Saturday, October 19, 2019

Movie Reviews: The Crazies

The Crazies
directed by Breck Eisner
This is a Saturday afternoon movie in the best sense of the word. It's also a remake of a 70s movie. This 2010 film didn't waste much time with characterization or for that matter plot. 

It's a zombie film in all but name; the difference is that the infected don't always move slowly, have no desire to eat human flesh, and were not previously dead. 

The film touches on the paranoia that some people have about federal government. At the very minimum the film suggests that some of that paranoia might be justified. This film works the same side of the street as the Resident Evil film series. It has less action but is more realistic in terms of violence.

David (Timothy Olyphant) and his pregnant wife Judy (Radha Mitchell) are the sheriff and primary care doctor, respectively, of the small Iowa town of Ogden Marsh. The couple doesn't make much, but they didn't take the jobs to get rich. They're there to help people. Sometimes this means not arresting people who are hunting out of season or letting a nurse (Danielle Panabaker) take off work early to rendezvous with her boyfriend.

Baseball is a sign of spring. At a high school baseball game many townspeople are in attendance when a man armed with a shotgun walks onto the field. 


He's obviously out of it. Kids start running off the baseball diamond. Well, people hire a sheriff to deal with things like this. David runs to the scary man with the gun, whom he knows. In fact the man's family is in the stands. David tries to reason with the man before ordering him to drop the gun. 

The fellow doesn't respond. David pleads but must shoot the man dead in front of the crowd after the man grimaces and aims his shotgun at David.

Because this man was the town drunk, David assumes that the deceased was intoxicated. But the man's wife insists that her husband had been sober and that David is a trigger happy liar. At the funeral home, the wife and her son are unmoved by David's expression of heartfelt sympathy and sorrow. David thinks it's just one of those things until (a) other people demonstrate bizarre behavior and (b) the coroner's report reveals that the man David killed had not a drop of alcohol in his body.

Before David and his loyal deputy Russell (Joe Anderson) can process that disturbing news there are breakouts of violence and strange actions all over town. David has done some detective work. He's discovered what he believes to be the cause of the epidemic. However, when cell phones and other forms of communication are turned off, David, Russell, Judy and Judy's nurse decide that it's time to get out of town. Unfortunately the government has different ideas.

This was an exciting "zombie" movie that didn't make a whole lot of sense but wasn't supposed to make too much sense. There is plenty of violence and little humor. I thought the violence was necessary. There are a huge number of jump scares. The movie takes itself seriously, maybe more than it should.
TRAILER

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