A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie carries over the Vietnam-era social commentary from George A. Romero's 1973 original, which is that the military is just as bad as -- if not worse than -- the maniacal, homicidal "crazies." Wherever the heroes go, they must look out for both kinds of attackers. There are no suggestions for improving this situation. It could be argued that the heroes fighting for their lives and exhibiting compassion and love in the face of true horror is an admirable quality, but the overall theme of the movie trumps their efforts.
Positive Role Models
After a military experiment spreads a deadly virus around a small Iowa town, sheriff David Dutton, his wife Judy, the town doctor, and deputy Russell Clank show bravery and selflessness in the face of horror. They remain devoted to their duties as long as they can, and brave dangerous situations to rescue one another. When the time comes to run, they try to help as many other people as they can. Their optimism eventually runs low, but for the most part, they keep their chins up and work to overcome an impossible situation.
Violence & Scariness
Horror imagery and violence abounds, though the most disturbing imagery comes in the piles upon piles of grisly, burned or otherwise mutilated corpses. One of the scariest sequences occurs in a military tent as men in hazard suits run weird medical tests and forcibly separate loved ones (including a mother from her child). Huge amount of gun violence, including shootings, killings, and threats. Also head-whacking with a blunt instrument, an attack with a bonesaw, stabbing with a pitchfork, a knife through a hand, an attacker set on fire, and bodies burned with a flamethrower.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
No onscreen sex. The action focuses mainly on a married couple. The wife is pregnant and they occasionally kiss, hold hands, and touch each other in comfortable ways. A teenage girl has a secret boyfriend, but we only see them together in one scene, where they hug.
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There are many instances of both "s--t" and "f--k" with some uses of "Jesus Christ" and "Goddamn" as exclamations.
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Products & Purchases
The "Valvoline" logo is prevalent in one shot.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One character is described as a drunk, but we never see him or anyone else drinking. No drugs or smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Crazies is a violent, somewhat cynical remake of a 1973 film by famed horror director George A. Romero. The tense movie is filled with strong language, disturbing images, i.e. grisly piles of mutilated and burned corpses, as well as blood, jump-scares, and other frightening moments. But despite this, and the over-reliance on genre clichés, the movie contains some interesting ideas and should spark some good conversation between parents and older teens about the role of the military in society and the human instinct for survival. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A remake of George A. Romero's 1973 Vietnam-era movie, THE CRAZIES retains all the social commentary of the original, but streamlines it and smoothes it into a regular horror film. It cuts down on the many talking and bickering sequences in the original, and turns the military men into faceless, voiceless spooks who are more or less the equivalent of the "crazies." In a way, the new film is perhaps even more direct in getting Romero's anti-military message across.
Though the movie relies a bit too much on standard genre conventions like jump-scares, last-second rescues, and characters splitting up to search for things, it makes up for it with a high standard of acting, mainly by Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell as the married sheriff and doctor. Their realistic reactions to the horror around them are far more effective than any amount of shock imagery or bloody gore.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.