Radha Mitchell and Timothy Olyphant in The Crazies (2010)

Crazy For You

So, I've yet to see George A. Romero's 1973 movie "The Crazies" so I won't be comparing how good or bad this 2010 remake is and judging it purely as a recent horror movie. And as such well whist effectively made Breck Eisner's "The Crazies" is just another middle of the road horror movie featuring a small group of survivors trying to escape being infected with a deadly virus or killed by those who are infected. Now to be fair when it comes to these sort of movies there are elements to the story which make it a bit more interesting than usual but the actual delivery of it, the characters, action and drama is just ordinary and nothing you won't have seem in other remakes of Romero's movies.

In the town of Ogden Marsh Sheriff David Dutton (Timothy Olyphant - Stop-Loss) is forced to gun down local Rory Hamill (Mike Hickman) when he walks out in to the middle of a baseball game carrying a rifle. But Rory is not the only local who starts to act strange and David along with Deputy Russell Clank (Joe Anderson) discover that a plane has crashed in a nearby river infecting the town's water supply causing those who drink the water to go crazy. But David is not the only one who is aware of this as the town becomes invaded by gas mark wearing military who herd up the residents and separate them into those infected and those who aren't. With the threat of those who are infected and the ruthless military David, his wife Judy (Radha Mitchell - Surrogates), her friend Becca (Danielle Panabaker) and Deputy Clank go on the run and try and get to safety.

Joe Anderson and Danielle Panabaker in The Crazies (2010)

At its heart "The Crazies" is the familiar story of a group of uninfected people going on the run from those who are infected and have become crazy, they may not be zombies but it is the same sort of story. Now there are some nice embellishments to this familiar set up, David discovers that the infection is spread initially through the town's water supply and with the military quarantining the area and exterminating those who are infected it adds another threat to the mix. But unfortunately it doesn't do enough with these embellishments to make them really work and so in the end it is all about the drama of are small group trying to get out alive.

As such "The Crazies" gives us moments of horror, David almost gets sliced up by the town's medical examiner when he first discovers there are big problems and Judy almost gets stabbed with a gardening fork in another scene. But whilst director Breck Eisner delivers these moments of horror which occasionally are darkly amusing it isn't anything special. It comes down to the fact that for all the embellishments and changes at its heart "The Crazies" is a familiar movie which delivers familiar action.

And because of this whilst are band of plucky survivors is smaller than normal and includes the fact one of them might be infected these are just the usual sort of characters. There is nothing special about the way Timothy Olyphant plays Sheriff Dutton and whilst beautiful Radha Mitchell is not memorable as his wife Judy. The closest it comes to memorable is Joe Anderson as Deputy Russell Clank because we watch as he is either becoming a crazy or just increasingly paranoid that everyone else is.

What this all boils down to is that "The Crazies" is an effective but middle of the road horror movie which whilst not featuring zombies delivers a similar story of survivors trying to escape with their lives. Unfortunately the embellishments to this usual set up, especially the military aspect as they try and exterminate all those who are infected is underplayed which could have made a real difference to how this ended coming across.