I had no idea what to review this week. Which is ironic since I've watched several movies over the last few days. Three Woody Allen films, one Roland Emmerich disaster film and The Crazies (2010), which is the film I'm reviewing today.
The Crazies is directed by Breck Eisner, who also did that fun action movie Sahara back in 2005 and who, according to IMDb is going to be directing the new The Karate Kid 2 - which based on my experience of the other two films is probably going out to be something that's solidly done but nothing special.
Because unfortunately, I did not find The Crazies particularly special. The plot is as follows...a plane containing a biological weapon has come down and contaminated the drinking water of a rural farming town in America. This causes the residents who drink the water to become sick to go crazy and start killing people, including their families. The military of course turn up to deal with the problem, separating the town's Sheriff David (Timothy Olyphant) and our hero, from his wife Judy (Radha Mitchell) believing her to be sick. However David thinks they made a mistake. Judy is pregnant and that he believes has given her a fever. So, along with his deputy Russell (Joe Anderson) , he decides to go back and save her.
I think the main problem with this film is that it feels too familiar - when I first saw the case I was expecting a zombie scenario, and even though the killers were definitely not zombies, there were lots of similarities.
Honestly, I felt they could've been a bit more creative with it. The writers could've come up with any disease they wanted under the heading of 'biological warfare' but instead we just had crazy people, made crazy by drinking water - and isn't an infected water source rather a cliche in movies?
The disease was explained pretty vaguely anyway. We only knew what the main characters knew, after 48 hours you started going crazy. The symptoms were never fully explained or realised, and though there seemed to be hints of physical transformation later, it wasn't really explained either.
Nonetheless, the film looked good and some stand out spots. I personally thought Russell was a lovely loyal character who brought some warmth to the film. Meanwhile a certain scene with a pitchfork was particularly menacing, and I thought the shots of endless farmland not only looked great, but really made you realise how isolated the heroes were, how far from civilisation.
In summary: A well-made, but run-of-the-mill horror/thriller that will entertain, but probably not surprise most horror fans, especially not zombie fans.