Director: Breck Eisner
Starring: Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell
Released: February 26th 2010
This review by Richard Bodsworth
The Hollywood production line continues to churn out remakes of old horror films, this months outing is a reimagining of George A. Romero’s 1973 The Crazies…
When a small town is plagued by a mysterious virus, the military are called in to control the infected citizens. Sherriff David Dutton and his nurse wife Judy attempt to make their way to a safe place while dodging their crazy neighbours and the military with their shoot on sight policy.
Before we have even settled in to our seats the first ‘incident’ occurs on the town baseball field, a local man shot dead by Sherriff Timothy Olyphant. What follows is a slow building creep crawl as more of the town members begin to be struck down by the virus. Some nice, tense scenes including one which features a combine harvester create some solid tension before the military intervene, declaring martial law on the town. This is where the film switches to the predictable formula that we have been accustomed to for the past few years. You know exactly what to expect in each scene, where each ‘crazy’ is, what the outcome will be, all of this accompanied with a slow pull out and pan with accompanying screeching music. Eisner manages to botch some major set pieces with the technique, and by the time he fails to capitalise on what could have been an all so terrifying car wash sequence, you know this isn’t moving far out of mediocre territory. The crazies themselves are weak; except a Joker-esque laughing Crazy and another scraping a pitchfork across the ground, the rest are dull, veiny faced Madonna lookers.
You do have to credit Eisner however, as he manages to avoid the ‘torture-porn’ route, but you do wonder if a gore-fest may have been more fun than an attempted nerve shredded from the man who brought us Sahara. Romero films have always been signalled out as having underlying political themes and in his original he touched on the idea of surveillance but you’d be scraping the barrel trying to find such stuff in this version. I sincerely hope that the line, “The Crazies are loose!” was an attempt at embracing its B movie origins, if not it deserves a lower rating!
While there may be enough to satisfy a few, it’s not quite the fun many had expected leaving us another by the book horror remake.