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Why wear a seatbelt? Every movie I've ever seen has people in horrid accidents just walking away.Anyway. This is not a zombie movie. Well, not per se. I will say that I have watched horror movies since I was young and they never scared me (or few did). In the last decade or so I haven't lost any sleep over a scary movie... I think I might lose some now. I kind of had an idea where this movie was going, but there were enough completely random deaths to keep me worried. At points I actually felt nervous. If you are a fan of the genre, or just want a good scare, go ahead, pop some popcorn, and lock your doors and hide from your neighbors.
in the last couple of years there has been a lot of zombie movies which were not all that great but then i saw this movie it has a story line timothy olyphant does a great job one of my favorite actors its got horror thriller and action its about a town that gets infected by its water supply and once they drink it there infected but don't be fooled and say not another zombie movie its far from it its got everything that a zombie movie should have if your a gore fan this movie is not for you but if you like a thriller this one is for you i gave it a 8 out of 10 just because its one of those movies that you can watch and not get bored
George E. Romero when he made 'The Crazies' back in 1973, the people of America went through a rough phase in the early sixties due to the Cold war which predicted an imminent nuclear war and the use of biological weapons as the means of mass destruction. Directors, especially horror movie directors, cashed on the element of fear in the public and gave a visual shape to it with a tinge of their own creativity. The zombie movies churned out by George E. Romero (which ensue because of nuclear fall out or a crashing satellite) were successful because they could speak out the public's fear, one of imminent apocalypse, where there were weapons everywhere, even worse, when man himself was the greatest weapon to his society. The horror then had a meaning and a deep sociological impact too. But the same impact, the same feel is almost absent in today's zombie horror. The claustrophobic "there's no escape" setting isn't enough at all to create the chills, the audience have grown out of the 70′s and so have their fears. But there are a few people who still haven't understood the dynamics of the horror audience, like for example, Breck Eisner, who has remade "The Crazies" and set it in a contemporary scenario but doesn't add anything which betters the atmosphere. There's blood, yes, there are zombies, yes, will you be afraid? No! At times a simple, long close up shot of a character (like in the last shot of Hitchcock's "Psycho"- the mother of horrors) is good enough to make the audience wet their anterior ends that're are plastered to the seats. But the filmmakers simply choose to go in the old, tried and tested way without bringing in their contribution of the film (Another notable mention here is "Carriers" which is even lucky to even see the light of the day). In this respect, the 70′s to the modern day transition has been done by only one director I know, Alexandre Aja, who has managed to heightened the fears of the late 70′s Wes Cravern's "The Hills have Eyes" so much in his 2006 remake that it remains as one of the most authentic horror experiences I have had in recent times. Is anybody listening?
In 1973 George A. Romero (then formerly director of Night of the Living
Dead and soon to direct Dawn of the Dead) made a clever horror film
about the effects of biological war called 'The Crazies.' What I
remember about the film most distinctly was that there was no telling
between sane or insane, right or wrong, and this theme led to the
film's brutal anti-climax after the biological agent 'Trixie' and the
army sent to stop it had done all the damage they possibly could! The
film was almost immediately forgotten, only really given any credit in
fact after 'Dawn of the Dead' became an instant classic. It was simply
ahead of its time and even now, the subject is still dangerous due to
America's questionable military tactics ever since the A-Bomb was
In 2010 Breck Eisner remade 'The Crazies', gave it a contemporary stylistic and moral overhaul, a bigger back yard to play in and gave the script a new sense of direction. I loved it, even after much apprehension about how it would turn out, especially after Zack Snyder's remake of 'Dawn of the Dead' over half a decade before. My only disagreement is that the writers took a very intelligent idea (pitting civilian against soldier and blurring the lines between sanity and insanity) and turned a modern nightmare into more of a dark action film that in my eyes packs less of a punch than the original.
A rural town Sheriff and his Doctor wife discover too late that the population is quickly slipping into insanity. Before long, the US Military close in to contain what turns out to be a biological weapon that was initially sent away to be destroyed, only to find that the majority of the town has been infected through the water supply.
