If you were actually dumb enough to watch the aborted travesty by George A. Romero you would most likely have exceptionally low expectations for this film. Surprisingly, though, this is a solid and satisfying remake which makes the mindless and hopelessly boring original look like a pile of flaming garbage.
In a quiet town known as Ogden Marsh, a group of survivors find themselves in the middle of viral outbreak that has turned most of the townsfolk into complete psychopaths. Locked in by a military quarantine our protagonists must find a way to escape before they are all killed. Wow, that is a lot more coherent than the god forsaken anal fluid of plot that the original forced upon the audience. Unlike said original the remake has some actually scary and suspenseful moments and the story is never hard to understand. The chase, so to speak, comes to an apocalyptic conclusion which is darkly thrilling and brimming with tension. Point goes to the writers for coming up with such a good story.
The visual effects are more impressive this time around. The blood effects, unlike in some remakes, are not excessive and look at least partially realistic. After a constant stream of having almost nothing, but gallons of blood piled on it is nice to see that this remake has the courage and apparently the money to try its hand at few new tricks. The make-up effects used for the titular Crazies are really impressive and add quite an eerie tone to the appearance of the antagonists. Rather than having the psychos look like full on zombies they have a more creepy appearance, consisting of exposed veins and tight muscles. This is way better than the original that did practically nothing to distinguish the Crazies from normal people.
The cast is exceptionally good this time around. Timothy Olyphant was perfectly cast as the protagonist David who works better than his wooden and bland 70’s counterpart. Radha Mitchell is also really good as Judy who is thankfully not some helpless victim like before. Joe Anderson provides a convincing performance as Russell who is quite a sad character, in a good way. His final scene is lot more emotional and believable than it was in the original film which did it with zero craft. You may remember Danielle Panabaker from the Friday the 13th remake. Trust me when I say that her performance her is a serious upgrade compared to how she was in that. Overall the characters all feel like they have been developed more than they were in the petty original film. This is amplified by the great performances of the entire cast which is way better than most remakes you may come across.
This film amazes me. After seeing the vulgar and pathetic original I was surprised just how well the remake of The Crazies turned out to be by comparison. If you unfortunately bore witness to rejected atrocity by Romero you will be pleased to know that the remake can heal some of the mental scars inflicted by the original film.