The Crazies is Thrillingly Sane

The CraziesRemakes seem to be Hollywood’s cup of tea in recent years, especially in the scary movie category.  We’ve seen the kick-starts of well known franchises in recent memory such as Halloween and Friday the 13th.  2010 is no exception as audiences can now experience the facelift version of George Romero’s 1973 cult classic, The Crazies.  This time around Romero is out of the director’s chair, now helmed by Breck Eisner, and into the role of producer.  Starring Timothy Olyphant (Live Free Die Hard, Hitman) as small town sheriff David Dutton, and Radha Mitchell (Silent Hill, Surrogates) as his wife, Dr. Judy Dutton, the story follows the peacefully rural locale of Ogden Marsh, Iowa and the complete bit of hell that is about to ensue. 

One by one, the townsfolk start going under a very abnormal and mysterious transformation.  People start going in and out of a catatonic-like state that is peppered by bouts of extreme violence.  This begins to spread and soon has the town in a curious panic, none more puzzled than that of Sheriff Dutton.  In a place where everyone knows everybody’s business, it doesn’t take much to turn this farming town inside out.  Enter the U.S. Army and their special containment unit donned with gas masks and armed with M4’s, and the residents begin to scurry like frightened mice while the pieces slowly begin to come together for Dutton and his band of merry rebels. 

The Crazies plays out well and yields suspense around just about every single corner.  There is a fair amount of action that is smartly woven into the 101-minute runtime with Olyphant and Mitchell providing good chemistry, as does Olyphant’s sidekick, Joe Anderson as Deputy Russell Clank.  Throw in cutie starlet Danielle Panabaker and you’ve got yourself a little fear-stricken quartet that you begin to feel an attachment to.  If you are not a fan of the horror genre, fear not, as neither am I.  Do not let the zombie-associated attachment of George A. Romero’s name to this title scare you away.  Keep in mind though, the man knows a thing or two about movie-making and his expertise is obvious here.  Still, I would be hard-pressed to refer to The Crazies as a horror film.  It is a suspense-thriller, pure and simple, and lives up to this label very proficiently throughout its delivery of capable storytelling. 

There were brief moments in the latter portion of the film when I thought the search and chase circle would not end, conjuring thoughts of a possible tedious movie.  Nevertheless, these thoughts were circumvented as the movie would quickly get back on track with another unexpected turn of events taking place.  The Crazies is an easy recommendation to see in the theater and an even easier recommendation for a Blu-ray rental when the time comes.  Tighten your bootstraps, load your 12-gauge, and grab some popcorn because The Crazies aren’t taking ‘no’ for an answer.              


The Crazies Theatrical Poster


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3 Responses to “The Crazies is Thrillingly Sane”

  1. Bob Ignizio

    Romero’s original version had a great premise, but it was hampered by a mixed bag of actors and a low budget. There are a few things about the original that I miss, in particular the more subtle and quirky way the infection of insanity was depicted. I also found the extended action sequence at the end more tedious than you did, and that knocked my rating down a little bit. Still, for the most part I enjoyed this movie. It’s a refreshingly adult horror (or suspense if you prefer) film that gives you characters you can actually care and takes its time to build.

  2. Brian White

    I agree. I would not classify this solely as a horror movie. It’s not a zombie movie either 🙂 I concur that while I was happy to see it, I don’t think I will be revisiting it anytime soon. Timothy Olyphant is the man again in this feature. He never wears on me. Now I need to check out the original so I can see Bob’s point of view. Just my luck, the 1973 film just came out on Blu-ray in the nick of time. Coincidence? Nah!

  3. Gerard

    The previews looked great. I’ll probably blind buy this and I’ll probably blind buy the original.