Efficient and occasionally inspired horror thrills are to be found in Breck Eisner’s remake of The Crazies. No, it’s not a great movie — neither was George A. Romero’s 1973 original — but it’s pretty darn good at what it does, and it’s considerably more intelligent than could be reasonably expected, especially when you consider that screenwriters Scott Kosar (remakes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Amityville Horror) and Ray Wright (Pulse) don’t have the most inspiring resumes. And it’s certainly a better acted and less budget-hobbled film than Romero’s original. As with the original, it mostly reworks a Night of the Living Dead scenario with the biological warfare (political criticism) virus-infected “crazies” standing in for zombies, complete with a built-in sociological bent involving the yahoo zombie/crazy hunters and the duplicity of the military (more political commentary). The cast — Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Joe Anderson — is better than usual, as are the characters. But mostly the film is just good at doing what it sets out to do: it makes you jump, builds credible suspense, and crafts effective horror set-pieces. If you’re in the market for a fairly grisly horror show, this should do nicely.
Director: Breck Eisner
Writer: Scott Kosar and George A. Romero
Producer: Michael Aguilar and Dean Georgaris
Cast: Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Danielle Panabaker, Joe Anderson, Preston Bailey, Justin Welborn, Lisa K. Wyatt, Christie Lynn Smith, Larry Cedar and Lori Beth Edgeman