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The Crazies (2010)

the crazies

As a toxin begins to turn the residents of Ogden Marsh, Iowa, into violent psychopaths, sheriff David Dutton (Timothy Olyphant) tries to make sense of the situation while he, his wife (Radha Mitchell), and two other unaffected townspeople band together in a fight for survival.

The Crazies is a 2010 American horror film directed by Breck Eisner. It is a remake of the 1973 film of the same name by George A. Romero, who is also the executive producer and co-writer of the remake.

The Crazies (2010) stars Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell as David and Judy, a happy, married couple expecting a baby. The film takes place in the fictional town of Ogden Marsh, Pierce County, Iowa, nicknamed the “friendliest place on Earth,” whose town water supply is accidentally infected with the “Trixie” virus. After an incubation period of 48 hours, this virus gradually transforms the mental state of the infected into that of cold, calculating, depraved, bloodthirsty killers, who then prey on family and neighbors alike.

the crazies

I haven’t actually seen the original 1973 version but I will definitely seeking it out soon so I can compare it. I really enjoyed The Crazies and thought it offered something a little different. I wouldn’t class it as a zombie film really, as although it appears as though people are coming back from the dead, they don’t really. The infection takes over but rather than become a walking zombie with no real thinking process like in The Walking Dead for example, here after infection they become bloodthirsty killers but also able to process thoughts and carry out actions. I liked this approach as it offered something different from the usual zombie type of film.

the crazies

I really like Timothy Olyphant (Hitman, Die Hard 4) and Radha Mitchell (Silent Hill, Rogue) and I feel they were very watchable and put in a great performance here. Joined by Joe Anderson (The Ruins – a great movie!, The River – a great tv show, sadly cancelled) and Danielle Panabaker (Friday the 13th remake) we follow this band of survivors as they try to escape the town. Early on the military take everyone from the town to a military camp where they test everyone to see who has the infection. As the camp eventually gets over run and people flee, David tries to rescue his wife who is still tied up in the camp. After surviving this the group of 4 try to evade the military, infected and fellow survivors who have turned to killers/hunters, all the while trying to work out what the hell is going on.

the crazies

The virus takes over and becomes noticeable as people start exhibiting bizarre behavior, such as repetitive speech. We get to witness this when a local farmer burns his house down with his wife and son trapped inside, killing them. There are plenty of moments throughout the film when we see the virus starting to take hold of its victims. A really cool scene occurs when the group make it back to David & Judy’s house, and they are not alone. It shows that whilst people are infected they can still be clever and calculating. Definitely adds some scares too, scenes where the infected just appear in the corner of the shot are well executed. It wasn’t too violent or bloody. There is enough to keep horror fans happy though, some shotgun deaths and a pitchfork wielding infected being the highlight in the killing stakes. It was more about making a tension filled movie rather than overdoing the gore, and with a great story and solid acting they succeeded.

I thought the pace of the film was great, and it kept me in suspense the whole time. I was never bored and the scenery and location never got repetitive. The Crazies added some nice touches to try and be more of a unique viewing experience, adding in a political agenda and the military executing everyone for example. A few decisions made by the characters seemed a bit questionable, and as always there are moments when the husband leaves the wife alone, and I just feel it’s a bit of a cliché, never let your wife out of your site as she is never where you left her! 🙂

the crazies

In closing I enjoyed The Crazies and it has made me want to go out and watch the original. There was no real weakness in the film as such, nothing that I hated, but really nothing that absolutely blew me away, just a really solid movie. The ending was nice if not predictable, but it left the door wide open for a Part 2 which I hope one day will happen.

the crazies

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22 Comments

  1. theipc

     /  July 20, 2012

    The Crazies = I love it! I wrote something similar over at my place if you ever want to check it out – good work!

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    • Cheers, yeah I will head over at some point and give it a look, always enjoy reading other peoples thoughts and seeing what I missed 🙂

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  2. i, Laskey

     /  July 20, 2012

    I saw the original Crazies years ago (it was on VHS, so that tells you how far back it was!). Its a really great, extreme low budget Romero film, bigger in ambition than Night of the Living Dead, and just as cynical. Its scope does out-reach its budget at times, so it can feel a bit too low-fi, but its definitely worth seeing. I was really surprised at how much I likes the remake (especially considering I’ve only seen it on a tiny screen as in-flight entertainment). Its certainly one of the rare 70s horror movie remakes that I’ve enjoyed. But definitely check out the original – and if you haven’t seen Romero’s “Martin”, made around the same time, you should – it’s an excellent modern vampire tale.

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    • I haven’t looked yet but I’m hoping I can find the original Crazies somehow, hopefully it will be on dvd somewhere but I will research it properly later. Really want to see it, more so after reading your comment so thanks for that! 🙂 Haven’t seen ‘Martin’, again will add to my list of recommendations to check out. Not seen much of Romero’s work but it is something I am going to try and rectify!. Thanks for stopping by, appreciate it.

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      • i, Laskey

         /  July 21, 2012

        “Martin” is superb. Again, like a lot of Romero’s early work (including “The Crazies”) it was shot on a shoe-string budget, so you have to allow for that. But what’s terrific about it is how it reflects on the romantic “folklore” of the vampire image, whilst also presenting a more realistic approach. Romero’s early work is very interesting. If you can, also check out “Season of the Witch”.

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        • Funnily enough after I replied to you last time I found a boxset here in the UK of Season of the Witch / Staunton Hill / Crazies brand new for £3.99. Seemed like a huge bargain so ordered it. I will look for a Martin dvd after I get some sleep. Looking forward to them, and Ill post my reviews/thoughts up as soon as I get them watched. Thanks again for the recommendations buddy

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  3. This is a good movie. Is it wrong that i let my 10 yr old brother watch this! I liked Olyphant in this type of role and i’m starting to become a fan of his,,, he’s underrated but he’s also a certain ‘type’ of actor. He’s along the lines of ‘good actor that can deliver but not overly amazing’, as most fall into this category.

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    • Nah, nothing too scary for 10 year olds these days! I really like Tim Olyphant, I hear what your saying about a certain type, but I like him in Hitman & he is great in the TV show Justified. He also showed his comedy side with some appearances in the US version of The Office.

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  4. This was one of those movies were I was just “meh”. There was nothing wrong with it but there also wasn’t necessarily anything right in it (at least for me). I’m interested in seeing the original though.

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    • Obviously I liked it a lot more than you, I thought it was a really fun and different film, but I’ll hopefully catch the original soon so I will be interested to see if you like/prefer that. 🙂

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  5. It’s been a while since I watched this, but I remember not being too impressed. Something about it bored me or didn’t keep my interest. I remember the house-burning scene, which was awesome. I also liked the scene on the baseball field where Olyphant confronts the first zombie dude. I’d like to watch this again, though, since I can’t pinpoint any of the real criticisms I had. I’ll either rent it or pick it up used for 5 bucks.

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    • Haha another drunk viewing you don’t remember? 🙂 Genuinely I don’t think it had too many weaknesses, I was entertained throughout. Be interesting to hear if your thoughts change if you do catch it again.

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  6. Great review, I didn’t think I was going to enjoy this one but I actually did think it was an effective horror movie.

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    • Thanks Vinnieh. Yeah I knew little before I saw it and it just makes me want to see the original. Really enjoyed this, glad you did too!

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  7. Mike

     /  July 25, 2012

    This film is far better than the original, at least IMO. The original is such a slow burn. Nice job on the review.

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  8. Great post man, this was one of the best horror movies I have seen in recent years.

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  9. Good morning, I have shared this link on Reddit as part of the A Call to Arms 🙂

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