Thoughts on Evil Dead remake - spoilers!!!
PLOT - 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.
LOWDOWN - Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, Last House On The Left, The Thing, The Blob, Night Of The Living Dead, Psycho, Dawn Of The Dead, Day Of The Dead, Black Christmas, Halloween, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare On Elm Street, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Fright Night, Prom Night, Terror Train, The Hills Have Eyes, House On Haunted Hill, House Of Wax, The Amityville Horror, The Fog, The Hitcher, When A Stranger Calls, Silent Night Deadly Night, Night Of The Demons, My Bloody Valentine, and Piranha. Just a few examples of remakes that have been made in the last forty or so years. Some have been awesome, in fact even better than the classic originals they were based off. Movies that updated the story line, took the pace in a different direction, and added dazzling new effects and ideas. Some are great stand alone films. By no means as good as the originals, but nice to view as a stand alone film. Then there's movies that are half assed, boring, stupid, and just a way for these studios to make a quick buck while spitting in the face of the original. Yep that's right I'm talking to you Michael Bay.
Still, I'm not against remakes. In fact there are some that I love with all my heart. (The Thing, The Blob, Night Of The Living Dead, The Hills Have Eyes, and Dawn Of The Dead.) these babies are great. Some dare I say it just as good or maybe better than the originals. Sadly Hollywood just hasn't been able to think of their own original ideas so the new fad, mostly in the last 10-15 years have been spitting out remakes like there's no tomorrow. Of course after watching some favorite movies of mine get shit on with the remake treatment, I wasn't shocked at all when I found out Sam Raimi's beloved classic was finally getting re-done.
I'm a HUGE Sam Raimi fan. I mean HUGE. In my previous post, I have expressed my love for Mr. Raimi. Not only do I love him as a director and storyteller, but as an actor as well. Hell, I have the man's name tattooed on me now. Sam made horror history in 1980/81 when him and a bunch of his buddies took some cameras out in the woods, froze their asses off, and made love budget goodness. A few years later he was given a bigger budget to make the sequel to this classic, which has been debated over many years if it's acutely a remake or not. To be it's a sequel but told exactly how Sam wanted the original to be told with the budget he needed. Dead By Dawn is horror perfection at it's greatest. Putting a more comical feel towards it, the Evil Dead world was opened up to us and by far has one of the greatest endings of all time.
In fact if the original needed to re-telling or to be improved. Sam did it with Dead By Dawn back in 1987.
A few years later Sam ended the trilogy with Army Of Darkness. Slapstick at it's greatest, establishing the character of Ash as one of the smoothest, coolest, fox around. Years went by and Sam and Bruce Campbell's careers sky rocketed . Rumors upon rumors upon rumors of a part 4 floated around and finally came time for the remake.
Now I'll be the first to admit, I really didn't care nor spent time following the making of this movie. At first I was on the fence just in general since instead of a sequel, we were getting a remake. Sadly the shit remakes outweigh the bad so I sorta had my nose up in the air about it. In fact I followed Sam's own movie closer with Oz The Great And The Powerful. Finally, the movie the trailer was released and I greeted it with positive vibes. As the date grew closer, I decided to go into this with an open mind since Sam, Rob, and Bruce all fully supported it. Finally yesterday after hearing a few mixed things about the movie, I decided to take my father at ten in the morning, slightly hungover to see it.
Is it sad my favorite part of going was the trailers?
Um, let's start with positive notes. The few things I did hear about the making of this movie was the fact it first got a NC-17 ratting, and that the new director was trying to be as respectful as he could with fans. That the original crew supported it, and that most of the effects were practical.
I liked the idea of these friends taking a girl into the woods to detox. I mean after viewing Cabin In The Woods, I feel they couldn't go back to the typical storyline. It made sense since after things start going sour and how much this one girl begs to leave, how her friends think it's just a trick to break and refuse to take her.
I also loved the little nods to the original. The poor Classic rotting into the ground, the Michigan State sweatshirt, the iconic line "One by one we will take you!". and several other small little nods that my friend Heather pointed out on her own blog. These tiny little things I feel only true Evil Dead fans would notice and love. To me they brought a smile to my face.
The gore was amazing but not all practical. I would like to say 98% of it is and I've even watched some behind the scenes footage showing the tricks, still I spotted at least two scenes where yes there was computer magic. I understand you can't always do practical, but it sora rubbed dirt in my eye seeing it.
The acting was awful...I HATED the sister character. It wasn't hammy or funny, it was awful. That scene of her curled up on the bunk bed had me cringing or her in the plastic bag talking to her brother "Why do you hate me?" She sounded like some annoying little teenager. Eh!
The gore was awesome and had me grossed out, but that's really all I viewed the movie as. A gory fun ride, with plenty of gross out moments. As an effects artist, I enjoyed these scenes. They took things to a whole new level with this movie and some of those scene were completely breathing.
Still, it seemed more like a stylized remake like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Seemed to be trying a wee bit too hard, which can either be awesome or just plain horrible.
Due to copyright issues, our wonderful blood of the dead ended up looking a Halloween store prop. I also HATED the way it ended up being read. No recording this time kiddos, just a guy doing some rubbings and saying every word out loud perfectly.
The last half really got to me, I loved the live burial part, but what really got me down was the way the sister was brought back. It sickened me how stupid and lame it was and how the whole time I kept waiting for her to turn back. The last fifteen minutes or so just did not do it for me. I mean there were some awesome parts (The chainsaw, the knee wound, and of course the pinned hand under the jeep. I also found the rain turning the blood very awesome. Reminded me of Warlock 2...go figure!) I did stay half way for the credits and then somebody told me the final frame of the movie. Total eye roll here. I'm sorry but if they were go gun-ho about not having an Ash character, why have that stupid clip? I know it was to please fans but it really annoyed me. I did like the fake Shemps, and of course the voice over of the original recording.
Wow I listed mostly things I didn't like!
Still it's in the top fifteen of the better remakes I've seen done. There was some serious effort put into this movie and I enjoyed it. The gore was amazing, and like I said I loved the little nods to original fans. I bought my ticket, supported my boys, but will I ever see it again?
Hey my dad liked it!
Like I said, it was a good movie for fans of the Evil Dead movies, and one of the better remakes. It had it's moments but no, I really didn't care about it. I understand due to the time that's passed me most likely won't ever see a part 4 to Evil Dead, but who knows. The way I look at is if I wanna support Mr. Raimi I'll just but another ticket to Oz The Great And The Powerful!