The Crazies (2010)

By Patrick Samuel

The Crazies (2010)

The Crazies (2010)

Based on the 1973 George A. Romero classic horror movie of the same name, The Crazies is directed by Breck Eisner (Sahara) and stars Timothy Olyphant (Scream 2, Hitman, Die Hard 4) and Radha Mitchell (Silent Hill, The Surrogates).

This new version sees the town of Ogden Marsh, Iowa, the friendliest place on earth, taken over by mindless killers after a mysterious toxin leaks into the water supply following the crash of a military airplane. Sheriff David Dutton (Timothy Olyphant) and his pregnant wife Judy (Mitchell), find themselves trapped in a once-idyllic town they no longer recognize. On the run from infected neighbours, loved ones and friends and targeted by the ruthless military and terrified of getting sick, they are forced to band together with other survivors in a desperate struggle for survival.

There have been a few movies lately which deal with post apocalyptic themes, but rarely do they comes across as intelligent, mutli-layered and well acted this one does. Olyphant and Mitchell make a great on-screen couple; as characters they are both strongly independent yet have a natural instinct to protect each other even when faced with the possibility that either one of them could be infected with the virus and could turn on the other. Their scenes are compelling and the overall tone of the movie reminds me of the French dystopian post-apocalyptic drama Time of the Wolf (Le Temps du Loup, 2003) by Michael Haneke, in that the performances are raw and stripped of any gimmicky dialogue, one-liners or other clichés which have become the norm in such movies.

Sheriff David Dutton (Timothy Olyphant)

Sheriff David Dutton (Timothy Olyphant)

The Crazies is also filled with building tension. From the opening scenes which show the town of Ogden Marsh burning in the night, before taking us to back to two days earlier as the residents are watching a high school baseball game. When a gunman walks onto the playing field instinct tells you to fear the worst but Sheriff Dutton is approaches the man both with caution and determination to resolve any conflict by any necessary means. Another nerve shredding scene takes place out an a farm at night as a worried wife approaches the barn and stands in front of a gigantic set of rotating blades calling out to him. There’s more tension later on with residents strapped to make-shift hospital beds as one of the infected wander in with a pitchfork and a burning desire to cause some harm.

Politics and military tactics also play a part in the film and there are hints toward mass public surveillances from space satellites which all together go with the idea that the people of Ogden Marsh are nothing but cattle whom the government would prefer to put down in the same manner our own real-life governments deal with Mad Cow and Foot & Mouth disease. It’s all about containment and whether it’s the virus or the truth, it’s simply irrelevant.

Static Mass Rating ★★★★★

The Crazies is released on DVD and Blu-ray on July 19th 2010 and distributed by Momentum Pictures.

Both formats are packed with special features including:

- Audio commentary by director Breck Eisner
- Behind the scenes featurette with director Breck Eisner
- Paranormal Pandemics featurette
- The George A Romero Template featurette
- Make-up Mastermind – Rob Hall in action
- Visual effects in motion featurette
- Behind the scenes photo gallery
- Storyboards and more
- Bonus Features exclusive to Blu-Ray – Episodes 1 to 4 of The Crazies Motion Comic

Official UK website
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Directed by Breck Eisner
Produced by Michael Aguilar, Rob Cowan, Dean Georgaris and George A. Romero (Executive Producer)
Written by Scott Kosar and Ray Wright
Starring Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Joe Anderson and Danielle Panabaker