The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Crazies equal cheap thrill

By Joshua Knopp/ reporter

The Crazies is meant to thrill but provides nothing unexpected to thrill with.

The Crazies remakes a 1973 film by George Romero. The water supply of a small town is infected with a virus causing victims to either die or become killers themselves.Photo courtesy Overture Films
The Crazies remakes a 1973 film by George Romero. The water supply of a small town is infected with a virus causing victims to either die or become killers themselves.Photo courtesy Overture Films

The movie is a remake of a 1973 film of the same name directed by zombie master George Romero. Locations aside, the plots are essentially identical — a plane crash in a small town infects the water supply with a virus that either kills or makes a killer out of the victim. Both films follow four survivors attempting to avoid the military, which is killing indiscriminately in an attempt to contain the outbreak and the “crazies.”

The movie has many deep flaws, and they begin with pace. At first, the film is too fast with the town in flames by the end of the first act. Then, in the second and third acts, the film drags on dully, a monotony of disaster film clichés pasted onto a farm-country background.

A second problem is its lack of surprises. The film has plenty of jump scares and musical jolts, but almost every one is recognizable from commercials. If the audience came looking for new scares, they won’t find them here.

This problem extends beyond sequences visually recognizable from previews. This horror movie makes the audience want to scream at the characters to not go into the unlit barn or to check the house for bad guys before letting their guard down. In this, the movie encompasses not only disaster film clichés, but horror film clichés as well.

The last and largest flaw is the overwhelming blandness of the movie. Romero’s classic The Crazies, released in the height of the Vietnam War and fresh off the Watergate scandal, bore deep anti-military themes, portraying the military as heavy-handed and unintelligent and drawing parallels between the soldiers and the infected killers.

This remake takes the same premise and reduces it into a common hide-and-seek horror movie. While the military spills the chemical and kills civilians, these actions are so secondary to the jump-scare plotline that they are almost forgotten. But the blandness is more pervasive than just leaving no one offended. The lead character is a stereotypical, white hat, baseball-loving “good guy.” His wife, along with the other female member of the group, is one-dimensionally feminine, and the deputy follows an extremely predictable path of disenfranchisement and redemption.

With so little there and none of it new, this movie simply doesn’t measure up to modern suspense movies, let alone the Romero classic.

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