It is the beginning of baseball season in Ogden Marsh, Iowa, a small town where everyone seems to know one another. The local sheriff is having a regular boring day, but when a friend of his randomly walks onto the field with a loaded shotgun, the sheriff, David (Timothy Olyphant) is forced to take action and shoot the man, killing him. There was something odd in the look of the man that caught David's eye, which was the same look another friend, Bill Farnum had when David's wife examines him. the very same night he was examined, bill traps his wife and child inside their house and burns it completely to the ground, then going to mow the lawn. David begins to see a pattern that people are starting to act very weird in this small town, and only later will he find out why.
I am by no means at all a fan of the horror genre, but I believe that every film should be given its chance to be good, without any judgment before watching it. Needless to say, my expectations were quite low, but when I saw it on television I decided to give The Crazies a go. Surprisingly enough, I am glad that I did. It was a flawed film for sure, there is absolutely no question to that, but still The Crazies was an entertaining horror flick that kept me interesting, and I could leave my brain on as well, thank goodness.
The biggest flaw of this film is quite obvious from the opening scene. Timothy Olyphant. His acting was mechanical, stiff, and read straight from the script with absolutely no passion at all. He keeps the same expression on his face throughout the entire film, whether he is at a baseball or simply being attacked by crazy people, fun. In fact, if The Crazies had of had a more memorable lead performance, I think it might could have been worth buying, believe it or not. But, it was not to be, as the lead is annoying and distracting from the film the whole way through. Radha Mitchell was a bit of a step up from her co-star, but still not much worth mentioning. But at least I felt fear coming from her during the attacks, that is always nice. Danielle Panabaker plays the supporting actress. The first film I watched her in was Sky High when I was a younger kid, and unfortunately her performance in that film was just as good as the one in this. And if you have seen Sky High you will know that is not much of a compliment. However, there was one actor in this film that came to save the day, and that was Joe Anderson. His performance was fantastic in my opinion, just purely enjoyable to watch on the screen. Considering that he was in most of the scenes, that made up a lot for the flaws of the rest of the cast.
But what made The Crazies work just as well as it did? Simple, the direction by Breck Eisner. He does something here that many horror film makers today need to follow. Taking a chainsaw and cutting people up to pieces, with blood spraying everywhere for one hour and thirty minutes does not make up to a scary film. Scary and suspense go together. If a film is not suspenseful then I can promise you it will not be scary either. And even though The Crazies has its share of blood and gore, Eisner keeps the direction real and packs enough suspense to the point that when something comes up, the audience jumps out of their seats. Normally I would not have forgiven such bad acting, but because of Eisner's direction The Crazies earns a positive rating from me.
Overall, The Crazies is a horror flick no doubt better than most nowadays. It may not be the scariest film ever made, but it has suspense and I can assure you that you will jump at least once. The acting was bad, we have covered that, but Eisner crafts a horror film that is honestly worth another watch, as hard as that is to believe, it is true.