Horror. Worldview. Faith.

The Crazies – Review

The Crazies – Review

Mar 16, 2010

reviewed by JB
directed by Breck Eisner, 2010

First off I would like to thank my wife for attending this feature with me. She hates “my kind of movies,” so thanks baby. Now on to the presentation. The Crazies is apparently a remake of a 1973 Romero film by the same name. I myself have never heard of it, but I plan to try and rent it at a later date. I have read other written reviews of the ’73 flick and it was seemingly very politically driven ( more later ). The current version stars Timothy Olyphant as a sheriff of a small farming town. Radha Mitchell plays his doctor wife and Joe Anderson plays his loyal deputy. These are the characters the movie focuses on through the course of their perils. The opening scene shows the peaceful little town on the first day of baseball season and the town is enjoying the game when all of a sudden like five minutes into the movie the events get rolling. A man supposedly the town drunk, which we learn later, comes out of left field, literally, with a shotgun. The sheriff is forced to confront him all the while noticing that he appears drunk or not right with a crazy look in his eyes. Just like in the trailer the sheriff shoots him dead. The autopsy comes back and the guy is not drunk and the mystery begins. More people start to act ” not right ” and one man is seen by the doctor. He then proceeds to repeat himself to the doctor so she wants to send him to the closest big city (remember this) Cedar Rapids for a cat scan. This is where things start to go nuts. The man who saw the doctor indeed has problems and the first attempted scare happens. Really there are some creepy moments in this film that have you tense, but the scares are hard to come by. Which this is a zombie/infected flick and to me they are more about gore (more on this later also) and tension and the chase or escape moments than scares anyway. I suppose the genre of HORROR spans all of this and not just films with scares even though the film has several weak attempts at some. From here on out more townsfolk keep doing odd things, and out of the blue on a gut hunch the sheriff decides something isn’t right. Then some guys are out in the swamp of Ogden Marsh and find a parachute and the dead pilot submerged in the bog. The sheriff and his deputy investigate, and the deputy recalls a local hearing a big crash in the night so off they go to investigate. Turns out there was a plane crash in the marsh, and in one of the cooler visual scenes in the movie, they set out and find the plane in the murky water of the bog. This is where the movie lets you on to the big secret. The government plane had some stuff on it and it’s bad for everybody. I have read in other reviews, as mentioned before, that the original has a politically charged theme in regard to government. This is that tie in, but the 2010 version doesn’t take it that far. They let you know through the movie that big brother is watching, but it’s not an anti gov. movie. As for the comparison I will let you know when I see the original.

After the plane is found the sheriff and his deputy determine that the plane is contaminating the water that the town drinks and that is what is causing everybody to become CRAZY. The government finally comes in and tries to segregate everybody according to who has a fever. Apparently this is the first sign of the infection. Earlier on the viewer is made aware that the sheriff’s wife is pregnant, which in turn cause her to have a fever and hence she is assumed infected and taken from her husband. After this there is another one of the creepy scenes. If you watched any of the trailers you saw the person dragging the pitchfork through the hospital, well this is it. I was pretty excited to see some good gore here, but it was a little of a letdown. I was expecting a crazy dude just going off and stabbing person after person and blood oozing, guts dripping, eyeballs flying, arms loped off, brains spilling—– sorry I got a little carried away, but the point I am trying to make while the scene was well shot and kinda creepy, I expected gore. In my opinion zombie movies need some gore and this version of The Crazies didn’t have enough for me. From here on out the movie is more of a survival story where the sheriff has to save his wife and escape. The couple along with the trusty deputy run around, mainly from the government and some crazies here and there, and have a neat little run in with some crazies at a car wash. They are trying to get to the government exit point where they plan on hopping onto a bus and going happily off into the sunset. More problems arise and if this review is sounding a little redundant that is because that is how this movie goes. Find a safe place and whoa, wait it aint safe here. Anyway without spoiling the ending which isn’t all that much of a twist, the sheriff and his wife escape and the loyal deputy makes a not so dramatic-dramatic choice.

I’m not sure what that is, but see the movie and you will understand that you saw it coming. The last frame of the movie shows the sheriff and his wife walking off into the sunset and a government satellite picks up the couple heading to Cedar Rapids and declares an emergency quarantine protocol. If you see the movie you will see that that is going to be bad news.

All in all this was not a bad movie. I would have personally liked to see more gore, which I think by the reviews of the ’73 original it has more. There was nothing new or ground breaking in it either. Timothy Olyphant is one of my favorite actors with a great role in Deadwood as coincidentally the sheriff, and as agent 47 in Hitman. Here he does a pretty good job, but there wasn’t a whole lot to work with as far as script. As for the costars, all did a good job being scared, frightened, surprised, but you could have put me and my wife in the roles and the outcome could have been sufficient. I put the mediocrity of this movie on the director whose vision of the movie was different than what I would have preferred, which is kinda strange in that Romero was a producer on the film. In the end I would save this as a renter on a cold October night.

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