The Crazies


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

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