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The Crazies (2010)

2010 film directed by Breck Eisner

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Entertaining but predictable zombie-type thriller, with decent performances, a few clever scenes, but unclever dialogue

  • Jul 4, 2010
This relatively small-scale remake of George Romero's low-budget thriller manages to deliver a few thrills, here and there, but never manages to do much that is truly inventive or original, and certainly never manages to convince me that a remake of the ultra low-budget original was necessary. When the local drunk goes crazy with a gun at the local ballpark, and an ordinary man goes bonkers and burns his house down with the family locked inside, the local sheriff begins to suspect a pattern. When a downed airplane is discovered in the local water supply, he figures out, connecting the dots perhaps too quickly to leave us in suspense, there must have been some kind of contaminant aboard. Of course we know already the military's involved because from the first scene we have been shown that every significant "crazy" event has been monitored by satellite and other military surveillance. The first thing that bugged me about the remake is that what's happening is so easily explained, early on, as the result of a military experiment gone awry. Of course we don't yet know the details, but the thrill of discovery is denied us. (I don't consider that a spoiler, since the premise of the film is familiar, and I'm only saying that the film gives away too much too soon - in a way, I'm saying the film itself spoiled a lot of what could have been interesting about it, too early on.)

For example, one intriguing element the film touches upon but never develops, is that the "craziness" alluded to in the title might in some instances just be an extreme version of the (perhaps) ordinarily bizarre and slightly psychopathic behavior of small-town disorderliness, the kind of minor illegality and extremism that a sane sheriff would know well enough to overlook for the most part. (For a more original film that explores the possibility that small town extremism and psychopathia might border upon each other, see the very cool Canadian zombie flick Pontypool). Drunken disorderliness turned vicious, for example, or the local poachers, who take advantage of the chaos to hunt some unconventional "game." The cool thing about the premise is that these aren't zombies - they're not dead and they're not mindless - but the virus turns them into psychopathic versions of themselves, themselves without a conscience and with an impulse to hurt. This version didn't explore or exploit that dimension as much as it could have. I think it would have been much more effective to keep things unexplained and play up this element a bit longer, so that for a day or two you let Tim Olyphant as sheriff actually try to figure this out and let Radha Mitchell as his wife and local doctor come up with theories until they're over their heads and the escalation of ordinary people's everyday quirks into violence can no longer be explained away. Only then would reinforcements come and only then would it become clear what they're dealing with and only then would it become clear that the military was aware. I liked The Mist better, where the local craziness was the focus at first and only late in the game did the larger stakes become clear.

The performances were satisfactory, but the lines they spoke tended to be the product of mostly uninspired writing. They said the obvious things, or voiced the emotional content of scenes that should have (and usually were) already been carried by the acting and the editing. The one character who really stood out for me was that of Joe Anderson, the Deputy who easily upstaged Tim Olyphant in every scene they shared, especially as the situation went from bad to much worse. I'd never seen him in anything before, but after this I'm convinced he could easily carry a film and will look for his future work. The editing and look was fine, and the filmmakers had obviously seen a lot of horror films and borrowed liberally from the most intense moments (e.g. a guy drags a pitchfork that you know he's going to use to inflict violence, and the sound itself is both grating and horrifying - and which is, depending on how you look at it, a pretty direct steal from or homage to Blood Simple). On the other hand, there are a few fresh images here that had my heart pumping and my eyes intrigued - a scene in a car wash comes to mind, that was richly executed. The ending was utterly predictable. My wife predicted it about ten minutes into the film. Still, it's not bad and could have been much worse. Not bad, but not likely to attain classic status.

