Genre : Horror
Country : USA
Timothy Olyphant : David
Radha Mitchell : Judy
Joe Anderson : Deputy Rusell Clank
“Fuck you for what you did”
I still have the habit never to read a brief description of a film in advance, let alone I would watch the trailer. In most cases the most crucial things are being told or shown in such a way that most of the surprises are screwed up more or less. In case of a blockbuster it doesn’t really matter in most cases, since the content is usually known. With movies like “The Crazies” you’ll start with a complete ignorance and it can sometimes be a pleasant surprise. Based on the movie poster (which I find very intriguing though) and the genre, I was ready to be overwhelmed.
I must admit that the opening scene immediately gave me high hopes. Beautifully filmed and subtly supported by an appropriate soundtrack of Johnny Cash (“We’ll Meet Again“). The first half hour was extremely good. A beautifully portrayed image of a small town in the U.S.. A village where everyone knows eachother, with its traditions. A village where the local police still raises an admonishing finger because somebody is shooting after the hunting season and other trivialities. The main characters are introduced immediately : Sheriff David Napping and his pregnant wife Judy and deputy Russell Clank. The performances of these three were extremely successful.
The moment the first signs of an epidemic occur won’t take long and is convincing. Slowly the mystery unravels bit by bit and the sheriff and his assistant realize that they’re in deep shit. And then you realize that it’s again a zombie-like/epidemic-catastrophe story. The only difference is that the zombies are not more than comatose residents of the community, who transform into aggressive creatures with a “killing spree” mood after drinking the contaminated water. The fact remains that “The Crazies” is above the standard, compared to other horror movies. It’s excellent in terms of imaging, dialogues and acting. But after a while the cliches are piling up in such amount that it eventually starts to irritate.
The biggest disappointment was the lack of tension. The gore part was absent. Only a heap of dead-bodies and the cold blooded liquidation of civilians by the U.S. army was kind of horrifying. Fake blood was apparently very expensive at that time cause it’s used so scarce. And shocking scares were nonexistent. That’s why this really wasn’t a Horror / Drama to me, but rather a Thriller/Drama. Disillusionment. The end was also disappointing and felt as if they made it up quickly.
Final conclusion: not bad, but nothing new. Some haunting images and moments (f.e. the pitchfork) but mostly annoying hackneyed cliches and situations.