Is the 2010 Remake of The Crazies Better Than the Original?

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Life moves at a different pace in Ogden Marsh, Iowa.  That is, until a downed military airplane carrying a to-be-decommissioned biological weapon crashes and contaminates the water supply.  Soon after, the once neighborly population begins tearing itself apart.

The 2010 Breck Eisner remake of George A. Romero‘s The Crazies lends itself well to modernization.  In a world where everything can be monitored, tracked, and analyzed from a safe distance, Big Brother has never been more omnipotent or terrifying as when the US military rolls into the sleepy town of Ogden Marsh and starts detaining its population.

tc_1Starring Radha Mitchell and Timothy Olyphant as husband and wife, David and Judy, The Crazies is an intimate horror film that begins innocuously enough on a Spring day and then quickly unravels over the course of a nightmarish, chaotic 3-day period.

The Crazies is relentless and terrifying on personal, psychological, and primal levels.  The filmmakers practically use every technique in their toolkit to bring the fear to the audience – they confine the characters, they confuse them, they challenge them, they put them in death’s grip time and again.  All the while, always giving them (and you) the sick hope of being saved.

It is truly depraved … and delicious storytelling.

While this is done in other films, to greater extent, The Crazies holds back just enough to keep the plot moving at a steady (and interesting) pace without overly fatiguingtc_2 the viewer with a bunch of shock and awe.  Don’t worry, there’s plenty of gore, and shock, and awe, but never at the expense of maintaining a solid storyline.

What I like about The Crazies is the lack of information the viewer really has about what’s happening, who’s infected, and who’s to blame.  Is the toxin airborne, is it blood borne, can you only contract it if you drink the water?  And really, when it happens, you know it’s over.  At least, for them.  The sense of dread is imminent and terrifically inescapable – as the final moments of the film will reveal.

Add to this the intimacy of the small town setting and you have a great character drama, something refreshing, and uniquely uplifting, for a film in the genre.

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Trailer:

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Published by C. L. Taylor

C.L. is a BIPOC, LGBTQ+ artist & writer who pushes pixels and slings ink in her 9 to 5. She's a content producer's content producer, who's ready, willing, and able to throw down anything from illustration to animation, UI/UX design, and copy. If you want it to sparkle, evoke, or convey a story, chances are C. L. can help! Her short fiction has earned first place in category and honorable mentions in the NYCMidnight short story, micro fiction, and flash fiction contests, and has appeared in Typehouse Literary Magazine, Kaaterskill Basin Literary Journal, and anthologies by Brisk Publications and Alyson Publications. Her poetry will appear in the upcoming October issue of Versification. In her spare time, C. L. chases mindfulness and often falls asleep in savasana pose. You can catch up with her on Twitter: @ctaylor and Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cltaylor_writer/

2 thoughts on “Is the 2010 Remake of The Crazies Better Than the Original?

  1. I had very mixed feeling about this remake. I think what bothered me most was the “no…not Jim Bob!” attitude of the sheriff as Jim Bob lays waste to his whole family in front of his eyes. It kept happening like that over and over, but I hung in there til the ridiculous ending with the nuclear explosion of the town. I guess it was okay?

    1. I know, right? I’ll be honest with you – casting was everything for me. I hung in there because I liked the leads – I’m a (huge) fan of Radha Mitchell and I do like Timothy Olyphant. Combined with some occasionally sinister imagery, they are the main reason to check out this remake. Again – it only pays to revisit the past when you can make it new. Remakes are tough.

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