‘The Crazies’ Review

Published 4 years ago by

The Crazies is scary, funny and more grown up than a lot of recent horror movies.

the crazies reviews The Crazies Review
Screen Rant reviews The Crazies

The Crazies is a remake of George Romero’s 1973 film of the same name. I’ve never seen that version, so my review won’t be from the point of view of comparing it to the original. This remake takes place in a little prototypical American farm town called Ogden Marsh (Iowa). Within a couple of minutes of the film’s start, it’s clear that we’re in for not only some scary stuff, but a bit of subtle humor as well.

Timothy Olyphant plays sheriff David Dutton, married to the attractive town doctor (Radha Mitchell). From the first scene we’re made quite aware that while right now this is an idyllic little town, within a couple of days all hell wil break loose. The first indication is when the town (ex?)drunk wanders onto a baseball field in the middle of a game while carrying a shotgun. He seems drunk or out of sorts, and Dutton is forced to kill him when he prepares to shoot.

Everyone is devastated (it’s a small enough town where everyone pretty much knows everyone else), but soon enough another local goes glassy-eyed and murderous – and devastation turns to fear. There’s an infection spreading throughout the town and things are even more amiss than they seem when all communication with the outside world is cut off. The reason becomes clear when gas mask-wearing soldiers appear and begin herding the townsfolk into a fenced holding facility, separating those they believe are infected from those who are not.

Dutton is separated from his wife when she is flagged as being infected – she’s had a slight running fever for a month due to the fact that she’s pregnant, but the government doctors on the scene are oblivious and not listening to anyone’s excuses. Things go from bad to worse as not everyone has been rounded up and a break out occurs at the facility. There’s good reason as no one from the government is giving even a hint of an explanation as to what is going on.

crazies cast The Crazies Review

I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by telling you that Dutton rescues his wife from the facility – from there they try to avoid the authorities and get out of town along with his deputy and another young woman.

Directed by Breck Eisner, The Crazies manages a deft combination of occasional humor juxtaposed against scares and a story that will make you feel uneasy. Within five minutes I thought to myself “this is good.” Yes, it uses jump scares (among other things, and more effectively than some films) and their may be cliched aspects to it, but sometimes things become cliches because they’ve worked so well for so long. The film is gory, but not excessively so.

I thought there were a lot of very good small moments in the film between various characters, and Timothy Olyphant made the film easy to watch. H made it seem more believable and realistic than it might have been with someone else in the lead. Actually what I appreciated about the film was that it was so relatively realistic and grounded in reality. That made what was happening seep that much more under your skin. They didn’t get into much of a socio-political message in the film (thankfully) despite the outbreak not only having been the government’s fault, but that the “clean up” was terribly brutal and mishandled.

There were quite a few scenes that caused the audience (and me) to jump and there were scenes that made you laugh out loud (intentionally) as well as cheer.

If you’re a horror movie fan (or more specifically, a fan of the zombie genre, even though it’s technically not a zombie film) then I give The Crazies a hearty recommendation.

Our Rating:

4 out of 5
(Excellent)

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TAGS: 4 star movies, the crazies

33 Comments

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  1. Im a huge zombie/ apocalypse horror fan and the movie had a few highlights but overall i felt robbed…and i really wanted my money back.

  2. I guess i was just hoping for more…it felt really cliche and not scary at all, predictable. ..Well maybe the scene where guy almost gets his babymaker cut in half…lol.

  3. Really… it entertained the hell out of me. I actually cared about the characters (highly unusual for a film like this) and just had an overall great time. Plus, I was cranky when I sat down to watch it, so that says a lot.

  4. I've heard great reviews for this and this just adds to my want to see it.

    I hope it can breath some life into horror movies like Descent or Slither did.

  5. how gory are we talking , could you compare it to another movie please, and are the special effect CG or props?

  6. I didn't get the sense there was much CG in the film. As far as gore, there was definitely some gruesomeness in there, but it was far short of a Saw movie. Nothing comes to mind as far as a comparison, but there was lots of blood for sure. One scene where people get stabbed with a pitchfork (as hinted in the movie poster), shots of freshly dead bodies, etc.

