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Review

‘The Crazies’ freshens classic zombie plot

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March 5, 2010

There have been numerous zombie flicks and horror films about towns going crazy or becoming infected by some evil virus, but “The Crazies” offers a fresh and close to home take on the classic zombie-type film. The setting of the film, a small farm town in Iowa, is perfect for creating a compelling atmosphere and relatable characters.

Crazies wastes no time, showing the first “crazy” within the first few minutes of the scene. And from that moment on, there are nonstop scares, leaving the audience on the edge of their seats. If there is more than a few minutes of time when all is calm, you know something terrible was bound to happen soon.

This movie could easily be compared to “28 Days Later,” but instead of pinning the “crazy” virus on scientists doing tests on monkeys, Crazies puts the blame on the government. It seems there are a lot of films lately that show the government and military as the bad guy, such as Oscar nominees, “Avatar” and “District 9.” But while I enjoyed “28 Days Later,” “The Crazies” seemed a lot more realistic to me.

The four main characters, the Sheriff, his wife, the deputy, and a teenage girl, were very likable and worked well as the few sane survivors in the town. It was exciting and entertaining to watch their journey through a disturbingly corrupt town. I also enjoyed how the two lead women don’t feed into typical female stereotypes in horror films. Radha Mitchell and Danielle Panabaker play two strong women determined to survive. The male leads, Timothy Olyphant and Joe Anderson, also had exquisite performances in the film.

The film had many intense moments that made me hold my breath in shock. A scene that takes place in a car wash is definitely one to watch out for. It was disturbing and thrilling to watch the transformations as seemingly simple happy small town people go crazy and kill their own families.

There are few large flaws in this film, but there are some details that I found a little absurd. In a few parts of the film they show some of the crazies working together as a group or team to kill innocent people. I didn’t quite understand how these delusional crazy people could find a way to work together. Also, the purpose of the biological weapon that infects the individuals is explained is a destabilizer for civilizations. What good would it do to destabilize a community or civilization?

I really enjoyed watching “The Crazies,” although its basis wasn’t so unique. It took a familiar storyline and freshened it up a bit. It’s filled with thrills and chills that will keep you sitting at the edge of your seat the whole way through. You’ll be compelled by the characters, constantly wondering what will happen next and hoping they’ll make it through. Just don’t avoid traveling through Iowa because of this film!

Natalie Conrad is a junior journalism and marketing communications major and French minor. She enjoys running,reading, writing, playing guitar, and traveling.