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The Crazies (2010)

2010 film directed by Breck Eisner

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The Town That Went Mad

  • Feb 26, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+3
I suppose I can't fault "The Crazies" for delivering exactly what it promised: Screaming victims, bloody deaths, scary things hiding in the dark, and, of course, crazy people. But there really isn't anything new here. It's a remake of the 1973 film directed by George A. Romero, which itself has similarities to his own "Night of the Living Dead" and would go on to inspire its apocalyptic sequels, also directed by Romero (some of which have already been remade, and you'll forgive me if I'm belaboring the point). It's a typical zombie story set in a typical Middle American farming community inhabited by typical white-bred people, some of whom are given that distinctive Southern drawl for maximum effect. This definitely includes the trigger-happy rednecks that shoot at zombies for no reason other than the sheer joy of it.

The town is Ogden Marsh, Iowa. Population: 1,260. It's one of those places where the people earn a living and life is simple. In due time, things start to go wrong. Some of the residents act ... funny. At first, it doesn't seem so bad; they space out pretty easily, and maybe they'll repeat something they just said a second earlier. But then, for no apparent reason, they begin to bleed all over, and what's worse, they become homicidal maniacs. What's causing this epidemic of insanity? The local sheriff, David Dutton (Timothy Olyphant) and his deputy, Russell Clank (Joe Anderson), have reason to believe that the local water supply is to blame. Maybe it has been contaminated with an unknown toxin.

Before long, the military gets involved. Well armed and merciless, the soldiers are not too far off from the zombies they're trying to quarantine - they're violent, single-minded, and anonymous, their faces obscured by dark gas masks while they relentlessly follow someone else's orders via walkie-talkies. The remaining residents of Ogden Marsh are rounded up and taken to a makeshift medical ward, where people are forcefully separated on the basis of whether or not someone has an elevated temperature. Sheriff Dutton's wife, Judy (Radha Mitchell), falls into the second category, and she's taken away despite Dutton's assertion that she's pregnant and prone to slight fevers. She soon finds herself strapped to a stretcher in an area designated for the already infected. Unfortunately, an attempted jailbreak results in some of the crazies escaping, and one of them is headed straight for Judy, a bloody pitchfork dragging behind him.

It soon becomes a matter of survival, David, Judy, Russell, and a teenager named Becca (Danielle Panabaker) pitted against an illness and a brutal military presence. Can they escape Ogden Marsh? Will they become infected? Will they be shot dead before they have the chance to become infected? And what is the secret of this plague? Where did it come from? How did it come to be there? The answers to all of the above are given, but I seriously doubt you'll find any of them surprising.

Still, if you haven't yet grown tired of the zombie genre, then chances are "The Crazies" will not disappoint you. Indeed, it's a striking visual achievement, some of the most frightening scenes taking place in cramped, shadowy spaces. I also give the filmmakers credit for creating gore effects that aren't relentlessly campy. There's a sequence, for example, in which a crazed mortician starts wielding a working bone saw; I expected a retread of the morgue sequence from "Re-Animator," but instead, I got a dark and fairly unnerving moment of bloody violence. Another sequence, this one involving a crazy and a can of gasoline, is surprisingly chilling and not at all a cheap gimmick that plays for laughs.

It's simply a matter of having seen so many movies like this before. Everything from Romero's films to "28 Days Later" to "Doomsday" to "Quarantine" to the "Resident Evil" trilogy have told more or less the exact same story to varying degrees of success. Quite frankly, it's starting to get old.

The final thirty minutes of "The Crazies" are problematic in that every scene feels like the finale; a resolution is overshadowed by another crisis, which is then resolved before leading to another crisis, etc., etc. More than once I was ready to get out of my seat and leave the theater, and more than once I was hit with a new turn of events. How many twists does one movie need? And why should they be allowed to spill over into the end credits, at which point it becomes overkill? I guess horror audiences have come to expect nothing less. I can't say that I hated or even disliked "The Crazies," for it succeeds at being exactly what it wanted to be. Maybe, somewhere deep down, I was hoping it would surpass my expectations. There are few things more satisfying than a film that delivers more than it promises.

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October 14, 2010
I agree with your assessement--especially your last paragraph. Nice review! Good thing I spotted this review, it wasn't in our community for some reason.
 
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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
FUN ROMERO REMAKE
      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 . July 04, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
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 …
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This was okay this is something tat could happen in a little country community
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 …
About the reviewer
Chris Pandolfi ()
Ranked #5
Growing up a shy kid in a quiet suburb of Los Angeles, Chris Pandolfi knows all about the imagination. Pretend games were always the most fun for him, especially on the school playground; he and his … more
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About this movie

Wiki

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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    Details

    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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