The Crazies: Reviewed
Ah, the American dream…Ogden Marsh, the idyllic and undisturbed town where kids still ride their bicycles, farmers grow crop in harvesting season, and the community gather to watch their teams play baseball. Undisturbed until the dream sours.
Director Brett Eisner’s reinvention of Zombie granddaddy George A. Romero’s 1973, The Crazies becomes a terrifying descent into humans displaying the most irrational behaviour and the rudest awakening to the perils of modern day experiments.
The film opens with shots of Ogden Marsh as an idyllic farming community, allowing us to care about and get a sense of the terror and disappointment that is felt when this is all destroyed. Townsfolk begin to get that distant look on their faces, they become emotionally displaced and then it becomes a Mad world. It’s unusual because these are normal people and this is the same disbelief expressed by Sheriff David Dutten (played by Timothy Olyphant). After discovering a secret plan crash, responsible for releasing a deadly toxin called trixie into the town’s lake Sheriff Dutten and his pregnant docter wife Judy (played by Radha Mitchell) figure that the town’s water source has been contaminated and is responsible for creating ’Crazies’. The American military (hoo ra!) then steps in to contain and exterminate.
After narrowly escaping containment measures and a crazy with a pitchfork, they are joined by David’s deputy (Joe Anderson) and Judy’s medical assisstant Becca (Danielle Panabaker). They begin an unsafe journey towards hoping to find something rational while contending not only with crazies but with millitary types too. Eisner together with weiters Scott Kaser and Ray Wright play up on the disbelief of the characters toward the fact that their idyllic lives have been destroyed together with every rational person they once knew. The movie is fairly simple and enjoyable, sometimes hinting at the holocast, millitary presence and some great edge of your seat moments.
Whats really frightening is that you’re unsure if the next person is infected or even you yourself. It just takes a character raising their voice to put you on high alert. The origins of the Trixie Virus are not explored (we only figure that the damned millitary has something to do with it) but we come to fear it through the medntal and physical effects it has on the town folk. It shows them on their worst days and heightens their darkest emotions...be very afreaid if they’ve go beef with you. Eisner provides an unnerving look at how a peracful world with simple people can degenerate into nothing.