Evil Dead (2013) – By Eric Lampaert
I’m not usually a fan of remakes if the film doesn’t need it; the well written Le Dinner De Cons, intended for both people who are ‘cons’ and intelligent, was butchered by the awful Dinner For Schmucks intended only for schmucks. Let The Right One In & Rec both remade (Let Me In & Quarantine) pretty much shot for shot just because some schmucks struggle with subtitles. That drives me insane.
However, I kept an open mind about this remake. Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead was a cheesy cult-classic and will always be loved by horror fans. But perhaps for the wrong reasons. The original’s over the top violence blended with what special effects they could afford on a small budget, happy ballad when the credits rolled (As opposed to the epic Hieronymus Bosch music) and cheeky nods to other horror films such as the ripped poster of The Hills Have Eyes in the basement, made this film stand the test of time. I still watch the original every now and then as it is brilliant. But brilliant isn’t scary. If you asked me whether Peter Jackson’s Braindead should be remade, I would struggle to answer. No because it’s amazingly-awful. Yes because it’s amazingly-awful. The Evil Dead (personally) falls in that category, which is why I was looking forward to seeing the rebirth of the 1981 Renaissance pictures film.
Fans, I think, will be pleased, what with the incredible special effects, good script and a cameo from Bruce Campbell himself. Unfortunately, no boob shot. Sorry straight lads & lesbians! But apart from that, I was focused on the film throughout. Not once did I have to look at my watch out of boredom (Although I was distracted a little because the screen had a stain on the bottom left corner and I had a mild case of thrush…. Sharing too much?) and that’s saying something considering I already knew the story pretty well.
However, Fede Alvarez will keep new and old fans on their toes for his version (rated 18! The way a horror should be!) is not an exact replica of the original. If you’ve not seen it, here’s a brief synopsis with no spoilers.
Only an evil book (Not 50 Shades Of Grey, but as monstrous!) (And not the Bible or the Qur’an which arguably kill many more people than this film) can undo what the evil book has done. So basically reading it is bad, and of course someone will read it (curiosity kills the cat. Loads of cats, Rotting. Hanging. In the basement), otherwise it’s a movie about 5 people who have a lovely time in a clichéd cabin in a wood. And who reads it? The geek in the group that thinks he knows it all; he’s called Eric. Of course he is! TYPECAST! Eric fucks it up again! (At least he gets nailed in the film.)
The group mistake possession by the abominable demon for class A drug withdrawal symptoms. Which can easily be done. It is scary. I remember when my uncle tried to get off heroin. My parents let him stay at ours so he had somewhere nice to stay. One night, he stayed in my room and the next day there was vomit everywhere, and I cried because he threw up in my school shoes & trainers. My Mum wrote me a note asking if it was ok for me to wear my sandals at school. During winter! Yes it was ok. But the other kids didn’t think so. Cue bullying! What’s the real evil? Drugs? (Or trying to quit drugs?) Women? Yeah. Women.
There are a couple of flaws in the film such as the chainsaw lid falling off! How does the fuel stay in? Does the blood not contaminate the machine? And, on both films, I’ve always found it strange that Evil can’t break through a wood. Weak against wood? But wood killed Jesus. You’d think wood would be on Evil’s side!
I walked out of this film happy. If that happens, whether you agree with me or not, makes it a good film. I recommend it.
DON’T READ ON AS THIS IS A BIT OF A SPOILER!
There was one shot, which looked incredible! Mia standing in front of the burning cabin, in the pouring blood, chainsaw in hand watching evil sink into the ground. For some reason, I felt like this should’ve been the last shot, followed by epic evil music and the Evil Dead title shot, rather than seeing her slowly walk away in the sunshine. I understand that sunshine drives the evil out of Ash in the 1987’s Evil Dead 2, hinting that things may not be over for Mia. But still, that shot could’ve been the ending…
Thanks to Matt Highton for tweaking and peaking over my less nerdy shoulder
Written by Eric Lampaert