Falling victim to the army's brutal tactics before being separated from each other, the Sheriff sneaks back into the town to rescue his pregnant wife with the aid of his loyal Deputy, only to find that the military has been overrun by the township, which has gone completely insane as the virus, 'Trixie,' has proved more deadly than the army could have hoped for.
What results is a horror road movie set in the middle of nowhere, reminiscent of modern adaptations such as 'Dawn of the Dead' and '30 Days of Night.' The only difference is that you're meant to wonder who is the greatest threat, the victims of the maddening biological weapon or the army and the government the characters ought to be able to trust!? The film has an almost perfect lead male in Timothy Olyphant, who up until now has played only bad guys and victims (except for the Hit-man adaptation) in action films and horrors such as 'A Man Apart' and 'Dreamcatcher.' But there is no denying that almost all of the writing effort has gone into him and left the rest of the cast to just follow suit.
Rhada Mitchell, who plays his wife, just does what she does in every other film I've seen her in (Pitch Black and Silent Hill) and that is look good playing scared and angry and emotionally drained and on edge etc. The strongest supporting role is provided by Joe Anderson who plays Olyphant's Deputy; a man who you root for from start to finish although his train of thought may seem questionable even before the virus hits town. Between he and Olyphant there is a constantly thinning thread of trust throughout and a reocurring theme of paranoia as would be expected but it is played out very intelligently here.
Eisner is clearly a talented director with an eye for devastation, suspense and the macabre and he takes full advantage of what is at his disposal here and delivers more than a punch. Less hardened horror film fans will have no doubt got their kicks out of this but as a horror fan who appreciates volumes of intelligent plotting and intrigue, I found that this remake only fell at the last hurdle trying to take the easy way out rather than hitting the audience where it hurts.
Watch the original and see what I mean!
I have to straight away that I expected a bit more out of this film,
even while aware that it was being generally described as serviceable
to the genre. Its a remake of George Romero's film in the 70's of the
same name that I have yet to see in order to compare the two.
Now, I have a respect for George Romero, and god knows I love a good zombie flick, but the sad truth is that the same damn plot devices aren't going to do it for me anymore. I realize that if a large portion of a population becomes biologically enraged or rendered undead and psychopathic, you'll expect the trademark "Lets get the hell outta here" and "We're surrounded we have to fight" and all that rot. Yes, there are going to be human beings that may not be infected but are already predisposed to go haywire at the promise of certain horrible death. Yes, there are bound to be zealous militants and ethical power points abound.
The reason this film passes as fresh in my mind comes down to the casting; I believe that Timothy Olyphant is one of todays most underutilized leading men as he projects humility and competence especially when charged with enforcing the law. Perhaps he's in danger of being type-casted as "the Sheriff with a heart of gold" (as in the short lived HBO series Deadwood), but its a role he plays well and we would are better off for it. In "The Crazies" he is the badge carrier of a typical close knit small mid west town; Ogden Marsh IA. Oh, and his name is David Dutten.
Relatively unknown Radha Mitchell plays his wife, Judy Dutten, the town physician. These are the only two characters we should even care about, because every other character is stock. Victims of a government mishap; a plane carrying a virus meant to destabilize populations crash lands nearby and If your familiar with these scenarios, its easy to envision what happens next. Slowly at first, then more rapidly, the unsuspecting townspeople are infected with the biological weapon and turn on each other in random and sometimes overly playful acts of violence.
The government is good at ruining everything, and here it manages to ruin the film. At times when it seems the suspense is building nicely and the implication of an apocalypse settles in, we are bombarded with loud, tension shattering montages of the military stomping around and barking orders as they attempt to contain the virus. The way they treat civilians you wonder why they even bother at all and don't just bomb the whole region like they (spoiler alert) end up doing anyways. We never get to hate them as much as we'd like, because there is no clear villainous figure acting as their voice. I would have rather have spent more time trapped in close quarters with our two leads and allowed them to develop further reasons for me to care about their survival. Olyphant and Mitchell seem to have a chemistry, but the movie is too busy propelling them into danger, and robbing us of much needed dialogue.
