More from Breck Eisner on The Crazies
02.25.10 by Ryan
With The Crazies debut just a few days away, director Breck Eisner is spreading the word about his remake of George Romero's 1973 original. Eisner told Collider that he would describe his Crazies as "horror-thriller," and, much like Romero has done in countless horror movies, tried to mix social relevance in with the scares.
[F]or me, if you're going to remake a movie, it's got to have relevance today, as it did when it was originally made. Romero's Crazies was made in '73 under the shadow of the ending of the Vietnam War and when we started developing our Crazies, it was after 9/11, under the shadow of the George Bush presidency and the invasion of Iraq, and it seemed like a very similar time in the country and a time that was right for having this movie, which is a terror-horror ride, but one that has some commentary on the use of the military and the use of biological weaponry. So, that social message within the fabric of a genre, exciting movie is something that I think is intrinsic to Romero's early work and one which I wanted to retain in doing this version.
One way that Eisner deliberately decided not to update Romero's original was to shoot the movie in 3-D.
Obviously, I loved Avatar and I've always been a fan of CG and cutting-edge technology. In '95, I did my thesis film at USC; it was a CG-live-action combined film, very early in those days.
But I think those tools should be used on a per-film basis. So a movie like Avatar obviously is right for three dimensions, for heavy CG and digital shooting. But for the film The Crazies, I wanted to have a more traditional filmic quality, the nice tight grain of a Kodak film and the saturation of the colors and the 2-dimensional filmic world.
Despite a limited resume that boasts the poorly received action-comedy Sahara as its only existing feature, Eisner claims he is "drawn to horror."
Pure genre movies are the ones that I am most drawn to and have always been drawn to. And I'm drawn to horror movies that have good story, good character and good character journeys and concepts; I'm not necessarily a fan of movies like Friday the 13th or the reboot of Halloween,
although I appreciate the sort of quality that goes into them. The kind of movies that I draw inspiration from, that I most connect to, are those ones I was talking about earlier, ones that set up a world that establish the characters, establish the environment that they live in, establish the relationships first, and then you get to watch this descent into madness as their world collapses around the characters. It feels to me like in order to keep horror fresh and to keep the audience vested in the movie, you have to get invested in the characters, invested in the world that you're creating. You can't just try and come
up with bigger and better and more graphic kills. There are people out there who can do that better than I can. I play to what I feel my strengths are and what my loves are in film and that's character journey and concept and story.