The Crazies (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner26/02/2010

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 101 mins

Enjoyable, well acted horror remake with an effective combination of tension and gore, though the film flags a bit in the second half and becomes frustratingly lax with its own rules.

What's it all about?
Directed by Breck Eisner, The Crazies is a remake of a 1973 horror by George A. Romero. Timothy Olyphant stars as David Dutton, a small-town sheriff in Ogden Marsh, Iowa, who discovers that a mysterious toxin has infected the water supply and is turning all the residents into violent psychopaths.

As if that wasn't bad enough, Dutton discovers that the infection is ultimately fatal, with the victims dying horribly just a few hours after the psychotic behaviour sets in. With his wife Judy (Radha Mitchell), his deputy Russell (Joe Anderson) and Judy's colleague Becca (Danielle Panabaker) all seemingly unaffected, the four attempt to get out of town, unaware that the military have cordoned off the entire town.

The Good
The Crazies starts brilliantly, with an incident involving a dopey local drunk wandering onto a baseball pitch, mid-game, with a loaded shotgun and a horrified Dutton having to shoot him. The subsequent mystery element of the film is well handled and there's an effective combination of tension and gore throughout.

Olyphant is excellent, as always, and there's strong support from British actors Radha Mitchell and Joe Anderson (both playing Americans) as Judy and Russell. The effects are good too and Eisner orchestrates some exciting set-pieces, most notably the car wash scene.

The Bad
However, the second half of the film is much weaker than the first, relying too heavily on increasingly ridiculous contrivances (such as Russell's ability to sharp-shoot through a first floor window from the ground outside) and bending its own rules regarding the disease's incubation period-slash-symptoms to frustrating effect. It's also yet another film in which characters attempt to outrun something they couldn't possibly outrun (see also: 2012, The Happening), although by that time, the other ridiculous elements have mounted up so high that you'll have ceased to care.

Worth seeing?
For the most part, this is an enjoyable, competently acted horror flick, but it gets increasingly ridiculous and not in a good way. Worth seeing on balance though.

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The Crazies (15)
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Content updated: 26/03/2019 18:05

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