In the end, "The Crazies" is better fare than much of what passes for horror these days, but falls short as a shining example of its genre. It restrains itself where it shouldn't, and goes a too far with certain elements that should have taken a back seat, if not only to strengthen the kind of dread inherent in a film like this. Breck Eisner is a director still coming into his own, and this film doesn't say anything definitive about his promise beyond technical ability and perhaps an appreciation for subtlety that is lacking in the torture porn arena.
Still, its worth a single viewing and a bag of popcorn.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Having watched the original in my early teens as part of a BBC2 Horror
Double bill and being disappointed by it so when this was announced I
wasn't bothered one way or the other. I always loved the idea but I
think Romero's film didn't live up to it's promise though I'm also
aware that I wanted something akin to James Herbert's 'The Fog'.
However when the trailers started being released I started getting a
little more interested in this.
Is it good? Yes but not perfect.
The film has some effectively disturbing scenes a man burns his wife and son to death and mows the lawn. A high school principal casually murders bound patients with a pitchfork. These are genuinely chilling scenes because the capture that element of madness that the movie needed. The performances are all pretty good even Timothy Olyphant didn't annoy me (he's not a bad actor I just find his performances a wee bit bland) and over all it is an entertaining and tense movie.
Where the film is let down is the fact that we don't get to know anything about the town people the whole idea of 'your friends, your family' going crazy is a bit lost in that most of the people that get crazy have had either no introduction or a cursory scene where we find out the nurse has a boyfriend etc. I know that it's not possible to get to know everyone but I suspect that the character scenes were filmed and edited out so that the disease started having impact sooner. This is a film where the standard Disaster Movie or Stephen King structure may have served the story well. There was also a bit of an attempt to create paranoia about who of the survivors were going crazy but it was all a bit muddled.
I enjoyed the movie but felt it could have been better.
The Crazies, a remake of George A. Romero's horrible original, stands
the test of horror and actually scares the audience. With constant
remakes being thrown at us today (seriously, does Hollywood have any
originality left in it?), it is only a matter of time before one of
these remakes hits the audience and leaves an impression that even the
biggest zombie bite can't take off.
The Crazies is about a small town in Iowa called Ogden Marsh, where a plane crashes into the town's water supply and infects the townspeople, turning them into maniacs hell-bent on killing. Sound stupid? Well, it is. But it's the way this film delivers its plot that makes it work. While it could have been just more mindless zombie film drivel (yeah, I know, they're not ZOMBIES, but just get over it already) as seen in Day of the Dead or any other zombie film released in the last 10 years, it tends to stray away from the usual formula. Sure, we've all seen these scares done a million times before, but there's just something exciting about seeing Timothy Olyphant stab a woman in the neck with a knife, isn't there? The characters are all seemingly one-dimensional. None of them really jump off the screen, and the only character I was rooting for throughout the entire film ended up deader than Kentucky Fried Chicken. The downside to this film is that it's predictable. Because the characters aren't deep, they simply become just someone to watch on the screen. We know who is going to die and who is going to live, so when the time comes for someone's untimely death, the drama of the moment is lost because we saw it coming from the very beginning. Also, and I kid you not, all of the scary scenes from the film were revealed in the mesmerizing trailer. When the time comes for a jump scare (and there are LOTS, bad heart people beware), we know it's coming because we saw it in the trailer. Kind of takes away from it, don't you think? That's not to say that these scenes are bad, because they aren't. Many of them are nicely directed, with one or two really original scenes that stood out from the rest of the movie. I just wish the movie took more of these original approaches, because if it did, it would only have been that much better.
While we are bombarded with stupid remakes and horrible supernatural films (Twilight) being released, it is a breath of fresh air to see a genuinely scary one. Sure, we've seen these characters a million times before and we've seen these situations in every horror film ever released, but that's not to say this film doesn't do them right. The Crazies knows what it wants to be, and it achieves it. I just wish the film had some more crazy scenes!
