We've all said it, we've all thought it when people started acting strange, but what if there actually was something?
What if the water drove you crazy?
What if the government knew about it and turned its back on you?
The Crazies, a remake of Romero's 1973 movie of the same name, shows us what happens when that comes true.
- - Timothy Olyphant as David Dutton
- - Radha Mitchell as Judy Dutton
- - Joe Anderson as Russell Clank
It starts easy enough. The town drunk acts strange and is shot. Tragedies happen everywhere, every day.
But then a man traps his wife and son and kills them by setting the house on fire, watching it burn while he calmly mows the lawn. David Dutton, the Sheriff of the small farming town Ogden Marsh is stumped and sets out to find out what is causing this behaviour. It isn't long before chaos descends in the form of the military and an entire town is erased from the map.
The Crazies feels very much like any other zombie movie. A highly infectious disease and violent infected make for some very suspenseful scenes, made even better by the fact that contrary to most zombies, these people haven't lost their higher brain functions. They think. They're human. They're worse.
A second threat is created by the military and the way it deals with the contamination and the town's population. A simple containment procedure quickly devolves into prisoner camps and the mindless killing of unarmed civilians. Killing the sick is simply a bonus.
Many zombie movies have a very predictable pattern: zombie attack, kill zombie, run away. Rinse and repeat for 1.5 hours. Intersperse with people dying horribly. It's a yoyo effect of suspense and relief, only really appealing to fans of the genre.
The Crazies, on the other hand, does not let up for one minute. The suspense is near constant, the atmosphere so tense it could cut. The dual threat from the sick and the military leaves our main characters with nowhere to run and only each other to turn to (or on). In classic Romero style, and I can only appreciate the fact that this was left in the movie, the military is cruel and the government is always watching you.
The cast in this movie is largely made up of unknowns, but they deliver a decent performance and are certainly not a detriment to the quality. The effects as well are well arranged and the flickering lights and piled up corpses might just have you checking behind that couch a second time.
For horror movie fans who like a bit of gore and the dark side of our caring government, I can only recommend you turn off the lights and get ready to enjoy.