The Crazies

In a terrifying tale of the American Dream gone wrong, four friends find themselves trapped in their hometown in The Crazies, a reinvention of the George Romero classic.

David Dutton is sheriff of Ogden Marsh, a picture-perfect American town with happy, law-abiding citizens. But one night, one of them comes to a school baseball game with a loaded shotgun, ready to kill. Another man burns down his house after locking his wife and young son in a closet inside. Something is infecting the citizens of Ogden Marsh . . . with insanity.

The few still sane find themselves trapped: Sheriff Dutton; his pregnant wife, Judy; Becca, an assistant at the medical center; and Russell, Dutton's deputy and right-hand man. Forced to band together, an ordinary night becomes a struggle for survival as they try to get out of town alive.

"Insanity is infectious!" The strapline for Breck Eisner's new film, The Crazies, plays on stereotypes about people with mental health difficulties, who are once again portrayed as violent, contagious monsters. Mental health advocacy groups have already criticised the blithely offensive language used in the promotional material, but the film itself reveals a more troubling undercurrent of popular anxiety about the nature of mental health.
  1. The Crazies
  2. Production year: 2010
  3. Countries: Rest of the world, USA
  4. Cert (UK): 15
  5. Runtime: 101 mins
  6. Directors: Breck Eisner
  7. Cast: Danielle Panabaker, Joe Anderson, Radha Mitchell, Timothy Olyphant, Timothy Olyphant
  8. More on this film
Horror movies often manipulate middle-class social unease, and The Crazies is no exception. Set in the sleepy Iowa town of Ogden Marsh, the film follows the familiar logic of the zombie genre: some government clot releases a virus that swiftly turns the local population into an unsightly mob of oozing, bloodthirsty killers; the few citizens who remain untainted find themselves trapped between a repressive state and the shambling masses, and must fight to survive by shooting their friends and neighbours into tiny, twitching bits. "Zombies represent the bourgeois idea of the underclass," said dark-fantasy writer Roz Kaveney. "They can't be cured or stopped, and you absolutely have to kill them or they will make you one of them."

The characteristics of Hollywood zombies have altered along with the prevailing angst of the middle classes over the past 80 years. Early zombies were a cipher for the striking workers of the Great Depression, while George A Romero's Night of the Living Dead examined white paranoia at the height of the civil rights era, with a horrifying final scene in which the black protagonist is mistaken for a zombie and shot by government agents. The shambling masses of The Crazies are mentally ill, rather than poor or black, articulating residual cultural prejudice against people who experience mental illness.

Romero also created the original 1973 version of The Crazies – a brooding, difficult film steeped in Vietnam-era suspicion of state conspiracy, where the distinction between "sane" and "crazy" is constantly shifting. The modern remake is a more straightforward piece of gleeful ultra-violence: one can easily identify the "crazies", because they're the ones who are screaming, drooling and butchering their fellow townsfolk.

The shock value of films like this lies in the false assumption that being "crazy" and being violent go together, and that mental ill-health is something to be feared. In reality, the quarter of UK adults who experience some sort of mental health difficulty are far more likely to be serving you coffee, signing your pay cheques or sharing your home than stumbling around in a homicidal frenzy.

People with mental health difficulties are more often the victims, not the perpetrators of violent physical and psychological attacks. One recent US study found that patients with psychosis who were living in the community were 14 times more likely to be the victims of a violent crime than to be arrested for such crimes. But despite hard evidence to the contrary, the popular perception of people with mental health difficulties as dangerously unstable persists – fuelled not just by sophomoric horror films, but by sensational journalism such as this week's brutally one-sided BBC documentary, Why did you kill my dad?

At the end of the day, The Crazies is just another high-budget Hollywood gore-fest. But the prejudices it plays upon have a great deal of currency, and they affect the daily lives of ordinary people who experience mental health difficulties. Time To Change, the national campaign to end stigma against people with mental health difficulties, found that 87% of people with mental health problems had experienced discrimination at home or at work, and that two-thirds of employers would refuse to offer a job to someone with a history of mental ill-health. Even the notion of mental illness as infectious is part of the contemporary conversation about mental ill health: some British faith communities retain superstitions about psychosis, mania and depression as literally contagious, or as evidence of demonic possession.

"Far from being a separate category of person, people who experience mental health difficulties form part of the audience for any film, television programme or book," said Mark Brown, the editor of One in Four, Britain's lifestyle magazine for people with mental health difficulties. People working in the creative and media industries need to understand that stereotypes about mental health cause real harm, and that manipulating public paranoia about mental ill health alienates a significant section of their audience. People with mental health difficulties are not monsters: it's time the media stopped fetishising them as such.

David Ogden Dutten, sheriff kota Ogden Marsh, gambaran sempurna kota Amerika dengan warga yang hidup bahagia dan patuh kepada hukum. Namun pada suatu hari, salah satu dari mereka datang ke pertandingan bisbol sekolah membawa senjata, siap untuk membunuh. Seorang pria lain membakar rumahnya sendiri setelah mengunci istri dan anaknya di dalam lemari. Kota ini berubah menjadi tempat yang mengerikan, kehidupan yang tenang berubah menjadi bejat, pembunuh haus akan darah, bersembunyi dalam kegelapan dengan senjata dan pisau. Sheriff Dutten mencoba memahami apa yang sedang terjadi. Sesuatu telah menjangkiti warga Ogden Marsh dengan kegilaan, menyerang mereka satu per satu, berbalik melakukan kekerasan

Dalam usaha menghentikan kegilaan ini, pemerintah menutup semua akses ke kota tersebut dan tidak membiarkan siapa pun masuk atau keluar - bahkan orang-orang yang tidak terinfeksi. Beberapa yang masih belum terjangkit ikut terjebak. Bersama-sama, mereka melakukan apa saja agar dapat keluar dari kota tersebut dengan selamat
  1. Jenis Film : Horror
  2. Produser : Michael Aguilar, Rob Cowan, Dean Georgaris
  3. Produksi : Overture Films
  4. Rating LSF : Dewasa (adult)
  5. Durasi : 101
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