And yes, this entire review was just a big build up to that horrible pun.
What can director Breck Eisner bring to the table in his remake of
horror-meister George A. Romero's film The Crazies? As Hollywood's
keenly running out of ideas, the plundering of comic book characters
and updating movies from the past continues to drive up that sense of
desperation, and Eisner doesn't contribute much other than to
cosmetically update this for the modern times, the original done more
than 30 years ago when he's still a toddler.
The person who edited the trailer though, had done a great marketing job in setting expectations that this is something of a huge action fest with the promise of jump-scenes designed to scare, and the marketing folks who came up with the tagline "Fear Thy Neighbor" could be watching a different film altogether. Instead, and thankfully, The Crazies 2010 is more of a brooding piece that relies a lot on a measured pace to create a sense of creepiness, rather than to seek an all out scare reliant on a clichéd bag of tricks. Sadly though for the neighbour bit, we don't get much of a body count or have that literally translated, since it's more of a tale of survival instincts amongst a group desperately trying to make sense of the situation, and get themselves out of it in one piece.
We don't get to see or attach ourselves to more than a handful of folks, since the small town of inhabitants, supposedly close knit, stay far apart from one another except when they go downtown. Like almost all contemporary zombie films, the root cause is due to man's folly and carelessness, dabbling in unethical medical and laboratory tests designed to play around with Mother Nature, until an accidental strikes. Here, it's the unfortunate biological/chemical agent outbreak that causes a change in human behaviour, with the military swiftly called in to contain the situation with a town wide quarantine and the permission to use all means necessary to do so.
Which translates to indiscriminate killing, and questioning of ethics especially when methods cut too close to genocide. It gives that stark commentary on how those in power tend to carpet sweep all their mistakes because they can, and will not rule out the use of violence to exterminate any opposition and threat that will expose them. It reminds us of the jitters of man when we come face to face with uncertainty and fear, done especially well when the story starts to focus on the survival bits between town sheriff David (Timothy Olyphant), his doctor wife Judy (Radha Mitchell) and their respective deputies in Russell (Joe Anderson, in a superb support role like his character) and Becca (Danielle Panabaker) respectively.
Don't go in thinking that the Crazies here are superfast like zombies and go running around with great speed. The threat of the Crazies is their unpredictable, violent behaviour without reason, surprisingly still possessing that bit of intellect and mental ability, blessed with tremendous strength though still susceptible to normal weaponry, which makes them easier to dispatch. Kill scenes aren't designed deliberately to be gory, though the one at the morgue and in David's house still have it in them to be nail biting, with scenes like that in the car wash being at the cheesier end of things.
Eisner opted for being more peekaboo here than to drench the screen with all out gore. Like films of old this one takes its time to allow the dust to settle for the audience to ponder, but alas despite its very showy special effects laden finale, it's actually nothing more than a competent cosmetic remake, where the real horror is actually the death of original ideas.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have watched lots of horror movies. In fact watching Poltergeist in
3rd grade of primary school left some years-long memories, causing fear
of darkness and invisible evil. Later on, all the movies about zombies
(including Shaun of The Dead, which of course is not a bona fide horror
movie, but just a scary though absolutely brilliant comedy).
This one is a really good horror movie that does not involve gore seen in B and C class horror movies to amplify the scare effect. This movie does it the right way, the horror of extreme insanity of trixie victims is there without exposing viewers to too many unnecessary details. In real life, just a thought that your neighbor next-door could go nuts at one day, and start shooting everyone around without any rational reason, this is a thought that drives a lot of plot in The Crazies.
The real horror is being completely disconnected from the rest of society, being a subject of a "containment protocol", that you don't even know details of, all that happening because of an plane crash that was on route to the destination, where its lethal payload would be incinerated, but never made it due to an accident (pilot error? equipment error? who cares?), is terrifying. Suddenly the people who were supposed to defend you from enemy, become your personal enemy, and you don't have any idea why, or what they will do to you next.
