February 26, 2010
Scott Kosar, Ray Wright and George A. Romero
Timothy Olyphant as David Dutton
Radha Mitchell as Judy Dutton
Joe Anderson as Russell Clank
Danielle Panabaker as Becca Darling
Christie Lynn Smith as Deardra Farnum
I, once again, had very high hopes for this horror remake. The definition of insanity is going through the same process over and over again and expecting a different result. Well, every time a horror remake like The Crazies comes around, I get myself all hyped up and go to see it on opening weekend. I always expect to enjoy the movie, regardless of what I thought about the original, and most of the time I leave disappointed. The reason for this, though, is that there are some exceptions to the rule. I enjoyed The Ring(2002), The Uninvited (2009), and Dawn of the Dead (2004). I should blame movies like this for the constant waste of my money and time with worthless remakes in between. It’s because of these few bright spots that I give movies like The Crazies a chance. So, since my recent viewing of The Crazies is the fault of these previous gems, I have to say… Thank you! I have only The Crazies to thank for the fact that I’ve seen it several times since.
When watching a remake of a George Romero film, you expect to lose some social commentary, and you hope that it maintains some generic thrills and screams that still provide some level of excitement. The Crazies certainly does that and then some. The unpredictable jolts and inventive scares kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Adding to that, the satire didn’t disappear. I think this film was deeper than a simple zombie flick. This film was clearly not something that was merely thrown together in order to capitalize on the easy millions any random horror film with enough budget to advertise makes. The filmmakers took their time and paid attention to the groundwork laid out by one of the masters of horror over 30 years ago. Maybe it’s due to the time period with a dearth of contemporary horror remake goods, but I think this film might even have improved on the original.
Performance is often just an afterthought in most horror films, and that is a shame. The Crazieswould not have even had a chance at success if it wasn’t for the powerful turns made by its actors. Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell were brilliant leads. They each gave a believable performance and maintained the constant tension from start to finish. I was able to relate to each of them, which therefore provided more of an enjoyable ride for me even during the short breaks in the action. However, I was equally impressed by the supporting performance of some guy named Joe Anderson. Watching the evolution of his character as the plot developed was a treat. This actor delivered new levels of thoughts and emotions for the audience. Whenever a viewer begins to think and question themselves as though they are actually experiencing the action they see on the screen, the movie has served its purpose in my opinion. I really cared about what happened to these characters, so the actors and director Breck Eisner deserve a lot of credit as far as I’m concerned. That’s so rare these days in the horror movie world, where creativity and originality is extremely hard to find.
So now I’ve seen another successful horror remake just as I was ready to give up on them completely. I wonder how many hundreds of wasted dollars this one will cost me. However, I am so satisfied with this one that it’s worth it.