Trailer Tuesday: The Crazies
I'm a sucker for horror films where ordinary law abiding citizens transform into unstoppable monsters, forcing their former friends and loved ones to dispatch them in all sorts of creative, bloody ways. Hell, I even sat through the disappointing 30 Days of Night hoping for some seat-squirming thrills. So count me very excited about The Crazies.
Looking like a juicy mix of Outbreak and 28 Days Later, The Crazies centres on the pleasant little Middle America town of Ogden Marsh. It's a picture perfect place to live... until a man brings a loaded shotgun to a children's baseball game, and, a short while later, a well-liked family man burns his wife and son to death in their home. Soon it becomes apparent that something is turning the inhabitants of Ogden Marsh into deranged killers. The military quarantines the town, and the sheriff (Timothy Olyphant), his pregnant wife (Radha Mitchell), a medical centre worker (Danielle Panabaker), and the sheriff's deputy (Joe Anderson) are left to defend themselves against their former friends and neighbours, and find a way through the soldiers' perimeter.
Sure, The Crazies sounds derivative (even if the "zombies" here aren't literally blood-thirsty and flesh-hungry). And sure it's definitely B-grade material, especially when you consider its stars are the likeable and recognisable, but hardly A-list, Olyphant and Mitchell. This doesn't mean however that the film can't be good. In fact, over at Rotten Tomatoes, it's sitting with an exceptionally healthy 71% Fresh rating, making The Crazies one of the most highly acclaimed horror films released in ages. The film has been called slick, intelligent and lots of nightmarish fun.
For the record, The Crazies is actually a remake. It's based on the little known (well to me anyway) 1973 film of the same name from George A. Romero, the filmmaker who is best known for triggering the great zombie movie craze with Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead in the late '60s and early '70s.
By the sounds of it, The Crazies 2010 actually improves on the original, which is no mean feat. Right now I'm optimistic that I'm going to enjoy it as much as Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead remake. I know I complain a lot here about how unnecessary most remakes are. However, when the filmmakers do actually get it right - with horror films in particular - I'm very happy to sing their praises.
The Crazies was released in North America on 24 February, and has easily made back its $20 million budget at the US box office since then. Unfortunately it's unclear when the film will be released in South Africa - it's currently conspicuously absent from the release schedules of the major local distributors. I'm hoping for a surprise release sometime between now and the end of June, but in reality we could be waiting as long as 6 months for this little slice of bloody heaven. Ho hum.