It is the masterpiece of taking everything you thought you knew, you took for granted as known and friendly or at least predictable, and turning it into the unpredictable danger to your life and lives of the ones you care about.
I love the music score. The subtle themes that immediately recall pictures from the movie when I accidentally recall the music. The score that you hear in scenes leading to really scary events, the sound effects (scratching of the pitchfork on the floor), it's undeniably great and never failing to cause goosebumps.
Acting of 2 characters, David (the sheriff), and Russ (the deputy), deserve special mentioning. T.O. as the sheriff is awesome, I have not noticed many actors being able to convey the seriousness of situation by using their face muscles only. When T.O. has wrinkled forehead, everything is fine; when his forehead becomes flat, you know things are going to get very ugly, or close to ugly. Not many actors can do that, and T.O. is a better than good. He needs more movies to show his acting chops to be compared to my personal best of the best example of actors who only need mimics to set the mood - Jack Nicholson, who in Witches of Eastwick was absolutely brilliant, and no one, absolutely no one else, could play his role better. And of course, "The Shining", which I'm mentioning only to prove that I remember true classics. T.O. is getting there, but needs more movies, at least as ambitious as this one.
J.A. as Russ is awesome too. The way he finishes Peggy and Curt, and handing the gun to the sheriff, saying "just making sure", is about to become a classic, or it already is (it's soooo much memorable than a line "come with me if you want to live", and I don't want to mention the title of the 3 movies in the same series, from which this immediately forgettable line comes from). His acting, delivering his lines, given script for his character, is top-notch. So much, he deserves an Academy award. I am not trying to glorify any of his character's personal qualities, just precision in creating a psychologically consistent character, including remaining a "good guy" until the end (though with some carefully planned occasional jumping into the "crazies" behavior).
The 2 happy but deceitful songs enveloping the movie are increasing the contrast of the movie's plot and acting. And the tunes (like the one repeated over and over throughout the movie, and heard entirely when the credits are shown) are binding the unique musical score to the motion picture perfectly. Almost as much sense of horrifying mood is conveyed through the tunes as it is through the visuals.
I like this movie a lot, and it's one that can be watched over and over, which in my book, sets it in a "great flicks" category in the "horror movies" chapter. I am scared every time while watching it, but because I know what is going to happen, I don't jump in my seat, and it's also avoiding unnecessary visual gore.
Really good one.
I have not seen the original film by George "Everything Of The Dead"
Romero, but I felt keen in watching this movie. I'm kind of glad I did.
Although the script felt like many horror movie scripts torn out and
all the good parts stapled together. Think "Cabin Fever" meets "The
Hills Have Eyes" meets "Night Of The Living Dead" meets "The Mist"
meets "Outbreak" and you get the idea.
Having said that, this version is a well made and solid horror thriller nonetheless. It features believable performances from Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell, some really freaky scenes, a brooding atmosphere throughout, and a really great director, and you're strapped in for one hell of a ride.
The level of violence in this movie is brutal enough that it's enough to make today's horror fans feel satisfied without the need of too much overblown gore, it's just good ol' fashioned horror movie-making, jump scares and all. In fact the screenwriters must've thought that the jump scare cliché was overused in many movies. So what do they do? Overuse this cliché in this movie. Seriously this film had the most number of jump scares I've seen in any horror movie and it is surprisingly and effectively well-handled and genuinely scary.
Director Breck Eisner is set to have a cult following of his own. Repetitive as the script may be, Eisner makes full use of the meager $20 million budget and creates a somewhat visceral and solid B-movie, melded together with dark cinematography and an eerie score by Mark Isham, and you have 1 hour and 40 minutes of solid entertainment. And that's what I got.
In short my low expectations were exceeded, and it was quite a ride. Breck Eisner better do John Carpenter proud with that "Escape From New York" remake!
Overall value: A solid 7/10.
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