The Crazies proves the zombie movie craze isn’t quite dead yet. This remake of the identically-named 1973 George Romero picture brings nothing new to the table, but delivers sufficient scares to make it worthwhile.
After a government plane carrying a biological weapon crashes in a small Iowa town, local residents find themselves turning into homicidal maniacs. While they’re not traditional the traditional undead menace, they fit the bill of mindless creatures bent on murdering all they come across.
Once a few of these “crazies” emerge, the government clamps down, calling in the military, erecting a perimeter and rounding up all the civilians in an attempt to quarantine the town. Of course, this being a movie, the effort to bottle up the outbreak doesn’t go especially well for anyone.
The few remaining healthy individuals are left to try and escape the town for the dubious safety of the outside world. This group includes the town sheriff (Timothy Olyphant) and his wife (Radha Mitchell).
The films progresses pretty much by the numbers, hitting on most of the standard horror movie beats. Despite the lack of originality (it IS a remake after all), it handles itself capably and does the job. I can handle unoriginality as long as I’m not bored and the movie succeeds at that. Things move right along with a crisp pacing, which helps to cover up some of the movies’ shortcomings. Even without the social relevance of Romero’s original, it’s enjoyable and worth a trip to the theater.
Rating: R for bloody violence and language.
Starring: Timothy Olyphant
Runtime: 101 minutes