The Crazies



Gory, scary horror remake with anti-military message.
Popular with kidsParents recommend
  • Review Date: February 26, 2010
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 101 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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.


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.


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.


There are many instances of both "s--t" and "f--k" with some uses of "Jesus Christ" and "Goddamn" as exclamations.


 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.

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.

What's the story?

In a sleepy small town in Iowa, a blank-faced man walks into the middle of a baseball game carrying a gun, and the local sheriff (Timothy Olyphant) is forced to shoot him. The sheriff's wife, the town doctor (Radha Mitchell) sees patients with similar behavior. It turns out that an experimental military virus has been set loose in the town, turning everyone into mindless, homicidal maniacs. Soon the military shows up, trying to contain the problem, but they cause as much violence and destruction -- if not more so -- than the "crazies." The sheriff, his wife, the deputy, and a teenage girl decide to flee across the county lines to safety, all the while fending off attacks from both sides, and risking contracting the virus themselves.

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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the violence in The Crazies. Did the movie's high body count have a shocking or a numbing effect on you? Why or why not?

  • Which are worse, the "crazies" or the military men? Why? What message about the military do you think this movie sends? What role does the military play in our lives, past and present?

  • In the movie, there's no way to tell when someone first comes down with the virus. How far would you trust a friend or a family member in this situation? Talk about humanity's instinct to survive.

  • In the early scenes, Becca tells an outright lie to her boss so she can meet her boyfriend. Do you still sympathize with her after this? Why? Is it ever OK to lie?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 26, 2010
DVD release date:June 28, 2010
Cast:Danielle Panabaker, Radha Mitchell, Timothy Olyphant
Director:Breck Eisner
Studio:Overture Films
Run time:101 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:for bloody violence and language

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 3, 7, 9, 14, and 16 year old Written byBestmom123 March 22, 2010

John's Review of The Crazies.

My 16 Year old John's Review Of The Crazies Every Friday night my girlfriend and I go to the movies or watch a movie at home. We saw the remake of The Crazies. I saw the old Crazies movie but when we saw the tv spot we had to see it and we did. The movie had some F words and S words. The movie was gory as The Texas chainsaw Massacre remake, The part when the guy put the house on fire was scary and sad. The pitchfork deaths were bloody but not too bloody. The ending was amazing and cool! My girlfriend and I loved this movie! It was scary and cool!
Parent Written byChrisdeedee October 13, 2013


Great Movie!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bywonder dove June 26, 2012

I give it a thumbs up!!

I happen to like this movie a lot. At first I thought it was written by Stephen King because it reminds me A LOT of King's films...but it is not. The atmosphere is very eerie and I loved the action, didn't seem dull at all. It's all very scary and mysterious. The military who let out the virus in the first place are very heartless and violent...killing anyone they come across thinking that they may be carrying the virus too. It's a joy ride watching the 4 of them trying to escape, as they seem like only people left alive. Really cool flick, a lot of violence and some heavy language. Would recommend to those 16 and up.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing


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