The Crazies is a gritty account of a biological outbreak turning people into crazed killers.
The Crazies is a remake of the film of the same name directed and written by George A. Romero in 1973. It’s a science fiction outbreak film that doesn’t turn people into flesh-eating braindead zombies, but worse, it turns them into crazy killers, whose minds are filled with rage, anger and revenge.
The film jumpstarts with a so-called crazy and from then on it gets worse and worse. It’s a harsh film, with no relieve, just situations going from bad to worse but the main characters are persevering and determined to make it out alive. Their efforts carrie the film, and their resolve makes a frightful prospect a little bit bearable.
In Ogden Marsh Iowa, sheriff David and his wife Judy live a peaceful quiet life, till one of the townspeople shows up at a baseball game with a shotgun and David has no other option than to shoot him. This incident is the onset of a series of events that turn people into crazy killers.
When the town is put under quarantine, David has to go back to save Judy, and they’ll have to find a way out of Ogden Marsh, avoiding the military, the crazies and human crazy hunters.
Why you should watch it
Although it’s a science fiction film, the outbreak is very realistically shot. The crazies are unpredictable, first being in a zombie-like state, than turning into killers. The scariest part is that they seem to act not mindlessly but with full intent, but their only intent is to kill.
The interference of the military, putting the townspeople in a quarantine is a chaotic situation, that comes out of nowhere and catches the townspeople and the audience by surprise. The shots and images are chaotic as well, giving it an extra realistic feel and maybe that is even scarier than the crazies still out there.
But the scariest part is the group of hunters, making a sport out of shooting people, crazies or not, fully ‘sane’ and happy to hunt something other than a mere deer. That’s always the scariest part, when a distaster strikes, there are always some people who take advantage of the situation, therefore hurting other people, or worse like the hunters who actually enjoy their free killing spree.
The film has a great buildup that starts off very fast and keeps a fast pace, taking a hold on you. David, Judy, Becca and Russell have to deal with many different life threatening situations each bringing a new kind of horror to the scene. Stealth, fighting, shooting, a false moment of relief, different enemies and paranoia amongst them are all mixed together to make it a frightful escape.
There isn’t any form of relief, comical or just to catch their breath. Some scenes are hard to watch and the feeling that it is not going to be allright, always lingers on the background how often they tell each other they’re gonna make it through. That’s a real strength of the film, no compromise, just harsh, raw deadly reality.
Some scenes are very gruesome and not necessarily because of the guts and gore, but because of the cold-bloodedness of it. It’s sometimes hard to choose which deaths are the most gruesome, the ones acted out by a crazy or by the soldiers, who kill innocent scared people.
The film has a very standard and conventional cast, where the men hold the guns, are brave and do all the fighting and thinking, while the women can cry and scream a lot. Even Judy’s occupation as a doctor can’t do her much good in this film. The women grab onto each other and onto the two men as two defenseless girls.
The shots can sometimes be very peaceful and beautiful though, due to the beautiful pictures of the landscape, the clouds and their lovely home standing proud in the middle of nowhere, is a calming sight and the only times you might start to believe it’s all going to be normal again. That contrast really adds to the atmosphere of the film.
My favorite part
Although I don’t particularly ‘like’ the car wash scene, for the obvious reasons, it’s a very original scene. It has great tension, and it’s a perfect example the film is relentless towards its viewers and characters.
The excellent use of the camera and the choice of shots are spot on and puts the audience right in the middle of the chaos. The camera is always close by making the thrilling scenes even more gripping and scary.
Another example which can be quit fun because it is still in the beginning and the severeness isn’t yet sunk in, is the mortuary scene and the saw. It might be the only thrilling moment which can be fun as well, but when the military comes in, all the entertainment disappears quickly.
Thrill factor: ★★★★☆
Gruesome factor: ★★★★☆
Cast and crew
The Crazies is based on the film of the same name by George A. Romero from 1973. It is directed by Breck Eisner en written by Scott Kosar and Ray Wright. It stars Timothy Olyphant (David), Radha Mitchell (Judy), Joe Anderson (Russell) and Danielle Panabaker (Becca).
Duration: 101 minutes. Music: Mark Isham. Cinematography: Maxime Alexandre. Edited by: Billy Fox. Produced by: Michael Aguilar, Rob Cowan, Dean Georgaris. Production companies: Overture Films, Participant. Distributed by: Overture Films.