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Archive for the ‘Evil Dead’ Category

EvilDead2013Poster.jpgThere are very few things I find sacred in this time of ours, and Sam Raimi’s cult classic, The Evil Dead, and more importantly Evil Dead II, is one of those things.  Those films are timeless.  Bruce Campbell’s portrayal of hero Ash is unparalleled in cinema.  So when I heard they were in talks to remake the film, and most likely series, I was sickened to my very core.  Why?

What was worse is some of the rumors surrounding a reboot.  The worst being that Ashton Kutcher may step in to the role of Ash…seriously?  Rumors and speculation flew for years until a remake was finally greenlit.  Except this time there would be no Ash, and the hero would be heroine.

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with my brother regarding the new Evil Dead.  Do I plan to see it? Well yeah.  Do you think it will be good? Well no.  Do I even understand why they remade it?  Well now…kind of…yeah…because the truth is…that The Evil Dead is rife with horror cliches but…it’s pretty damn good at them.

Sam Raimi comes back to produce, along with Bruce Campbell, but not direct the horror remake.  Which is probably a big reason why The Evil Dead works.  Fresh eyes here saves the film from being a straight up remake.  The original Evil Dead II was essentially a one man show, with Bruce Campbell both terrifying and making us laugh at the same time.  It was camp humor, something you won’t find here.  Just blood, guts and gore.

This Evil Dead is more about the entire cast as they try to escape whatever terror it is that is trying to swallow their souls.  Jane Levy, most widely known as Lip’s love interest in Shameless, plays Mia.  A recovering drug addict who is taken to their parents old cabin, in order to try and kick her habit one more time.  She’s joined by her brother David and his girlfriend Natalie, and two childhood friends Eric and Olivia.  Olivia is a nurse and is there to help Mia kick.

As the group enters the old cabin they see how dilapidated it has become.  Things start to become strange when they uncover a bizarre scene of witchcraft in the fruit cellar, along with a book.  The Book of the Dead.  Eric soon begins to dig in to the Book of the Dead, reading passages from the book.  Just as Ash did so long ago, Eric awakens the demon that will come to kill them all.

The story is one of the oldest in horror history.  Teenagers find a cabin, and shit gets weird.  It’s simple.  It’s not rocket science.  From here it becomes a game of storytelling, and first time director Fede Alvaraz does a great job of keeping the film entertaining the entire time, without succumbing to every cliche in the book…just most of them.  He does a good job of looking at each character almost the same amount of time.  It keeps us guessing as to who the actual hero is of the film.

Alvaraz piles on a ton, and I mean a ton of violence and blood that makes the blood from the hand-shooting/wall scene from Evil Dead II look like a tiny puddle of blood.  The film is extremely violent and grotesque, just the way I like it.  It’s not for the squeamish.   There are nice little nods to the original films here and there, but for the most part the film stands on its own.  It’s a horror film.  It’s entertainment, and it’s done pretty well.  That’s way more than I expected from the film to begin with.

The Evil Dead actually can play just as much as a continuation of the series as it can a reboot.  This is the same cabin that Ash found all those years ago, and what happened to him is about to happen to these kids.  I like to think of the film in this way, and I can’t help but wonder what has happened to Ash after all these years.  Did he make it back to his present time?  Did he get fired from S-Mart while he was away?  Perhaps we’ll get a chance to find out that answer soon, but for now I’ll take what I can get.

Grade: B+