The Crazies: movie review

A horror remake, ‘The Crazies’ doesn’t stint on scare tactics and gore.

Saeed Adyani/Overture Films/AP
In this film publicity image, Radha Mitchell is shown in a scene from, 'The Crazies.'

In “The Crazies,” a small Midwestern town is infected with an experimental virus that kills people, but not without first turning them into homicidal maniacs. Worse yet than the virus are the feds, who quarantine the area and slaughter anyone they even suspect of having the bug.

The local sheriff (Timothy Olyphant), his pregnant wife (Radha Mitchell), and two other hopefully uncontaminated friends (Joe Anderson and Danielle Panabaker) try to escape, while keeping a suspicious eye out for loonies, soldiers, and, most scarily, symptoms exhibited by each other.

Breck Eisner’s remake of George A. Romero’s 1973 horror film is aesthetically justifiable, only because the original wasn’t very good. While it loses the charm of Romero’s low-budget clunkiness, it is in all other regards superior. Unfortunately, it’s not better than “28 Days Later...,” which is close enough to count as an unofficial remake. Grade: B- (Rated R for bloody violence and language.)

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