The Crazies | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

The Crazies

The whole town's turned into crazed killers!

It's another easygoing day in the American heartland ... until the ordinary citizens of a small Iowa town adopt a 100-yard stare and start killing everybody in their path. Whatever is infecting these folks is spreading; masked military personnel seal off the town; and only a couple of brave souls are left -- defending themselves against both the "crazies" and the soldiers. Leading the resistance is the sheriff (Timothy Olyphant, of Deadwood), his wife (Radha Mitchell) and his deputy (Joe Anderson). Breck Eisner's thriller is an update of George Romero's 1973 film, and as tiny-band-of-normals-against-killer-crazies films go, this is a competent, enjoyable effort. Fans of such films will see pretty much every plot twist coming (and already know that all shadows and closets hold doom). But Eisner keeps the story chugging ahead at a good pace, uses gore sparingly and manages to create some good tension-building set pieces. Farm equipment is suddenly very sinister; the endless flat fields of Iowa leave nowhere to hide; and there's a fun nail-biting scene set at a car wash.

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