When they first announced a remake of George Romero’s The Crazies I figured they would pretty much turn it into 28 Days Later or something along those lines. But as time went on and the posters and trailers started popping up, I became interested, excited even. So last night I was pretty pumped going into the theater. I had purposely not read any of the reviews, as to not let my opinion be swayed and I was ready to see what they did with it.
The story is the same. An airplane crashes into Ogden Marsh in rural Iowa contaminating the water supply of the town with Trixie, a chemical agent developed by the government as a biological weapon. Slowly but surely the townsfolk become infected and turn into “crazies.” It’s up to the local sheriff (Timothy Olyphant), his doctor wife, Judy (played by Radha Mitchell) and the sheriff’s deputy (Joe Anderson) to try to sort the whole mess out. Before that’s even possible, government goons in hazmat suits swoop in and quarantine the whole town, herding up the sick and bringing them to the local high school that they’re using as a make-shift testing center.
Now the difference between Romero’s 1973 film and Breck Eisner’s 2010 vision? Well, for starters, the crazies themselves. In this new incarnation they physically change. Their skin and eye colors get somewhat tainted, their veins start to protrude out, and they have a general vacant look to them… sort of a (dare I say it?) zombie lite look. In the original, it was harder to tell who was who, and who was actually infected compared to who was just pissed off with being quarantined without any answers by the man.
In the original you might not know your neighbor is a crazy until it’s too late, and they were crazy in a variety of fucked up ways. In 2010, the crazies are just brutal as hell and do things like plunge pitchforks into people’s strapped down defenseless bodies. Neat. The crazies do look pretty damn cool though, which was my main concern going in. There are a few things about The Crazies that bothers me, one of which being the absolute over use of jump scares and really clichéd ones at that. There are a couple genuinely creepy scenes throughout, but they tend to be followed by a jump scare involving the deputy saving the sheriff’s life – again. There’s also a lot of cliché dialogue and little things that are there to pander to a mainstream movie going crowd. Things like the cookie-cutter characters and their cookie-cutter roles in the town (sheriff, deputy, doctor, town drunk, etc). Overall The Crazies 2010 is pretty good, when you look past that stuff. Would I see it if I were you? Sure, as long as you’re not looking for anything new, it’s fine. It’s better than most of the crap that’s been passing through theaters the past few months, that’s for sure. I’d probably make someone else pay too, movies are too damn expensive!