The Crazies (2010)

An ‘America gone wrong’-nightmare with twisted subversion of everything we’ve come to normalize as nostalgia – from ’50’s guitars to farmlands to baseball-pitch, The Crazies is pure, nicely-acted/characterized, *sadistic* U.S.-themed horror. 8.2/10.

Plot Synopsis: Anarchy reigns when an unknown toxin turns the peaceful citizens of Ogden Marsh into bloodthirsty lunatics. In an effort to contain the spread of the infection, authorities blockade the town and use deadly force to keep anyone from getting in or out. Now trapped among killers, Sheriff Dutten (Timothy Olyphant) and his wife (Radha Mitchell) and two companions must band together to find a way out before madness and death overtake them.

*Possible Spoilers Ahead*

Review

An ‘America gone wrong’-nightmare with twisted, brilliant subversion of everything we’ve come to normalize as nostalgia & small-town USA – from ’50’s guitars to farmlands to baseball-pitch to gas-stations/diners reinvented in the most ghastly of kills, The Crazies is pure, imaginative horror of the highest authenticity in years. Beyond its perfect setting, omenic atmospherics, and bleak cinematography, the story of its virus and horrors of governmental experimentation fuel this phantasm of everything Christianity teaches, foremost in ‘love thy neighbor’ – packed with social-commentary on weighty themes like military, war, bioterrorism, & humanity, brought to life by fantastic Olymphant-led performances + rare characterization in 2000’s-horror. 8.7/10.

the setting

the virus & commentary

the scares

the performances

flaws frame story

Pros: Begins with destruction of small-town America – where is everyone? what happened here? before flashing back to nostalgic soft ’50’s guitar ballad and shots of classic farmland Americana hunts woods creates intimate atmosphere baseball, spring, green, teen romance, shelterable practices – only to interrupt it when a crazy man walks onto the pitch with the shotgun and has to be put down from shooting /// yet even in these nostalgic past=times and pastorals that will bring a smile to most people’s and certainly most Americans’ faces, there is darkness – not only in atmosphere and feel but in camera filter /// overcast skies ominous atmospherics clouding sights we should love. twists Christian and america values

phenomenal performances by lead office danny cordray really gets into small town sheriff character doctor danielle panabaker /// incredible four main that adds some great characterization to horror

absolutely WILD and SADISTIC horror turning own family and closest loved ones against you inklings of The Shining but in Americana coat jacket whether it be farm animals or locking your own wife and child in closet and setting house on fire what on earth, sewing people’s eyes and mouth shuts enough material to elicit audible gasps how messed-up it is /// the demeanor of the infected afterwards might be scariest part humming out of it and non-guilty or sorry /// pitchfork when trapped strapped to table surgery dragging metallic scraping some of the scariest situational writing hhorror has seen in a LONG time /// wildly imaginative kills and situations all twisting americana brilliant. virus triie. rhabdoviridae prototype biological weapon meant to destabilize population wrong one wanted to use it on enemy bad /// gas-stations to even freaking car-washes and mom-and-pop diners

zoom-outs some kind of drone and plane-crash creates mystery importance containment protocol what? govt watching experiment gone wrong new bioterror or surveillance experimentation? conventiently no signal /// effective jump-scares some of the best seen in a while like morgue fake-out enough to get pulse-startled for sure /// ironically it puts these citizens through minority treatment horrors separation border /// horrors of quarantine – unpredictability every frame. love the ending

Cons: don’t like the frame story/in-media-res in this film or in general – why tell us the town had to be burnt down and destroyed as well as seemingly everyone killed from the start.. kind of saps the mystery and fun right from the opening scene in antithesis to its anticipated goal of drawing in does fake-out even in that regard but still better opening would’ve been happier americana that devolves into bleak vision instead of starting ominous or destructive and making us put our guards up less effective /// very sharp juxtaposition of small-town and high bioterror bit too jarring discordant needed bit more exposition small ////does self-indulge itself with jump-scares at the end little too heavy with fake-outs

Official CLC Score: 8.2/10