Hey Tea Baggers, militia members and other nuts who are afraid of the government, heed my warning and do NOT go see this film because it will probably be one of the scariest movies you've ever seen. The Crazies is a remake of an old George Romero movie, by the same name, that wasn't very good and didn't get good reviews. The only reason why people remember the original 1973 Crazies is mostly because it's a Romero film that isn't about zombies...kind of. (Oh, for those of you who don't know, George A. Romero is the Godfather of zombies. He's the master behind the Night of the Living Dead films and the reason why we even have zombies in movies today.) This remake however, which was directed by Breck Eisner, is original where it has to be original and traditional where it has to be traditional. Eisner is relatively new to filmmaking and very new to the horror genre. That might have helped here since the look of the movie is fantastic. Large chunks of the film don't look or feel like horror at all. Some of the scariest scenes happen in broad daylight or in open fields. He also didn't lean too heavy on the violence to carry the movie through its 100 minutes. Don't get me wrong, there's puddles of violence; but it's not used as a crutch to make the movie scary. The horror from The Crazies is from a simple few elements: core characters fighting for survival that are in constant peril, fear of disease, marauding monsters that used to be family and friends, the destruction of a small town and a government that's drunk with power. You put those things in a movie and I'm hooked. Now The Crazies didn't do it as well as say Frank Darabont's The Mist did or Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later; those are in the Top 25 Greatest Horror Movies of All Time, if you ask me. No, The Crazies isn't that good, but it is still good. It delivers the scares at just the right places and even though most are the "make you jump" scares that usually come from simply a loud sound effect, it also has the disturbing, prolonged images that when paired with pure silence, are much more effective. The acting is adequate given that it stars Timothy Olyphant (Scream 2 aka Worst Scream Killer in the series) and Radha Mitchell, who last bored us in Surrogates. These two aren't exactly masters of the thespian arts, but considering that they were given a script that was subpar at best, they did just fine. The Crazies won't win any awards or appear on anyone's Favorite Horror Movie list, but it'll give you your $10 worth if all you're looking for is a creepy horror movie that makes you unsure of who to be more scared of - the government or your neighbor.
The Crazies (Rated R)
Gavin Grade: B-