the crazies 2010

“Somebody’s poisoned the water hole!” George A. Romero’s 1973 movie gets a modern makeover and, perhaps, a bit of an upgrade.

Ogden Marsh, in Pierce County, Iowa.  A tiny town, a military mishap a coverup conspiracy; mix it all together and you’ve got crazies in cornland!

Timothy Olyphant (Hitman, Live Free or Die Hard) and Radha Mitchell (Melinda and Melinda, Surrogates) play Sherriff David Dutton and Dr. Judy Dutton; the brightest spots in this stereotypical mid-west municipality. Their tranquil town is shaken by an outbreak of murderous insanity caused by a military chemical agent, accidentally dropped in the town’s water supply. When it comes to keeping the agent from spreading; containment is key…and maybe a little cleansing.

Sahara director, Breck Eisner, takes a brilliant approach to a Romero film wrought with anti-political ideologies and made a current remake that is smart, tense and scary. Don’t get me wrong, you’ve seen this type of running, hiding, fighting film before: 28 Days Later, 30 Days of Night, Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror and most George A. Romero movies. Eisner could have chosen to deliver blood and guts in the sloppy, gratuitous way that most horror flicks are done, but he takes a thinking man’s approach to gore. The cinematography and special effects made for some very memorable images for a film of this type. Eisner really built suspense and a tension strong enough to keep the audience connected to a story they may already know the ending to.

Olyphant does a good job as handsome hero, but relative new-comer, Joe Anderson (Amelia, Love Happens), caught my attention. His mid-western drawl and mandatory cop-stache threw me off of the fact that he’s British. He is very convincing as, Deputy Russ Clank, the loyal side-kick to Sheriff Dutton. I’m intrigued to see what his young career could become.

This film is very enjoyable. It’s good to see a horror film that I don’t have to leave my brain in the car to enjoy. I wish Eisner could have gotten the assignment to direct Halloween 2, Rob Zombie’s 2009 gutter ball. I give The Crazies 2010 a ravenous 3.5 out of 5 babbles.

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