My excitement for The Crazies elevated within just the last couple days when some pretty good reviews started to surface. So I was pretty hyped for the film before I went to see it. And I really need to go see it a second time... but not for the reason you think.
I had probably one of the most annoying theater experiences tonight. Let me explain. First, I'm sitting there waiting for the previews to start, and in walks the Crazy Girl. From those who don't know or haven't been around here that long, the Crazy Girl was one of my students from student teaching that drove me insane... mostly because she was. And I heard her say not long after she stepped in "I have to kill myself now," followed up soon by "I'll explain later." I know exactly what she was talking about. Once she takes a seat--right in front of me--the lights dim and the previews start.
Enter two of my most annoying (current) students rushing in, having snuck in to the movie (as it's rated R, and they aren't old enough yet). Girl #1 is one of my loudest, most annoying, and most offensive students. Every other word out of her mouth would make a sailor blush, and she tends to yell everything with not a care in the world for other people. Girl #2 is just strange--she's a weird mix of bubbly and obscene... again, with very little consideration for others. Now, these two girls also happen to know (and have probably slept with) half the movie theater staff. And they also have this love/hate relationship with a few of them (which I get to hear about every 5 seconds during class). These two girls decide to sit next to me. At first, Girl #1 sits right next to me and never shuts up. And about 5 minutes into the previews, declares "This is boring," and pulls out her mp3 player, holding it up for all to see its shine and blasting the music for all nearby to hear. Once the movie starts, however, they switch spots, and Girl #2 sits next to me. She proceeds to, quite literally, never take her hands or eyes off of her cell phone, texting the whole damn time (and then try to ask what happened during the movie that she's not paying attention to). And both of them have to comment, rudely, about every person that walks into the theater late, as well as every little movement that happens on screen.
This is when a few big girls brush past us and sit on the other side of me and be nearly as bad. They constantly talked at the screen or prepped themselves for scares like they had never seen a horror movie before.
Anyway, the two girls (my students) leave to go to the concession stand (mostly to bother the workers). That was a good 5 minutes or so. But then they came back and continue their never-ending annoyances. And outside the classroom, I couldn't really enforce anything or take up their electronics (though I could cuss at them). And they just laughed at me if I told them to put their stuff away or move somewhere else. It really wasn't until almost exactly the 1-hour mark that the security cop guy came in and pulled them out (as I later found out, after the movie, for harassing the concession stand guys, as well as sneaking in to an R-Rated film). So the last 40 minutes or so of the movie were about all I was really able to focus on.
This leads me in to my review. The movie is about Sheriff David Dutton (Timothy Olyphant); his wife, Judy (Radha Mitchell); his deputy, Russell (Joe Anderson); and his wife's co-worker, Becca (Danielle Panabaker). After a plane crash into the local water system, Sheriff Dutton starts to notice people in town go a bit crazy. They zone out and get violent. And when the military shows up, it takes them double time to try to stay alive, as the military is after anyone and everyone, not just the crazies (who are after anyone, as well).
As far as I could tell, the movie was pretty good. I couldn't get into the atmosphere and mood of the film until an hour in, but that wasn't the fault of the film. And once the girls left, the movie pulled me in almost immediately (which isn't hard to do, when the first scene after they left is the car wash scene). The beginning of the film had me at a loss with its transitions, but--again--I do not think that was the fault of the film. I missed so much in explanation at the beginning, I'm lucky I understood as much as I did.
The acting was pretty good as well, especially from Timothy Olyphant, who almost always impresses. And I've noticed a trend. If you want your horror movie to be good, especially when it has everything going against it, cast Radha Mitchell. Seriously, think about it. Vin Diesel versus aliens doesn't sound like a winner... but Pitch Black is awesome. Video game movies hardly ever work, but Silent Hill is amazingly creepy. Remakes, especially of the horror variety, are rarely good... but this film worked. And all star Radha Mitchell.
The scares are good. It's not a gore-fest (there is blood, but it isn't excessive). There are some jump-scares, but it also goes old-school horror with people just standing in the background or playing at expectations. I particularly loved the car wash sequence--maybe because it's mostly when the movie truly began for me--but really because it throws you into that fear of the unknown. With the windows soaped up, you just caught glimpses. You really had no idea what was going to happen next. It kinda goes up there with Adam's Capture in the original Saw (the camera flash scene).
I can't say too much else about it. I really need to see it again, and I'm sure the score would be higher in that case. Really, it was such an ironic movie (at least with the title) to have this happen in. I went to see crazy people and they all flocked to me. But whatever. For now, it is what it is. And it was entertaining.
A Keanu 'Whoa'
(P.S. Wasn't that hand/knife kill like... one of the coolest kills ever?)