Sunday, April 7, 2013

EVIL DEAD (2013)

Nothing about horror movies excites me anymore it seems. Nowadays it's all 80's horror icons re imagined, hacking and slashing away at unlikeable Abercrombie and Fitch models. Or what's possibly worse is that our vampires, werewolves, and zombies all have to be sexy now. Lame. The other end of the spectrum isn't all that great either. When the horror genre isn't appealing to teenagers or stay at home soccer mom's, it goes overboard to the tasteless gory torture porn extreme. Does anybody remember that JAWS all taught us that less is more? But what if the movie is meant to be a splatter house blood soaking horror show? Then make it fun maybe even a little humorous, just don't get lost in the tasteless gore. Who am I to tell someone what they should and should not like? There is no accounting for taste. Bottom line is I don't like tasteless gore in my horror movies, the keyword there is tasteless.

When it comes to the Evil Dead movies I love EVIL DEAD II more than the original. It was the first one I saw of the trilogy and is my favorite of the series. It was either 1987 or 1988 when I saw EVIL DEAD II for the first time on good old HBO, A.K.A “The Babysitter”. It was one of the most original and entertaining movies I had ever seen. It was probably the first multi genre movies I had ever seen too. It had everything; horror, action, and comedy. It is and forever shall be one of my favorite movies.

The original EVIL DEAD was a film I didn't get around to seeing until well after ARMY OF DARKNESS. Something about EVIL DEAD did not appeal to me. I had know for quite awhile that it was not humorous like it's sequel but serious, scary, and gory very gory. The time had finally come so my friends and I rented it one afternoon (because we were too scared to watch it at night) and we hated it. We like our slapstick Evil Dead thank you very much. We hated that the movie was so grim and the violence and gore was serious in nature. Yuck. No thanks.

* I want to be clear that I do not think that EVIL DEAD is tasteless. The filmmakers set out to make a scary horror movie.

Over the years I've grown to appreciate EVIL DEAD the more I see it but it's still my least favorite of the series.

For years fans have wanted a fourth Evil Dead film but the original filmmakers have said no, until just recently. So EVIL DEAD IV looks to be happening but it also seems like they are going to call it ARMY OF DARKNESS II. Too early to know for certain. What is certain is that producers Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell along with director Fede Alvarez have made an amazing remake.

My biggest fear with EVIL DEAD (2013) was no slapstick, no Ash, and too much emphasis on torture porn gore. I felt this was catering to a new generation of horror audiences, people that love evil winning and monsters that kill the hero. I underestimated Fede Alvarez big time!

I won't argue that this new film is a remake, but it just felt more like an expanded universe Evil Dead story to me. The nods to the original are much much more than winks to the fans if you ask me. Time will tell.

Five friends head to a remote cabin to help their friend Mia quit heroin. This isn't the first time they've tried to make her quit. No matter what happens no matter how hard Mia begs, they are not leaving until she's clean. Siblings David and Mia haven't been to the family cabin for a long time and since then, some strange stuff has been going on. The discovery of a Book of the Dead leads to the summoning of some demons in the woods. The evil possesses them until one is left to fight for survival.

At first the pacing is a little slow and none of the five friends are all that likable. Mia played by Jane Levy did an amazing job. Everybody else seemed one dimensional which is too common in horror movies today. If the rest of the cast had just a little more to work with in regards to their characters I may have been a little more invested in them. One character in particular, Eric, his curiosity in the Book of the Dead came off as cliché rather than believable curiosity.

Yes, no traces of EVIL DEAD II are to be found in this remake. The gore and horror are serious; however, it's done in such a way that yes it's gross but not once did I get the sense the movie is glorifying the gore.

For me the real star of the picture was the use of practical effects. No CGI gore here at all from what I can tell. I hate CGI blood and gore. Hate it!

I highly recommend EVIL DEAD (2013) only if you love horror movies, and I do stress love. I liked the movie but when the film reached that final act, I absolutely loved it! It brought me to that level of excitement that KILL BILL VOL.1 did.

Kudos to Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, and Fede Alvarez for opening this universe again.

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