There’s a scene in The Crazies when Tim Olyphant’s sheriff confronts the mayor of Doomsville (or Ogden Marsh) about denying water to the town’s population because it might be carrying a toxic brain-scrambling illness, and the mayor starts going on about how the town lives and dies by its crops, and you need water to keep the crops alive, so the water’s gotta run!
At that moment, I immediately linked this movie in my mind to Steven Spielberg’s classic, Jaws. It put me in mind of Chief Brody’s conversation with Amity’s mayor about shutting down the beaches on 4th of July weekend. That moment, and so many more, really endeared this remake to me.
It’s one of those movies with lots of AHHH! jumpy scary moments, done on a rather modest and intimate scale, with some great comic interaction between Olyphant and Joe Anderson as the town deputy. The scaled-back production for most of the movie really helps the special effects-laden moments pack a serious whallop.
If you’re feeling thirsty, though – don’t drink the water.
I’m struggling to figure out what was going on with this event, but I’ll go ahead and accept the blame for somehow failing to make it engaging enough.
First, it was a follow-up event to “Name on the Bullet.” So, I can see that it wouldn’t be quite as exciting as the initial event, but it took us about four hours to go from “People entering the Forgotten Quarter and noticing two Gankri and a Lotorian hanging out” to “People trying to apprehend the Gankri.” That’s not good, considering we had a much more action-packed sequence in a similar timeframe during “The Lost Missionaries.”
Unlike previous events in recent weeks, I definitely had a plan for this adventure. The intent, if things seemed to be flowing all right, was to have the Gankri lead our heroes on a chase through ancient twisty passages in the depths of Comorro until they could reach a long-forgotten hatch that would grant access to a waiting getaway ship. However, the poses just to get the activity started came in fits and starts. It felt at times like people were phasing in and out of paying attention. Maybe they were playing characters in another window. Maybe they were watching the Olympics. Maybe they were farming on Facebook. Whatever they were doing, they weren’t thinking a lot about the event. As the poses slowed down, I know that I started multitasking. It took me out of the moment and that led to me doing a poor job of keeping other people in the moment.
As a result, I ended up abbreviating the event. It became more of a quick-burst action. Someone shot the Lotorian. The two Gankri made a run for it. One of the Ganrki got his head blown off. The other was injured and taken away for treatment and (eventually) questioning, so that Marisa could try getting to the bottom of her near-murder. Ironically, things actually sped up when the combat started.
Looking back, I was trying to let player actions drive the beginning of the event. I wanted to see what they would do. When they didn’t do much, I tried to engage them. Things just didn’t pick up much until the guns and knives came into play.
I won’t call the event a failure – it has succeeded in moving the story forward, so that’s great. But it didn’t feel as fun as I had hoped it would be.