THE CRAZIES - is not a great film, nor will it likely even enter the “Hall Of Fame” of zombie-type movies. However, it is a tight, well-constructed and reasonably well-acted thriller that is more than worthy of a look.
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?
It isn’t quite a zombie movie…no dead person is coming back to life. In fact, it’s more a cousin to 28 DAYS LATER, where the zombies were really just people infected with rage. But whatever the case, we essentially see the very quick collapse of this little society…especially when the government quarantines them and begins to separate the sick from the well.
In this film an ordinary night becomes a horrifying struggle for the few remaining survivors as they do their best to get out of town alive.
What makes The Crazies so refreshing is that it plays on horror tropes, using it to narrative advantage. We find out that the soldiers who are executing townsfolk aren’t faceless, that the TRIXIE virus may or may not be transmitted through the water supply, and that taking one’s temperature isn’t a guaranteed means of identifying who’s infected. The Crazies makes no promises but always delivers.
Let there be no doubt, this is as much a war movie as it is a horror movie. The real crazies, Eisner seems to say, is anyone who would trust authority. These days, that may not be such bad advice.