film review: The Crazies (2010)

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As you may or may not have noticed, I have been injected with a spurt of effort for the website lately. The new Clips and trailers section of the website seems to be taking shape and I’ve even managed to write some reviews lately. Unfortunately the “Releasing this week” segment has fallen by the wayside in the last few months… do let me know if you want me to reinstate that. Since nobody mentioned it I had rather hoped no-one had missed it… If you have, let yourself be heard!

The Crazies poster Timothy OlyphantAnyway, enough chat out of me. This is a review.

The Crazies was a film that I really wanted to see in the cinema. I thought the trailer looked great and it’s a remake of a 1973 George A. Romero film called, believe it or not, The Crazies. So I figured this might be a horror film that had some ideas behind it. Even if they were re-hashed. At least it’s a re-hashing of a film that might have been good.

Actually I have no idea if the original Crazies was any good. I haven’t seen it. I hadn’t even heard of it till this one came out… so in retrospect, it probably isn’t a classic. That’s good though, it’s always messy trying to remake a classic. They always end up trying to please too many people.

Anyway, time went by and I never bothered my arse going to the cinema to see it. I really regret that now. I ended up watching it on DVD and I have to say, I bet it looked great on the big screen. There are some big sweeping looking scenes. This was that good-looking cinematography I mentioned in the “releasing this week” post. Ah well.

What of the film though? I liked it. In fact, I thought it was good. Mainly I liked the concept… which obviously I won’t talk about. No spoilers and all that jazz. All I’ll say that it’s zombie-invasion stylee. It worked well, built up the tension. I was even a little worried there might be some “crazies” round my house when I got home. It was after 2am…

Unfortunately it was not without flaws. You always have to suspend a little disbelief for these kinds of films but when a character makes the same mistake time and time again it starts to wear away your tolerance. I was complaining loudly about said character by the end of it. Seriously. You just can’t keep wandering off when everyone’s catching murder around you. Bah. a black spot on an otherwise very enjoyable horror film.

I didn’t let it bother me too much though. It’s been so long since I’ve seen a half decent horror film I’m willing to overlook a smack of idiocy on the part of the supporting characters. Director Breck Eisner even kept it interesting enough and moving at a fast enough pace for me to (mostly) overlook some of the more obviously plot holes – just pretend it could have happened people, just pretend it could have happened.

There’s not that much to write home about performance-wise. That is, they were all fairly bland… and probably slightly too good looking. I always think that makes a horror film look cheap. Not really fair but that’s just what I tend to think. Timothy Olyphant was reasonable but the script left something to be desired… I get the impression that, as the lead character, he had more to work with than the others. So perhaps any criticism of their abilities is somewhat unfair.

It was still good though, all the tension is built by the direction and the cinematography, so I’d be looking forward to seeing more from Eisner. And from cinematographer, Maxime Alexandre, apparently he did Switchblade Romance (Haute Tension) as well…. I didn’t love it but I think I remember it looking pretty good.

Oh, I forgot to mention., I like the title. It works for me.


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