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September 10, 2010
Joe Anderson may have been the best thing in ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, the really terrible "Beatles music" movie.
September 11, 2010
Never saw that - because I'd heard it was pretty lame. I'll keep my eyes out for other performances, though.
More The Crazies (2010) reviews
review by . February 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
3 ½ Stars: NOT
   I have only seen bits and pieces of the original “The Crazies” and maybe it would be a wise idea to see it again before I write this review. Zombie maestro George Romero directed the original 1973 horror film “The Crazies” and for once maybe it would be a good idea in refraining from comparing the remake to the original. The acclaimed horror director helped redefine horror with his “Living Dead” films and it is not surprising that this new slicker …
review by . July 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
      THE CRAZIES      George Romero is by far a legend in the film industry and has crafted some of the best movies of all time, there is no doubting that. While he is still a very active filmmaker his past films have been being remade with more to come I am sure. One of those films is "The Crazies" a remake that he actually supported and came on board as an executive producer. I always have hope for a remake when the original creator is involved …
review by . January 21, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Somewhere in a remote stretch of Iowa, life as we have known it is about to end. A dramatic and surprising confrontation between a savvy small-town sheriff and what appears to be the reformed town drunk on a bad bender breaks up the high school baseball game. It also sheds the first light upon a sinister and lethal situation that has been brewing in the murky mire that lies beyond the attention of the public eye.     Sheriff David Dutten loves his hometown. He knows and respects …
review by . May 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
The Crazies - 2010
To my knowledge, I have never seen the original release of The Crazies, in 1973, from George Romero. While I understand Romero can be sort of a sick twist, I think this release is more in tune with the times, making it a possibility, as all tweaking with the environment and DNA and so forth are. This version was directed by Breck Eisner, was nominated for 3 awards and carries an R rating for blood and violence. Comparatively speaking, the blood and violence isn't all that.      …
review by . June 09, 2010
Welcome to Ogden Marsh, the friendliest place on Earth.........
George A. Romero is credited all over as the king and father of zombie films for years he has given  moviegoers some of the most frightening and  definitive zombie films ever made  and it all began in 1968 with a little know black and white independent film called "Night of the living Dead"(1968). Which is cited as the films that jump started the zombie sub genre (and officially began   the zombie craze that has lasted far longer than it should have). Then in 1973 …
review by . August 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
During a baseball game in a small town in Iowa an apparently deranged local man approaches players with a loaded shotgun. The sheriff shots the man before he is able to harm anyone. This incident is attributed to the killed man's history of alcohol abuse, but the whole town is nonetheless perturbed and unsettled. After another resident starts acting erratically and murders his own family it starts becoming obvious that there is some larger malevolent influence that is affecting the town. The …
review by . July 13, 2010
With all of the remakes, reboots, and re-imaginings of classic (and some not-so-classic) horror films, I was a bit hesitant to watch Scott Kosar, Ray Wright, and Breck Eisner's version of George A. Romero's semi-classic "The Crazies." Kosar and Wright updated the screenplay, moved it to a new location (Ogden Marsh, Iowa) and generally maintained the essence of the original film. Director Eisner keeps the film interesting by mixing equal parts of suspense and action with brief quiet moments between …
review by . August 07, 2010
During a baseball game in a small town in Iowa an apparently deranged local man approaches players with a loaded shotgun. The sheriff shots the man before he is able to harm anyone. This incident is attributed to the killed man's history of alcohol abuse, but the whole town is nonetheless perturbed and unsettled. After another resident starts acting erratically and murders his own family it starts becoming obvious that there is some larger malevolent influence that is affecting the town. The sheriff …
review by . July 08, 2010
I found out from my dad that this was a remake of George A. Romero's The Crazies. Everyone I know who saw this movie liked it. It was definitely worth two hours of my time.
review by . March 04, 2010
THE CRAZIES is not a great film, nor will it likely even enter the "Hall Of Fame" of zombie-type movies. However, it is a tight, well-constructed and reasonably well-acted thriller that is more than worthy of a look.    In the small mid-western town of Ogden's Marsh, high school baseball season is just getting started. Everyone in town is there to size up the quality of this year's team...and frankly, life just couldn't get any finer. In less than 2 minutes, we get learn all …
About the reviewer
Nathan Andersen ()
Ranked #28
I teach philosophy at Eckerd College, in Saint Petersburg, Florida.      I run an award-winning International Cinema series in Tampa Bay (, and am co-director of … more
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About this movie


Remake of the 1973 HORROR film directed by George A. Romero about a mysterious phenomenon that causes the citizens of a quiet Georgian town go mad. .

Filmed in the state of Georgia.

Executive Producer: George A. Romero.

  • Cast: Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Danielle Panabaker, Joe Anderson, Christie Lynn Smith
  • Director: Breck Eisner
  • Genres: Action Thriller, Escape Film, Horror
  • Sahara director Breck Eisner teams with screenwriters Ray Wright (Pulse) and Scott Kosar (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) to give George A. Romero's underrated 1973 shocker a shiny new makeover in this update starring Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell.

    Perform a Google search on "small-town America," and eventually you'll stumble across Ogden Marsh, a picturesque hamlet situated a safe distance from the nearest big city, and full of friendly faces. The citizens of Ogden Marsh are happy, albeit unremarkable people, but they're about to discover just how fragile their warm slice of the American dream really is. When a mysterious toxin transforms the locals into murderous maniacs, it's up to Sheriff David Dutton (Olyphant) to find out why a man who was once an upstanding citizen would attempt to massacre the local youth baseball team, and a caring father would burn his beloved family alive. Within hours the town has descended into total chaos, and the government has ordered it quarantined. Anyone who attempts to escape will be shot on sight, whether they're ...

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    Director: Breck Eisner
    Genre: Horror
    Release Date: February 24, 2010
    MPAA Rating: R
    DVD Release Date: June 29, 2010
    Runtime: 101 minutes
    Studio: Overture Films, Anchor Bay Entertainment
    First to Review

    "The Town That Went Mad"
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