Saturday, April 13, 2013

Evil Dead Again Review

In 1981, a filmmaker and his friends were broke.  So like most broke guys, they decided to make a movie.  They took out loans, begged, borrowed and (reportedly) sold their souls, and at the end of the day, they made a movie called "The Book of the Dead".  At the end of the next day, they changed the title to "The Evil Dead".  And it was good ... or actually evil.

The acting was horrible, the effects were silly, and the overall production just looked cheap.  But, it had a very dark soul!  *insert spooky laugh here*.  It had classic moments that were just creepy, and it was just good clean fun to watch.  Well, it was evil bloody fun to watch, if you're into that sort of thing.

As you may have guessed by now, that filmmaker was Sam Raimi, and one of his friends starring in it, was Bruce Campbell.  Sam eventually created Darkman, and the Tobey Mcquire version of Spider-man, (and most recently Oz the Great and Powerful).  Bruce, as you know, is best known for... being Bruce Campbell.

The Evil Dead eventually spawned Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn, and one of my favorite movies ever, Army of Darkness.  The series did get less creepy and more outright fun as it went on.  But the original will always be a classic, and there will never be another like it.

Wait...  What do you mean someone just remade it???   Dammit...!

Fine.  Here we are in 2013 and someone decides to bring it back to life after so many years.  I was extremely apprehensive, however, the trailer for it looked impressive.  Could they do it?  Can they recreate the creepy tension from the original and give it new life (or new death)?

The first thing you notice, is they hired actors.  Maybe none of them were Oscar winners, but they did a believable job, and you could tell they got paid more than Sam Raimi's friends from the original.  

The next thing you'll notice, is they wrote a story.  The original was essentially kids going to a cabin to, probably have sex and do drugs.  But this is 2013, where kids everywhere are getting clean and sober.  Which brings us to the plot.  Mia (actress Jane Levy) has decided she's had enough drugs in her life, and gathered her friends together to help her clean up once and for all.  Well, I'm guessing it's drugs she pours down the well.  It could be a heavy cinnamon addiction, since they never specifically say what it was.  But the thing to remember is, there is a fine line between withdrawal symptoms and demon possession.

There are other major plot changes from the original.  But the storyline is not the only place these movies differ!  The list goes on...

One painful difference was the cabin itself.  The original version gave the cabin life (uncredited), and a personality.  Sam Raimi made it someplace uncomfortable and disturbing.  The remake, made it a cabin.  Sure it had some disturbing rooms within, but it was still just a cabin in the woods, (not to be mistaken for the awesome 2011 horror film, Cabin in the Woods, which pays homage to many great horror films, including The Evil Dead, which you NEED to see if you have not!).

Another noticeable change was, the original used very cheesy but acceptable demonic makeup.  The remake, gave them funny contacts, dirt, and blood... and that's it.

Even the Angry Rape Tree, which was very popular in the original, didn't seem so angry here.  It seemed like it accidentally raped her, and maybe even apologized after.

You could tell, the makers of the new version were obviously fans of the original, and I do respect that.  There were plenty of nice homages to the original, but the remake seemed to be missing the heart and soul.  You would think, a soulless horror movie is a good thing.  But I prefer the dark soul of the original *insert spooky laugh again*.

Despite all these holes in it's life, the remake is still a decent horror movie. You get plenty of blood, and lots of screams mixed with cringe-worthy moments.

Go see it, but the original is still King in my book of the dead.

So hail to the king, baby...


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