It’s Evil Dead weekend!! If you were as excited as I was before release, you’ve seen it already. Reviews are mostly positive, though many loyals are bitter about remakes. Who wouldn’t when your favorite horror film is up for slaughter? So now, was this film worth the wait and pleased our need for a good horror flick (for once)? I’ll break it down.
I absolutely love the original starring the legendary Bruce Campbell as Ashley Williams. I was one of those kids who would sit in the living room watching horror film after horror film with my family. (Love my parents!) The Evil Dead was that film that was pretty f-ed up but you loved. You just couldn’t understand how they would make everything look so realistic and would have sworn that it was real. The sequel The Evil Dead II was pretty much the same thing as the first: a couple of people go to a cabin and summon demons who start possessing them one by one. By the second one, Ash was pretty much the badass hero who then transitions into the third film, Army of Darkness. The first two films were the pretty basic horror films, while the third added more comedy and Ash one-liners that we still quote today, with a dark/horror tone of course. After the announcement of the remake in production, many people panicked. We were told, “Yes, this classic horror film is going to get the remake treatment.” As of recent, people know to panic as the treatment of these classic films haven’t been so satisfying. Of course, that panic grew as it was announced that it would be a totally new cast without Bruce Campbell. What?! No Ash? What even???!!! On the plus side, an unknown director was attached to it. The revamp did receive Raimi’s approval, especially when it came to who would be running things.
Alright, now forward to today. Evil Dead was taking place in a cabin as the original with the same number of people as the original. Three girls and two guys. Alright then! Let’s watch the movie!
Waiting for the film to start, we get to watch the same movie trailers shown in every other feature. Fun! But, not this one! We were served three delicious trailers of The Lords of Salem, You’re Next, and the anticipated yet delayed Carrie. Okay, I’ll admit that I was fangirling internally over the latter. Unfortunately, the place was packed and the guy next to me was almost touching me with his elbow. Grrrr!!! If you haven’t, catch the trailer below. It does show you the whole film (pretty much), but most of us older horror fans (even non-) KNOW HER NAME.
With Ash completely out of the picture, the film had to really prove its worth. And it did! Fede Alvarez makes a surprising gore-filled horror film using mostly practical effects. The film didn’t suffer from unnecessary CGI à la The Thing prequel. The film set the tone of what you would expect from it in the first five minutes. A possessed girl is tied up to a pole under the cabin (we find out later about the place) and is burned alive by her father while an old woman yelled in a different language. He then blew her head off with a shotgun. Turns out that she had killed her mother while in beast mode. And then scene! Fade in text: EVIL DEAD
Now you know that you better be packing some diapers. Guh guh guh! We then follow four people arriving at the cabin. By now, the film also establishes that it will center on the siblings, David and Mia, who was already waiting for them. They’ve taken Mia to the cabin to try and help her deal with her drug abuse and going cold turkey. This already has a better establishment than the original (had to say it). Their dog Grandpa (freakin’ love that name) sniffs out a door under a rug, which leads to a basement like that in which Ash’s sister, Sheila, inhabited in the original. They find the burned pole from the intro and many dead cats hanging with barbed wire strapped to them (awww). The new Book of the Dead is found in the basement as well; Eric, the nerd with glasses, rides on his curiosity and summons the demons by reading from the book. Mia is their first vessel, leading into the gore-fest, craziness that many witness upon watching this film.
It does hit you fast as the tension is already rising with Mia’s raging withdrawals, as she attempts to escape the cabin. You think: “Oh damn, this girl is going crazy!” And then at a perfect timing, it blends neatly into messy bits of demonic havoc and gruesome deaths. Did I mention the self bodily harm? I have to say again that the practical effects and dash of CG were a perfect combination to making people’s skin to crawl. I mean, shortly after Mia’s possession, we have a girl slicing half her face off with a piece of broken mirror.
Although the film gives you enough chills and goregasmic moments, its characters needed more development. But it’s understandable, as we have a horror film starting off right away on the scene of the crime. The cast was fine, although I did have a problem with them in certain scenes; but it wasn’t major enough to make me walk out of the theater. So now we have four, I mean five, David’s girlfriend is still there, people scared shitless. Completely forgot about her (whoops). Oh hey, she’s using an electric knife to sever her arm for attention. How cute.
Alright, so things are so crazy now. Two people are dead and there’s more to come, especially with Mia still possessed. By now you’ve connected the dots of who is who from the original, with David being Ash and Mia his sister. Oh, wait, never…. mind?? Nearing the end of the film, our Ash dies after the badass nerd goes out like a boss but is then possessed as well. Oh, I forgot to mention that Mia is now her normal self after being buried alive, as the book instructed. I loved everyone’s “awws,” and “NOs!!,” when David decided to dig her up. “She’s still possessed you idiot!!” Someone behind me told the screen. So, David goes out like a boss as well, burning the cabin along with the possessed Eric and Mia is left as the lone survivor. The demon (err, Abomination Mia) is then summoned from the ground, popping out Samara-style. After a brief of chasing, Mia grabs a chainsaw, grasped and made famous by the mighty Ash. Her arm is then crushed by the jeep (transportation yo) that the Abomination tipped over and she forces her arm to rip off. Ouch! And now we have the actual hero, the revamped Ash, who slices the demon in half with the chainsaw, saying, “Feast on this, motherfucker!” and “Go back to hell, bitch!”
What can I say? I fell in love with the movie from start to finish. Everything was done right and it definitely pays an honorable homage to the classic films. The gore wasn’t overdone, because come on, it’s what we already expect! And even if you’re new to the series, you ought to get used to it. As the Evil Dead 2 remake is in the works, as well as Army of Darkness 2, I am even more excited now that I see what direction the films are taking. What’s even more exciting is that eventually Army of Darkness 2 and Evil Dead 2 will crossover into Evil Dead 7 (not the actual title). Does that mean that we’ll see two chainsaw wielding badasses?! I think yes!! Please!! Speaking of Ash, YES, there IS a cameo after the credits, which include the tapes heard in the original classic. Look at the Ash cameo below in all its glory!! “Groovy!” I’ll be going to a second showing later today. I need more!!