The Crazies (2010) Blu-ray
Director: Breck Eisner
Starring: Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Joe Anderson
Review by Brian M. Sammons
Yay, yet another remake of a horror film! Why is it that only horror movies are getting the unrelenting and unwanted remake treatment? Could it be that Hollywood has an incredibly low opinion of horror fans? Do they think that we’ll eat up any old crap served to us with a smile and ask for more? No other genre is treated like this, only horror. Try remaking Gone With The Wind or even something as insipid as Pretty Woman and see what happens. But horror films? Hell, why not remake them? Gee, it’s almost as if Hollywood thinks horror movies are beneath them, not worth of the same consideration as “serious” films. But that can’t be right … right?
Ok, sorry for the rant but I had to get that off my chest. Let’s get on with this review of a surprisingly not too bad remake. I know, imagine my surprise when I watched it. But the fact that this redo wasn’t completely horrible doesn’t change the fact that I’m getting sick of the endless remake parade, even if this one float was sort of easy on the eyes.
This movie is pretty faithful to the original that was written and directed by the High Zombie Master, George Romero. The tale concerns a small town that gets accidentally dosed with a chemical/biological weapon that drives people, well crazy. The local sheriff, played well by Timothy Olyphant, his pregnant wife must figure out what’s going on, avoid the army who comes to round everybody up and squelch the outbreak before it escapes the confines of the tiny town, and most importantly of all, avoid their once nice neighbors who have now become murderous psychopaths armed with a variety of wicked weapons.
Really, that’s about all there is to it. It’s a simple story to remake, so what is going to make or break this movie is all the little things. Individual scenes of fright, suspense, and dread will be all important here. Luckily, the ones lashed together for this film are pretty damn good. Look at the cover to this disc. See that pitchfork? Well there’s a scene with that pitchfork that’s one of the best terror scenes that I’ve seen in a long time. It is masterful. Nothing else in this movie comes close to that, but there are still some good bits to be had. Two that come to mind I’ll hint at with the words “bone saw” and “upstairs room”.
So is this flick nothing more than collage of creepy scenes? Well, sort of, but it kind of works. I enjoyed it about as much as the original. I know, I know, that’s heresy, but it’s true. The first movie wasn’t without its share of flaws, despite being made by a certified master of horror, so I’m not doing to damn this film too much for its own missteps. In short, it’s a fun, action oriented, thriller with one hell of a pitchfork scene.
The Blu-ray brought out by Anchor Bay looks and sounds incredible, but that’s to be expected for new movies these days. What was a nice surprise was all the extras packing into this disc. There’s a commentary with the director and a bunch of featurettes, all about 10 minutes or so. There’s the basic behind the scenes doc, another on the look of the sickness causing the crazies, and a very nice documentary about the original director, George Romero, with quite a few guests giving their opinions on the man and his work. There’s a 15 minute look on at the bloody special effects, two “motion comics” that are basically flash animations, storyboards, trailers, and a few hidden Easter eggs that show the stuntmen practicing some of the memorable fight scenes in the film.
As far as remakes go, The Crazies is one of the best. As a standalone movie, it’s pretty darn enjoyable. As a Blu-ray, its chock full of goodies and both looks and sounds great. In all ways it’s a winner. So if Hollywood is going to continue the remake march, and you know they will, all I can hope is that they make them as good as this. I doubt they will, but I can always hope.