The Crazies (15)
Dir. Breck Eisner
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Welcome to Ogden Marsh, USA, the friendliest place on earth – it’s very possible that you’ll never leave…
The people here really want to play with you – they want to play with their garden forks, shotguns, power tools and combine harvesters, because there’s something in the water that is spreading psychotic madness through the populace.
I think Britney Spears inadvertently summed up this new horror remake rather well when she sang “You drive me crazy, I just can’t sleep…” The Crazies you see is the type of film that gets under your skin with a downright terrifying premise and here even improves on George A. Romero's 1973 original version.
"Britney isn't actually in The Crazies"
Things start off with some of the townsfolk acting strange and before you can say ‘run for the hills - they’ve all gone crazy’ the killing starts in earnest… Hero of the piece is Sheriff David Dutton (Timothy Olyphant), who along with his loyal deputy Russell (Joe Anderson) are suddenly knee deep in bizarre deaths and unbridled murderous madness sweeps through their town. The cause of all the killing is that a secret military biological weapon has been leaked into the town’s water supply. Cue a military crackdown on the town which involves extreme prejudice and a shoot first, burn the bodies next and ask questions finally.
Director Eisner pushes all the right horror buttons with this slick, nasty thrill ride that delivers big time chills and plenty of nail biting genre excitement. The small band of heroes include David and his wife Judy (Radha Mitchell), the town’s coroner, Russell the deputy and token cutie Becca Darling (Danielle Panabaker). The film tracks the desperate plight of this bunch as they battle to survive not only the insane intentions of their crazy friends and neighbours but also the extermination happy military.
"Do you feel lucky?"
Everyday places become sinister death traps – one stand out scene in the town’s car wash is enough to put you off ever using one again. The tension is kept nicely tight throughout and although there may be one too many ‘crucial save at last minute’ scene, the haunting ending will stay with you long after the credits have rolled.
The crazies is the best horror film of 2010 so far, recommended for anyone who wants some shock thrills but be advised - you might never look at your neighbours in quite the same way again…
UNSEEN DELETED SCENE:
The few crazies that somehow survive the military crackdown, band together with Ant and Dec to form a children's light entertainment troop.
Darkmatters rating: öööööööö (8 crazy neighbours out of 10)
Darkmatters quick reference guide: Action 8 / Style 7 / Babes 6 / Comedy 5 / Horror 8 / Spiritual Enlightenment -2
"they want to play with you..."