johnlink ranks THE CRAZIES (2010)

I followed up a terrible remake in FRIDAY THE 13TH with this remake of George Romero’s THE CRAZIES. A major difference here is that the 1980 version of FRIDAY is considered a classic by horror fans, whereas THE CRAZIES was known to be a flawed film (though well-liked in some circles).

I watched THE CRAZIES (2010) in theaters on 3.8.10. It was my first viewing of the film. TRAILER HERE (oh, and despite what I thought, the trailer doesn’t ruin this film. There is one disappointing shot in the trailer from the climax, but it is not as bad a spoiler as I thought it would be).

I’ll start by saying that I liked this film better than I thought I would. I’d heard mixed things from patrons coming out of the theater. Some thought it was not scary enough, others thought it wasn’t action-packed enough. Those that liked it cited the acting and the characters and the sense of dread. I can say I side with the latter school of thought.

This isn’t a slash-and-go horror flick. Though it has its share of gore and violence, director Breck Eisner does a good job of making sure we care about the characters first.

The plot concerns a town whose inhabitants are being turned into violent monsters. The military is watching. It becomes an us versus them scenario. This is a popular horror genre staple. In the 50s and 60s the ‘us’ was good Americans and the ‘them’ was Communists. In modern film, we often see that the ‘us’ is good Americans and the ‘them’ is either the American military, or created by the American military. Perhaps not fair, but also undeniably the truth in film today.

So why do I like this film? Well the two leads are the Sheriff Timothy Olyphant (an actor I respect immensely and who doesn’t get enough good roles) and his Doctor/wife Radha Mitchell, a drastically underrated actress. The other two in our quorum of four are Deputy Joe Anderson (who looks nothing like he does in the IMDB picture in this film) and doctor’s assistant Danielle Panabaker, who I was just saying could actually be pretty good in my FRIDAY THE 13TH ranking. She proves it in this.

These four are our focus as we move through the ravaged town. They trust each others’ judgment in varying levels are various times. It is these four who are the core of this movie, and these four who make it work. Unlike FRIDAY THE 13th, this movie works because we actually care.

The script is solid, though it relies on some old horror cliches (guess who caused the virus to spread, for example). I spent the last five minutes worrying about whether this film would ruin itself with a horrendous ending. I was, instead, satisfied with the conclusion.

So what we have here is an above-average, if not spectacular, suspense-horror flick. If this is your genre, and you prefer character over slashing, then this film gets a high recommendation from me.


FILM: 6; MOVIE: 8; ACTING: 6; WRITING: 5; BONUS: 1 (What is this?)

The bonus point is for the music. While they never hit up the awesome song that runs through the last 45 seconds of the trailer linked above, they get the tone perfectly right. An excellent job of musical selection.

6+8+6+5+1= 26


~ by johnlink00 on March 9, 2010.

One Response to “johnlink ranks THE CRAZIES (2010)”

  1. […] my previous numbers to effect my decision on what to score the title.  SPOILERS below, so see my first article for a spoiler free […]

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