The Crazies: Infectious Scares Cured with a Dose of Predictability

1 03 2010

A remake of the 1973 George A. Romero cult classic, The Crazies is yet another attempt to mix a horrible infection with a gory horror plot-line. Here’s the breakdown:

After the citizens of Ogden Marsh, Iowa start acting strange, Sheriff David Dutton (Timothy Olyphant) must find out what is going on – and find a way to escape it.

The Monkey: While toeing the line of “zombie movie” closely, The Crazies manages an original feel. The infectious outbreak and subsequent military actions all feel relatively realistic, making the scare factor that much more visceral. Timothy Olyphant plays the determined sheriff well, managing to stay sufficiently scared and brave at the same time.

There are plenty of scary moments; however, they mostly consist of “jump-out” scares.

The best parts of the movie were when uninfected people were forced to violence and the line between “The Crazies” and the survivors became blurred – this felt like a much bigger plot device that was begging to be explored, but…

The Weasel: …it wasn’t. Just when it felt like the movie would actually try and say something about society, violence, survival…it reverted to a predictable horror film.

The viewer is never really convinced the main characters are in any danger. The rag-tag band of survivors is, as expected, killed off one-by-one as the movie progresses, but everyone knows the hero will make it (even after an Indiana Jones-style “Nuke the Fridge” escape at the movie’s climax).

Surprisingly, the movie wasn’t as gory as anticipated. Some viewers will like this and others will see it as a disappointment. As the movie starts to unravel towards cliche, a little bit of creative gore could have done this movie some good.

The movie is set up for a sequel; however, I’m not sure viewers will want to return to cover familiar territory.

A movie that truly delivers? No. A fun night out at the movies? Absolutely.

3 Death Stars out of 5

What do you think? Was The Crazies a worthy remake? How does it stack up to the original? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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5 responses

2 03 2010
duboutfit

Can’t wait to see The Crazies, haven’t seen it yet, but always interested to see a Romero film.

Also…big fan of Timothy Olyphant and I am liking his work of late (HBO’s now canceled Deadwood in particular). He has a new series on FX coming out “Justified” playing a character based written by Elmore Leonard. Hoping they (FX) doesn’t blow it. I would be interested to know what you think of the series.

2 03 2010
Dustin

Yeah, I just saw a trailer for the series at the theatres! It looks pretty good, I’ll have to check it out!

17 03 2010
duboutfit

Update: “Justified premiered to 4.2 million viewers Tuesday, making it the basic cable network’s highest-rated original series debut since The Shield, which was greeted by 4.8 million viewers in 2002.” According to EW. Very cool.

18 03 2010
Dustin

That’s awesome! I’ll definitely try and check that out! Was it good?

23 03 2010
duboutfit

Once you check out an episode, put up a review. I am interested to know how many Death Stars “Justified” can score.

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