Andrew Barell Contributer
“Evil Dead” is a remake (almost) of the cult horror classic 1981 film, The Evil Dead, by director Sam Raimi. This reboot, directed by relative newcomer Fede Alvarez, has gathered a great deal of hype surrounding its release. For one, the already established cult fan base exploded, more or less, when the film was announced. Some were en- thused and anxious while others felt disgruntled and betrayed. So, does this remake live up to the standards of diehard fans and gore enthusiasts? Yes and no.
As a fan of the original film and its sequels myself, I was excited when they announced the rebirth of the franchise. The trailers seemed gory and extreme like the original, but what I was really looking for was the comedic aspect that made the original stand out. Watching Ash, the lead character, tear through deadites (the psychotic undead of the franchise) after reciting a ridicu- lous cliché was part of the experi-
ence that is The Evil Dead. For some reason, this new version seemed to lack this charm, instead opting for over-the-top gory moments stan- dard of today’s horror films.
Of course, there are a few moments of general silliness in the movie, but they seldom seemed to be created on purpose or as refer- ence to the original. With this said, it would be unfair to judge this film solely on its similarity to its inspira- tion. In regards to plot and charac- ters, a few changes are worth mentioning without spoiling too much. First, there is no Ash. This is a large change from the original as Ash, previously played by Bruce Camp- bell, is in many ways a fan favorite. The filmmakers could have easily replaced him with an equally compel- ling and likable character. However, the team behind the film seemed to place its efforts elsewhere, like the re-written story that tries to be more “believable.”
The film’s main character Mia, played by Jane Levy, is a recovering drug addict who is going through withdrawal at an old family cabin, with the support of a bunch of friends. This, amongst other changes, represents part of the attempt to make the possession and demonization of the characters more believable. To me it just seemed like a planned attribute put in place to make the some viewers under- stand why the film’s characters did not suspect supernatural activity when things went a-rye. It was a bit insulting to see a simple plot full of ambiguities remade to be simpler with less to guess about.
As for the gore, they did a great job. The use of practical effects was a nice touch, especially in the over digitalized cinema we now are forced to endure. As soon as the blood starts to pour it does not stop until it rains. After letting the initial excitement of Evil Dead wear off, it is hard to fully hate or fully love it. There are moments that shine and others that are fall short. While this is not the ideal remake, I can definitely recommend it for fans and newcomers looking for a good time. It may not be perfect, but it is a lot of fun in the theater, especially with a group of friends.