The original Evil Dead was released in 1981, the same year I was born. The remake/sequel was released 2 days before my birthday. Coincidence? Completely, don’t be stupid!
Mia (Jane Levy) is led to a cabin in the middle of nowhere by her estranged brother David (Shiloh Fernandez) and some forgettable friends in a final attempt to detox from her heroin addiction. Dank cellar, Book of the Dead, blood, blood…blood. A remake ensues.
The Evil Dead circa 1981 was one of the first horror movies I ever watched at waaaaaay too young of an age. It caused me to be afraid of books that were made of human flesh and written in blood just like I can’t swim in lakes for fear of Jason Voorhees getting me or the zombie go bag that I keep ready at the drop of a zombie hat. I had a VHS tape with Evil Dead, Aliens and Howard the Duck on it that I would watch every day until the tape actually broke. So I guess I’m saying that I was excited to watch it.
Sam “Spider-Man” Raimi himself hand-picked director Fedo Alvarez to reboot the franchise and along with Bruce Campbell stayed involved every step of the way so the nerds can relax. Alvarez even made this little comment that made me happy:
“Now, the way I personally like to see Evil Dead (2013), it’s as a story that takes place 30 years after The Evil Dead ended. The car is there, the cabin is there (a family bought it and did some work on it more than 20 years ago) and the book has found its way back to the cabin… New kids will encounter it and suffer its wrath. Is Evil Dead a sequel then? Maybe. But the problem with the sequel theory would be that there are too many coincidences between the events on The Evil Dead and the ones on Evil Dead to have happened on a continuous story line but if you believe the Naturom Demonto can force these things to happen… then it could be a sequel… and I do believe in coincidences.”
I’m on the horror fence when it comes to this flick. For all the horror purists and nerds there are plenty of Easter eggs, Raimi cuts and edits and gore all over the place. The casual viewer might get bored due to the lack of jokes, slight pacing issues and ridiculous 1970’s choir led score.
Post-The Cabin in the Woods, a literal cabin-in-the-woods film has to up its game in some capacity. The point of Drew Goddard‘s comedy-horror flick was to note how audiences no longer go into horror films expecting to be scared. They know the genre too well, and the genre has become lazy. Evil Dead rises to the challenge by making sure we’re not bored, and having all jokes on our part come from a need to create distance rather than a sense of smug superiority over the material. When watching Evil Dead I couldn’t help but notice the lack of genre stereotypes and the setup being wrapped around the detox angle instead of the standard “5 college friends escape to a cabin in the woods for a wild weekend of party and sex until something goes horribly wrong!!!”. I typed that into Google and 100 crap movies came up.
I own The Evil Dead on VHS, 2 DVD’s and Blu Ray. For years, I had an Ash action figure that had the arm break off which made me find it hilarious and display it proudly anyway. I even had an original theatrical release poster at the head of my bed to express my love for The Evil Dead and my apparent hatred of hooking up with girls. What I’m trying to say is that I’m awful with my money and I’m a fan that got a chance to see another fan retell a beloved story and steal more of my hard earned money. Hard earned? Like I’m out crushing rocks or something.
Stick around after the credits for something “groovy”…that was fairly obvious.
THE BEST: The finale makes the “blood flood” scene from Evil Dead II look like the problem of that girl in high school coed gym class that wouldn’t play basketball because of “cramps”. That was a convoluted period joke.
THE WORST: The score is so bad that I actually started laughing in the theatre during the last 15 minutes like a jerk.
THE LINE: “Everything’s gonna be fine? I don’t know if you noticed this, but everything’s been getting worse… every second.” -Eric
THE FINAL: 3.5 out of 5. If you like bloody, duct tape covered mayhem then rush off to a theatre but if you have never heard of any of this gibberish then you should probably come over to watch Evil Dead II and have some boozes. No fatties.