  7. You're right, it was completely rooted in reality and that's what made it so believable and great. Plus Timothy Olyphant is awesome in it…he has found his niche as the gruff law-officer (deadwood, the crazies, justified)!

  8. At first when I saw the trailer, I was intrigued, but thought it could end up bad like all the other recent horror films. But after reading this review, I can't wait to see it!

  9. Um maybe i was kinda mad how they left us hanging in the end…it wasnt terrible but I've been looking forward to the movie for some months now and i guess i set the bar too high with my expectations lol.

  10. Thanks for the great review, I had some interest in this movie, but now that it has the Vic stamp I can't wait to see it.

    Timothy Olyphant has been pretty golden in my book so far, especially after the surprisingly decent “A Perfect Getaway”.

  11. Do you plan on watching the original movie then? I was thinking about finding it before I go see the remake but you seemed to enjoy the newer one without any problems.

  12. Yeah, I thought the pitchfork scene was one of the gnarliest in the movie. The intimacy involved in something like that has got to be terrible. That would suck terribly to have been in a scenario like those chicks were in.

  13. So keep the kids and teens home for this one?

  14. So keep the kids and teens home for this one?

  15. Yeah… DEFINITELY not for kids, and teens, depends I guess. I wouldn't bring my 13yo daughter to it.

  16. Hadn't really planned on it. I'm betting this one is better.

  17. I would have to see this movie myself to judge whether it was good or not. I still wonder what the accolades for 28 days was for. The movie was a yawner……

  18. I want a Crazies 2.

    Nobody mentioned the deputy who i thought was another highlight of the movie. Not since The Dawn Of the Dead remake have I jumped so often. Timothy Olyphant is my choice for the Gunslinger if the Stephen King movie ever gets around to being made, especially after this

  19. I really liked the movie, for all the reasons stated in the review, along with the terrific chemistry between Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell, two very intelligent and likable leads. But did anyone else getting an odd whiff of this movie copying the Dawn of the Dead remake's playbook a bit too much? Let's see: Johnny Cash song in the beginning – check (and for no good reason, in “Crazies”), news footage over credits – check, and ***SPOILER!! SPOILER!! SPOILER!!*** the “hurray, we got away to a safe place–Oh no, it's happening here, too!” in-credits ending. ***END SPOILER***

  20. Having not seen the film, I'll revert to my default comment, which is that if we want to see more genre films such as this in the future, we need to go out and support it to make sure it does good box office.
    That aside, the original left me cold, I'll see anything with Tim Olyphant in it.

  21. Thanks for ruining it for me, idiot or “iceman09″!!!!!

  22. I thought that this was a decent movie, however, I was a little disappointed with the plot. It seemed as though every single setting was a little too conveniently placed. Obviously, this is because it's just a movie. But every single scene either included a jumpy moment, or the characters “stumbling upon” a valuable piece of information. Everything seemed to happen a little too perfectly for my liking. But that's just my opinion. Still worth the price of theater tickets, but it was a little too cliche for my taste.

  23. Timothy Olyphant is one of my favourite actors, ever since I seen him in Hitman, I've tried to watch his films. I'm gonna watch this filme purely on the fact that he's in it and his films are generally good

  24. Finally got around to watching this nearly two weeks ago. It was great.

  25. I liked the deputy's character a lot. He was a good 'side kick' for the lead.

  26. Finally got around to watching this nearly two weeks ago. It was great.

  27. I liked the deputy's character a lot. He was a good 'side kick' for the lead.

  28. Watched it on Blu-ray last night. What a great movie. It’s nice to see a decent horror movie these days. They are few and far between.

  29. I watched this movie last night and before I even knew it was a remake I said to my friends, “this looks like a George Romero film” while commenting on the washed out color look to the film. It was really good. I’d say damn good. I don’t know if a lot of people are just looking for gore in these kinds of films, but I thought this fired on all cylinders from beginning to end.