Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pose Reviews A Movie. #10: The Crazies (2010)

In a word? Blech.

OK, maybe that wasn't really a word. But the sentiment is clear: I wasn't exactly crazy about The Crazies.

It had a strong enough start, I suppose. It didn't waste any time with character development, and dove right into the plot, which I liked. It even succeeded in being creepy at first, though I wouldn't say it ever entered the "scary" realm (which for my purposes I shall nickname, "scare-itory").

But then things started getting a little lame.

For starters, the 2010 remake of The Crazies relies way, way too heavily on "cheap scares." You know what I mean--those moments where everything is quiet, and then all of a sudden the MUSIC GETS REALLY LOUD AND A GRABBY HAND COMES OUT OF NOWHERE? Yeah, it was full of those. They even played the "cheap scare" card when good guys encountered each other unexpectedly--like, multiple times! Yeesh!

I'm really not quick to complain about the occasional "cheap scare" in a movie, but it seemed to be The Crazies' only strategy for reaching "scare-itory." And for a movie that doesn't have a whole lot else going for it besides its scare-factor, I don't really think it could afford to be a one-trick pony. Even if that pony is infected with a government-engineered virus that gives it zombie-like tendencies.

And that's the other thing that bothered me about The Crazies. The virus that spreads through the small town setting of Ogden Marsh, Iowa has extremely inconsistent symptoms throughout the film.

At first, it makes people dazed and confused (pardon the expression), and, let's just say "moderately homicidal."

Then shortly after, the victims get a little dozy. Dexterity goes down, albeit urge to kill goes up. This is where the pitchfork-dragging fellow from the movie poster makes his appearance, in the creepiest and arguably the only redeeming scene in the film.

But by the end of the movie, the infected types start to get clever. Instead of mindlessly dragging things around and stabbing, they are able to perform really complicated tasks, like sewing up their victims and strategically searching rooms for prey.

How is that possible?! The movie takes place over the course of a day and a half!

Of course it's silly to complain about the plausibility of a movie like this, but then again, if your audience transcends disbelief and is just plain confused, you've probably done something wrong.

I suppose my essential complaint is that not only does The Crazies bring nothing new to the horror-genre table, it botches and overuses conventions that have been sitting on the table so long they've gotten moldy. And although I haven't seen the original Crazies from 1973, let's face it--it’s bad news when a movie is a remake of a movie you haven’t seen, yet you still feel like you’ve seen it before. Only last time it was better.

Honestly, if you're thinking of watching this one, just sit down in front of your computer in the dark, put on some good headphones and watch the trailer for it on YouTube. It pretty much sums up the entire film, and you don’t waste two hours that you’ll never get back.

Like, ever.

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