Wednesday, 10 March 2010

The Crazies (Remake) - Zombie Horror Film Review

Another day, another horror remake. The Crazies was originally released by George Romero midway through doing his Living Dead trilogy. It shares some similarities with the zombie genre.

The Crazies starts with the Town drunk of a small farming community turning up to a baseball game armed with a shotgun and behaving erratically. This one incident is followed by more and more strange instances of violence. The local Sheriff discovers a crashed government plane in the river which is the source of the Towns water supply. It seems that slowly the Town is being driven insane by a chemical released in the crash. Secretly monitored by the government the Town is quarantined and totally cut off from the outside world, then the army wearing gas masks and haz-mat suits invade, capturing the Towns folk, separating the infected from the uninfected who are driven to the Towns border. The Sheriff, uninfected sneaks back into Town to rescue his wife who was classed as an infected. With the help of some other apparently infected he and his group must avoid the lethal Soldiers of the Army, as well as the insane inhabitants of the Town (they all managed to break out of the Army holding camp) and escape the sealed off Town.

My memory of the original is a bit hazy which is probably a good thing. What I do remember of the original is that the basic plot was the same (a man and his wife in a small group trying to escape a quarantined Town). The original didn't have too big a budget. It as I recall centred more on both sides; the Army and the Towns people. In particular the head of the Armies operation had a large part as he dealt with the situation the best way he could. In the remake the Army have a much less personal part. Nothing is shown from their perspective, they seem like a collective, acting as one, cold and calculated. Only one scene are the Army shown as anything less than machines, and this is just one young soldier in particular.

The real question this film asks, much like the original is; just who are the Crazies? Are they the infected Towns people, for the most part violently insane, or are they the Army, killing everything with extreme prejudice, gunning down women and children, extreme overkill in their desire to contain the outbreak?

The remake is good, the characters you can care about, but there is not really any question of whether they might actually be infected or not, unlike the original where it wasn't so black and white, and you were kind of left guessing. It is a good film, and while does plod a bit in the middle, is a worthwhile remake.


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