This 2010 remake of a somewhat obscure 1973 George Romero picture injects a mysterious virus into the water supply of a small Iowa town, and the consequences are… well, you didn’t expect the consequences to be positive, did you? The movie is called The Crazies, after all. So when local folk begin acting a mite peculiar, it just means they’ve gone to the well too often–literally. Borrowing the structure of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the remake gets off to a clumsy start, but as the noninfected rally around the sheriff (Timothy Olyphant) and his doctor wife (Radha Mitchell), the action becomes streamlined and reasonably inventive. Director Breck Eisner has a particular knack for finding ingenious ways of killing people (a knife through the hand becomes a useful tool for the sheriff in one turn-the-tables moment), and he’s been wise enough to hire respectable actors for the top-lined duties; along with Olyphant and Mitchell, there’s also Joe Anderson (Across the Universe) as a loyal, amped-up deputy. If the movie misses the tart social-context stuff that Romero does so well, it at least fills the bill when it comes to the chase-and-escape business of a contemporary horror picture. The spate of such 21st-century remakes of 1970s horror pictures misses the raw, raggedy unease of those low-budget projects, but if you’re going to make a slick new update, The Crazies is the way to do it.

Studio: Overture
Year: 2010
Release Date: June 29, 2010
Run time: 101 minutes
Rating: R

Audio: DTS-HD MA lossless 5.1 mix
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Disc Spec: 1 BD50 / 1 DVD
Region: A

“The Crazies” is a remake of a George Romero film from the 1970’s, about a town where people start to behave strangely & violently for no apparent reason. I have not seen the original, but learned that this 2010 movie was basically a remake, so my review is taking this film on its own merits (and not compared to the original).

That said, this is a very solid film, at a minimum worthy of a rental or a viewing whenever it hits cable or pay-per-view, though I think horror fans in particular might find a fair amount to like here. Typical of Romero’s work, this film seems to be no mere horror film, but one with metaphor, allusions and subtext about politics/social themes – in this case, it’s an undercurrent of government distrust, the `everyman anger’ zeitgeist in society today, and paranoia. Without giving away too much of the plot (which you’ll thank me for, if you see the picture), the story basically begins with an incident at a school baseball game, where a resident inexplicably walks onto the field with a shotgun and is confronted by the town’s sheriff. This begins a string of bizarre incidents wherein seemingly normal people turn violent for no apparent reason. The town’s sheriff (and his wife, a doctor) and deputy, then set out to find out what is causing the phenomenon, and to get out of town. The `zombies’ here are more like “28 Days Later” zombies in the insane-sense, as opposed to “Night of the Living Dead” flesh-eaters.

Breck Eisner (son of Michael Eisner, ex-Disney chief) directs here, and he’s certainly capable, effectively building tension, oftentimes with quick edits and `what was that?’- type semi-obscured POV shots. There were plenty of zombie-jumps-out-and-scares-you shots here, pretty much to the point where I thought it was overused (though it’s a requirement of shock films), but if you’re into that, you’ll be satisfied. Makeup is very good and there’s a lot of gore; apparently this movie cost only around $20MM to make, but it’s got pretty good production values for something low-budget, and the production achieves the desired shock effect.

This is a good thriller, but lacked what all Romero movies had, the social commentary, where back in the 70s when this was made, Romero touched upon, Government, Military, weapons, cannot trust your military. Stuff like that.

This is just an updated straight thriller/ horror, where it’s selling point: quick scares, nice action sequences, cat and mouse chases between Sheriff and Military. A good pop corn movie over all, do no expect anything too deep, in fact I feel this could have been an X Files episode, whole Government Conspiracy crap and all. But I liked it for the performances, over all direction was good, nice soundtrack, some decent scares, good Sat night pop corn movie as i always say.
Movie Content: 8.5/10

Print/Audio Quality

The print is presented in 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The colors used in this remake do an excellent job in bringing the dark look of the film come to life. Dark tinted blues are the primary colors that are used in the film. Blacks are deep. I found the details to be excellent considering that this is a darker looking film. The image quality is crystal clear providing some excellent looking visuals.
Video Quality: 9.5/10

The audio is presented in DTS-HD MA lossless 5.1 mix. The sound is fantastic and rocks the house during the many action sequences. This mix provides a really crisp and clean sound. From the gun fires to the subtle moments, this mix makes it sound like you are in the center of all the action. The rears were working like a workhorse during the action sequences. The dialogue portions of the film is excellent and comes through very clear and well balanced to where I didn’t have to increase the volume once. This mix stays consistent throughout the entire film with the entire sound field.
Audio Quality: 9.5/10

Special Features

  • The Romero Template Featurette
  • Paranormal Pandemics
  • Behind-the-Scenes Featurette
  • Rob Hall Makeup Featurette
  • Audio Commentary
  • Still Gallery

Special Features: 8/10

Final Thoughts

“The Crazies” is a fantastic ride that maintains the bleak themes of Romero’s original, but with a more engrossing narrative and fantastic visuals. Definitely one to own if you appreciate the genre or themes portrayed. The film on Blu-ray has excellent video and audio presentation which will make fans of the film happy.
Overall Rating: 9/10