Action Movie Fanatix Review: The Crazies (2010)

The Crazies banner

Fear Thy Neighbor

Starring: Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Joe Anderson, Danielle Panabaker

Director: Breck Eisner

2010  |  101 Minutes  |  Rated R

“Don’t ask me why I can’t leave without my wife and I won’t ask you why you can.” – Sheriff Dutton

Continuing with my recent run of horror movies I decided to finally check out The Crazies.  I had been wanting to watch it since the movie first hit theaters.  I just never got around to it.

In The Crazies, the citizens of the small town of Ogden Marsh have fallen victim to an unknown phenomenon.  One by one the citizens are turned into bloodthirsty killers.  Sheriff Dutton (Timothy Olyphant) and his pregnant wife, Judy (Radha Mitchell), try to make sense of the escalating violence.  Meanwhile, the government has closed off the town, preventing anyone from entering or leaving.

I’ve been obsessed with zombie movies since before it was cool to be obsessed with zombie movies.  I say that not to be a hipster kid – cool before I was cool type.  I just don’t want my readers to think that I’m jumping on a band wagon.

I also realize that The Crazies is not a zombie movie.  It does have many of the hallmarks of the zombie genre, however.  Not shockingly, the original 1973 movie that this is based on was directed by none other than George A. Romero.  I’ll have to go back and watch the original someday to compare but for now I will have to focus on the remake as it stands.  No comparisons.

The story really isn’t all together original.  It’s a little different setting but it’s really sort of the same idea as 28 Days/Weeks Later, Quarantine or The Happening and truthfully, The Crazies doesn’t do a whole ton that is original.  That’s OK, though, it’s still a decent enough movie.

The Crazies isn’t a super action packed or even very scary but it still delivers a number of good thrills.  One standout scene includes the one that the poster reflects, with a crazy slowly walking down a hospital hallway, dragging a pitchfork behind him while a few people are strapped down to gurneys just waiting for their imminent demise.  There’s also a particularly exciting scene in a baby’s nursery that is both gruesome and badass in a number of different ways.

Timothy Olyphant turns in one of his more uninspired performances as Sheriff Dutton.  Olyphant typically pulls off a pretty badass vibe without being a huge dude.  His deadpan tone helps establish kind of a “been there, done that” attitude.  Town taken over by bloodthirsty freaks?  No prob.

There’s sort of an “is he? – isn’t he?” thing going on with Russell, Sherriff Dutton’s deputy, as to whether he has been infected with a case of the murders or whether he might just be losing his cool with all the crap going on around him.  It’s actually a pretty short lived part of the movie but it adds to the drama while it lasts.

The Crazies is an unoriginal and forgettable, albeit entertaining, zombie movie clone with a crazy ending.  I enjoyed it but, realistically, if I feel like watching this type of movie again I’m likely to be looking elsewhere.

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