been given all the shocks 7 months ago. But it has been so heavily advertised, that the majority of scene climaxes fall flat, simply because we’ve already seen it. However, there is one scene that is edited well into the trailer that is pleasantly misleading but once again, the rest of this scene is featured in the preview too.
On the plus side, it is an impressive trailer; the first few viewings of it genuinely struck me with fear. But ultimately its over exposure is its downfall.
I also found it difficult to care about the characters due to not really being introduced to them as townsfolk, but as Crazies. So when there are shots of truckloads of dead folk, instead of feeling sympathy I thought “wow.. this was an effective process of quarantine”. Even the lead characters weren’t engaging; the chemistry between Dutton and his female companion is almost non existent. Clank, however, is an exception. His constant life saving actions and apparently genuine emotion sets him apart from the rest of the lacklustre cast; I’d even go as far as saying he is one of the more interesting characters I’ve seen in a horror this decade. I know it’s only ’10, but it’s a good start eh, Anderson?
And what about the “Crazies”? Well, they aren’t that crazy. Just some veiny mofo’s who have suddenly stopped taking notice of “Say No To Violence” advertising campaigns. They seem to be aware of their actions (one scene verifies this; they actually coherently talk to each other). Not all of them are violent though; some just sing, others enquire about Peter calling.
But the strangest thing is, after all that negative talk, It’s not a bad film. I did enjoy it, and it is much more effective seeing the scenes as a whole. There is nothing terrible about it, nor is there anything outstanding. It is averagely average.
Move along people, nothing crazy to see here.