By Aaron Fenn
Horror is one of the most difficult genres to pull off in modern
Neil Marshall’s “The Descent,” Rob Zombie’s “The Devil’s
Reject’s,” Zach Snyder’s “Dawn of the Dead” and Michael Haneke’s
“Funny Games” are the only films that come to mind as being some of
the more superb horror films to come out within the last five
Although “The Crazies” may not rank in that top tier of modern
horror films, it’s still a pretty effective little piece of
The film opens with a glimpse of the small Iowa town of Ogden
Marsh, two days from the present. The streets are empty, there are
fires everywhere and Johnny Cash’s “We’ll Meet Again” hums in the
background to add just the right amount of eeriness.
The images on screen in the first two minutes sum up what makes
“The Crazies” so effective: mood, atmosphere and a downright creepy
The plot is fairly simple. A toxin (or something) breaks out and
infects most of the residents of Ogden Marsh. This toxin forces
people to do some rather “crazy” things ” some burned down houses
with family members still inside and some stab innocent people with
Sheriff David Dutton, played by “Deadwood’s” Timothy Olyphant,
and his pregnant wife Judy, played by “Silent Hill’s” Rahda
Mitchell, attempt to get as far away from the “crazies” as humanly
possible with the help of David’s right hand man, Russell, and
Judy’s medical assistant, Becca.
They are constantly on the move. They never get more than five
minutes away from one group of “crazies” before encountering
another larger group, which keeps the suspense and the terror at
very high levels.
Its zombie-esque plot we have all seen numerous times, but one
thing “The Crazies” gets right is the tone, atmosphere and
inventiveness of gruesome kills.
The tension throughout the film is kept up by situations that
feel new and original.
There is one moment involving a knife, which is among one of the
most inventive ways anyone has been stabbed in a horror film.
However, the plot is so simplistic and generic that any audience
member could probably tell you where the film is going right from
the opening credits.
The ending also wraps up rather quickly and feels slightly out
of place after everything the main characters just experienced.
“The Crazies” may have a few minor problems, but the film is a
thrill ride from start to finish.
Although it’s not going to be a new “horror classic,” it’s still
one of the better horror films to see Hollywood churn out for quite
Final rating: 2 out of 4 stars
Reach Aaron Fenn at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Crazies’ injects fear
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