Viewed – 04 September 2010 Blu-ray
Another horror remake, but this time of a little seen no-budget shlocker from George A Romero, more known for his Zombie movies than this off-shoot. Thankfully without the knowledge of that 1973 movie to blight my viewing I was able to sit down to this afresh. Starring Timothy Olyphant, probably best known recently for his turn in Die Hard 4, this time plays a Sheriff in a small American town where after the water supply becomes tainted finds seemingly normal folk turning crazy and in one example, setting fire to their own house. Then as he tries to figure out exactly what is causing it, the military descend on the town, quaranteening it and separating people showing any sign of infection. Then its all about a battle for survival as the Sheriff and the dwindling number of uninfected try to escape.
Not as vicious or blood splattered as much horror around these days, this is more a story of survival and trust, with elements of John Carpenter’s The Thing with characters not knowing who will ‘go crazy’. I enjoyed it, and its full of suspense and some good action, with heart-in-mouth moments such as a battle in a car wash and a fight against a morgue attendant wielding a bone saw. Olyphant delivers a likable lead, even if he is missing some of that more well-known intensity because he’s playing the good guy, and the supporting cast, especially Radha Mitchell also offer gutsy, emotional performances, even if lacking any real characterisation. Perhaps it adds nothing new to the idea of infected towns folk, and could have easily been another Zombie splatter fest, with a bleak ending that left me thinking this was more of a roller coaster ride than anything with actual meaning … but then this was never going to be about deep social commentary, and with that in mind this is a worthy nights viewing, even if you’ll be hard pressed to watch it again.
Verdict: 3 /5
- 6 reviews of The Crazies (rateitall.com)
- Breck Eisner Talks The Crazies, Romero, and Casting Adults (dreadcentral.com)
Not all horror remakes are bad, and some can bring a lot to an old concept, ultimately improving upon it … yet last night I sat down and watched on television the remake of Japanese cult horror The Ring. Ok, it starred Naomi Watts, had a decent director (Gore Verbinski) and was fairly well put together on a technical basis. Much like the original too, the use of a creepy videotape and hallucinations helped build an unnerving atmosphere. Yet then the movie does the unthinkable, and humanizes the character of the evil girl, this time named Samara, by showing footage of her time in a psychiatric hospital, and instead of the horrible vision of a small figure with hair over their face, we see it’s actually just a very troubled child. Naomi Watts over-acts somewhat from the very beginning and frankly her young son is creepier than Samara, which just baffles me. Now looking back at the original ‘Ring’, I recall only glimpses of the girl, Sadako, a flash of a hand with no fingernails, the same creepy atmosphere, but very little humanization – and you never saw her face. This then makes the ending something of horror legend, copied in the remake, much more terrifying as what crawls out of that TV and stands up to scare its victim to death, is not human, but pure evil – and just a close up of a blood-shot eyeball is all the viewer gets. In the remake we see the girl, albiet zombiefied, but still a girl, with a stern pissed off look, and guess what – it’s not scary. Well done remake. You just killed the money shot! Read More…
Call me late to the party (I don’t care) but the news of a Friday The 13th remake in part intrigues me and puzzles me. In my opinion, the Friday 13th series has always been luke warm stuff (with the possible exception of Part 4), and the original Friday 13th didn’t even have the now iconic masked psychopath Jason Vorhees in it at all! (and no, fan-boys…you can’t count the ending.)
It makes me VERY curious as to what this movie will be about.
It’s due out February 2009.
While I await eagerly the release of Rob Zombie’s re-imagining of the classic 1970s stalk & slash original, I can’t help but look to the countless sequels that just never did the first film justice. Can a former rock musician turned freaky director (and responsible for House of 1000 Corpses & The Devil’s Rejects) really triumph where so many have failed?
Either way this trailer looks promising – and thankfully that iconic muisc is intact.