SPOILERS AHEAD: In a nutshell, when the residents of a teeny Iowa (?) town start acting strange - like burning their families alive inside their home and then mowing the lawn in a stupor while the fire rages - Sheriff David (the lovely, lovely Timothy Olyphant), his wife Judy (Radha Mitchell) and Deputy Russell (Joe Anderson - just great (and British in real life - who knew!) (also, he was in The Ruins which I totally didn't remember)) decide to investigate. A military plane, carrying a biological weapon to be destroyed, has gone down in the town's water supply. Designed to "destabilize a population," the bio weapon wreaks havoc on Sheriff Dave's friends and neighbors, causing veins to swell and pop, and ramping up their natural aggression to unnatural levels. It's not quite as extreme as the 28 Days Later rage virus - as in the townsfolk do not tear each other apart with their teeth - but it's damn bad anyway. To make it worse, the military arrives to contain the infection. And by "contain the infection" I mean "kill everyone in town."
It's pretty clear that the military/government is meant to be the bigger bad guys than the crazies. It wasn't the crazies' fault - it was the government's - and instead of helping these poor people, the military are just covering their asses by eradicating not only the threat, but the witnesses. This was the political statement being made by Romero in the original (which I have not yet seen); the remake sticks to the playbook.
The Crazies is an okay horror movie, kind of average, nothing special. The acting is solid - I really liked that Joe Anderson a lot - and the writing is fine; the gore-osity is a little light, devolving into a shoot-fest that is more action and less horror once the military arrives. That being said, the best scene in the whole movie, and one of the better scenes I've seen in a horror film in quite some time, is the car-wash scene. It's AWESOME and I'm not going to tell you anything about it because it deserves to be seen, not read about. Car-washes sort of wigged me out before I saw The Crazies - I'm going to be a nervous wreck in 'em now.
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So there you have it: fifteen scary movies in a row, celebrating (and extending) the season. It's been a lot of fun. Mr. Mouse is appalled at how much I've come to like horror movies but I've been really impressed with the quality and depth of the genre. I'm going to take a little break from the scare fest and watch some other stuff, but not to worry: my movie queue is stuffed full of fright flicks and I won't abandon them for long.