The Crazies (2010)

Directed by Breck Eisner
Written by Scott Kosar & Ray Wright

Believe it or not, this is the first 2010 release I have caught first on DVD. I watched it with a group of friends as part of our month long Monday Scary Movie meet-up, which finishes up next week. I have not seen the original, but to be honest Timothy Olyphant was enough to draw my attention to this film. Although Olyphant never seems to do great films, he always delivers great performances in bad to mediocre films. His thing is just that he is immensely watchable. There is just something about him.

The film takes place in small town Ogden Marsh, Iowa, where some of the townspeople start to go crazy and kill for no reason. Olyphant plays the sheriff, who, with his pregnant doctor wife and deputy, has to survive the crazies as well as the Feds. To my surprise, this film was effectively scary. I will say it now, this is not a great horror film, but it did what it was meant to do: scare the audience. I can appreciate a scary movie and do enjoy watching them with friends because I like to see people get scared. You see, I am not easily scared by movies. Yet, The Crazies made me gasp more than once. It was not overly scary and it didn’t break new ground, but somehow it made me jump. Perhaps the environment in which I watched it aided this.

The acting was bland, though not bad, but Olyphant was the surprise. He wasn’t given anything to really do, to sink his teeth into. Instead of being the main character, he seems more to play second fiddle to the situation the characters find themselves in. The characters were not developed or given any reason to draw sympathy from the audience apart from simply being human. I wish there were more Olyphantian moments in the film. The cinematography, similarly, was bland. Bland as it may have been throughout, there was still the one shot time to time that did catch my eye. These were mostly landscapes though, for which I am a sucker.

I was surprised by how much I ended up enjoying this film. It is no more than mediocre, but when coupled with complete darkness and about ten good friends, some of whom can be quite jumpy, it was a fun experience.

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