02 March 2010 1061 Views

Viral Review: The Crazies

by Scott Caldwell

Back when the trailer for The Crazies was released, there was a link at the end of the clip, pointing everyone towards OgdenMarsh.com. From that point on, all eyes were on this campaign. But why? What was making this one different from all the rest? Well, for starters, it’s a horror film. Secondly, based on the idea of the plot, a viral campaign can go so many ways, so it’s only bound to draw attention. Spoilers and review after the jump.

Ogden Marsh, a small town in Iowa, is your setting for not only the film, but the viral. Most small towns give you that feeling that everyone is close. This one is no different. OgdenMarsh.com is a website in its most simplistic form. A municipality that strives on its farming, family, and closeness. Instantly, you know something is going to happen.


But how?


Ogden Marsh starts to get a voice. A voice from someone who has either seen too much, or someone that wants to. Kim Jonson’s blog has not only done that, but has brought her foe into the open, giving us two new sites to follow. Kim and her site, SaveOgdenMarsh, are now doing everything they can to prevent Dakon Pendrill Chemicals from the damage they may cause the small town. Which leads me to the first part of my viral review…..





Where the hell was DP Chemicals in the film?! If they just moved into town and had a hand in making Trixie (the bioweapon that accidentally causes everyone in the town to go “crazy”), then why not the slightest mention of this 75 year old chemical company? Completely skipped over. Not even a aerial view of smoke stacks. Unless they tucked it away so discreetly, it was a non participant.


Some of the things that did make it in to the movie were somewhat minimal in their presence, but still a great part of the film. Obviously Ogden Marsh was all over the place, but did you hear them talk about Hopman’s Bog? That’s the swampland where the plane went down (which is brought forth in more detail in the comics). If you remember correctly, Hopman’s Bog had a small part on the Ogden Marsh home page, right before DP Chemicals stole its spot. It looked nice. Very bog….ish.


The Sheriff’s station seemed to steal the show with the viral references. First off, there is a scene where the cop car pulls right in front of the station, which looks very similar to their header on the site. There is a picture of the sheriff on a wall in the film, which happens to be the same picture on the site, and the deputy utters the words “Welcome to the friendliest place on earth” shortly before he destroys the man in the black truck.


However the best reference was the scene where the phones were down. Just like we had experienced in the early stages of the sheriff’s website, the sheriff himself could not connect to OgdenMarshSheriff.com. To me, that was just too perfect.





So what about Kim Jonson? What happened after her attack? She had such a huge voice in all of this, but what part did she have in the film? Well, nothing, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Think Jamie in Cloverfield. Were you ok with her not having a part in the film (other than sleeping)? I was actually fine with it. I think she could have played a nice crossover into other parts, but to place her in the film just would have seemed off. Same thing with her Twitter friends like MossyMandy and hawtroddin, obviously brought in to give Kim’s character and account are more realistic feeling.


I guess the same could be said for TheTruthAboutTrixie. I guess the truth about trixie really is, this was an information site to filter between multiple sites. Kinda like a sweeps week for marketing. It provided all the details on the Trixie virus and history.





Two pieces that really helped tie into the film, and basically a buffer for the viral that for some reason died before the last week the film was released, was the premiere and the comic books. Both of these have been discussed by Dan, who actually attended the premiere and received all four issues of the limited comic book series. I think the screening was more for an understanding of what you were getting yourself into as a film goer, whereas the comics were so much more into detail. Not to go into what Dan has already written, but you see the metamorphosis into crazy. You see that is starts from the water, and can move past humans. You see the thoughts of the crazies and how they are still able to plan it all out.





So what did you think about the tie ins? Were they worth following it since October of last year? What about this campaign was different than all the rest? Let us know what you think.


Honorable Mentions: The Mayor and the Car Wash! (OgdenMarsh.com)



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