Monday, December 10, 2012

The Crazies

The Crazies is one of the rare cases where remakes is far superior to the original. The original was created by George Romero after he made Night of the Living Dead and was a high grade B-movie at best. It was remade by Breck Eisner and stars Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Joe Anderson, and Danielle Panabaker. This is one of those movies that was on my radar as soon as it was announced because I'm always down for checking out a remake no matter how horrible it is and it had Timothy Olyphant in the leading role which means the movie was a must watch for me anyway.

The Crazies tells the story of the small town of Ogden Marsh in rural Iowa and how it was consumed by madness and death. The sheriff of the town, David (Olyphant), is enjoying a high school baseball game when a man walks onto the field with a shotgun and David is forced to shoot him when he raises the weapon. Following the shooting, people in the town start to become afflicted with some sort of disease that slowly drives them into madness only leaving mindless killers. David bands together with his wife, his deputy, and several other survivors to escape the madness.

This is one of my favorite horror movies of the last decade, and it due to how solid everything is in the movie. Timothy Olyphant finally got a chance to star in a movie and he carries the movie on his back with a great charismatic performance. He plays the sheriff in the movie and is great in the role as he tries to protect everyone around with varying levels of success. This was the first time that a majority of the public was exposed to his talents and he has gone on to make one of the best shows on TV with Justified. He really needs to be pushed by Hollywood. Joe Anderson also delivers a quality performance as Deputy Russell Clank, and his role ranges from being David's protector to being completely unhinged all within the same scene in some cases and he really is a standout in the movie.

The story is fairly basic, town is poisoned by a virus and then the military comes to clean it up. What makes this movie rise above others is that this seems like it could actually happen in our modern day society. With all of the different types of biological weapons developed by this nation and others there may be something exactly like what we see in the movie in our own world. It is some scary shit when you actually take the time to think about it. More movies really need to start taking a real world approach to their stories because it makes them exponentially more terrifying if you can see them actually happening. It also helps when you have a director who makes every set piece in the movie an event within the movie and there is rarely anything that falls flat in the movie with the exception of Danielle Panabaker's performance. she just couldn't hold her weight against the superior actors in the movie and she is falling into the "all I can do is horror" class of actresses, that is a place you never want to end up.

This is the way that remakes should always be approached. Take an existing story and instead of trying to duplicate to word for word or shot for shot, make it your own. I have seen the original and the remake blows it out of the water. The acting is better, production values are higher (of course), and the story is more engaging. Acting and story are what hook you and the effects are the icing on the cake in my opinion. This is similar to the way the remakes for The Hills Have Eyes and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre were approached and it is no wonder why they are the best of horror movie remakes to this point.

This is one of my favorite horror movies of the last decade and is one of those movies that I will always take the time and sit down ad watch when it is on TV. Timothy Olyphant simply kills it in this movie and his performance is one of the main attractions of the movie. Check this out on Netflix, Redbox, or on Blu Ray, either way just go see this.