Evil Dead (2013)
Directed by Fede Alvarez
Hollywood keeps churning out the remake machine. And we all keep eating it. Sometimes when you haven't eaten that cake you haven't had in a while, it tastes different, has more flavors and it's actually still damn yummy.
Welcome to the Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell approved Evil Dead sequel? remake? re imagining?
If you hold tried and true to the principles of what made Raimi's cabin in the woods film all so awesome, you won't fuck it up. Even when you add some Diablo Cody and some director you've never heard of, it will still work if you go with the old school makeup and gore effects and slip in a run down Oldsmobile. What you come up with is what I tweeted after seeing the flick:
There is an audience that has seen Raimi's
#EvilDead and an audience that has NOT seen the original. This version works amazingly both.
Evil Dead goes for a straight take, book of the dead unleashed blood soaked horror film. Gone are the wacky hi jinks of ED2 and Army. What we have received in this installment is what noobs and hardcore veterans haven't seen in years, a demon menace wreaking havoc horror film. I have always been a fan of these films and like the cannibal movie of yesteryear, sometimes I want to see my first horror loves from so long ago.
When your nostalgia meter gets jacked to maximum and you see a few kids getting killed by all manners of weaponry, it's a fun time for all.
Five friends head to a remote cabin, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads them to unwittingly summon up demons living in the nearby woods. The evil presence possesses them until only one is left to fight for survival.
Might as well review this like I did Cabin in the Woods. With my slasher Q&A. In this case, I'll slightly modify it to be more demon-y focused.
1.) Does the movie have..... a mysterious, insanely strong, ridiculed as a child, deformed, inbred redneck slasher?
It has a Deadite that goes all Urban Dictionary while being all possessively demonic and fucked up. There's tinge of wicked humor (let's call it Cody-isms) but more so awkward evil going all crazy.
2.) Gratuitous, over the top, super fleshy nudity?
Can you believe it? Nada. Sigh.
3.) Stereotypical teenage caricatures with a few old people who die gruesome and horrific over the top deaths?
4.) No Plot?
It's the same old plot so pretty much no plot.
5.) Kills by our slasher that make you go "Fuck yeah!"
Our resident deadite does go all kill happy in a variety of ways. Needle trauma, brain smashing trauma, nail gun trauma, shotgun trauma, hammer time trauma.
We get a version of happy molesting tree, some evil hand infection and some Ash-ing it up montage moments. Blood mayhem goes old school and I deeply appreciated it. You could tell the makeup and buckets of blood being used gave it that old timey horror glaze that we all love.
7.) Geeky leader who takes charge of the hapless group as they try to escape who befriends the hot girl who knows about the "legend" (there's always a legend no one believes)
Our nerdy hippy who unleashed the evil dead sure can take a beating. He was stabbed, nail gunned, crowbared and beaten senseless and he kept breathing. Kudos to you dude.You must have been on meth or something.
8.) Funny yet ill timed dialogue but also various quips and one liners that are funny only the first time around (yet somehow funny again when you buy the DVD and only when you're stoned)
If you laughed it was probably a Cody-ism. Thank the old gods there wasn't a hamburger phone.
You saw the Oldsmobile Delta 88 and the end credits scene. A few of the Raimi trademarks also show up.
10.) Wildly ambiguous ending that can be used to warrant a sequel?
Somebody will find the goddamn Necronimicon. They always do.
************************************************************I'm not going to say Evil Dead is a perfect film, but it does its job well. It's 90 minutes of furious hellish fun that takes the cabin in the woods formula and gets all creative. I mean ever since Whedon's masterpiece, I've been scarred by the cliched woods film. But Alvarez seems to genuinely care about the source material, does his fair share of homaging and actually creates his own version that shines. Is it a sequel? a remake? a chapter?
Who the hell knows. We should be glad we got this installment of the franchise and be happy.
Check out the trailer.