Evil Dead


I am a huge fan of the original Evil Dead. I am even more-so a fan of one Mr. Bruce Campbell, star of the 1981 original and a producer of the remake. After seeing the trailer, I knew this was a must-see for me because it was The Evil Dead – with a bigger budget. And it looked terrifying. But I have to say, when I left the movie all I could think was, “That made me sad.”

For those unfamiliar, Evil Dead (the original and the remake) is a story about five twenty-somethings who go on a trip to a cabin in the woods. They discover the “Book of the Dead” in the basement. Naturally, someone reads it and hilarity ensues, and by hilarity I mean possession, mutilation, and a woodland “love scene”… all the elements that make for a good horror film and even better romantic comedy. The remake does include a clever new plot twist given the overabundance of “young adults in the woods” horror films. It also introduces some new actors to the horror genre, including a very decent, demented performance from Suburgatory’s Jane Levy.

As a modern-day horror film, this movie (seemingly) had it all. It was extremely gory, violent, and bloody, and definitely made me jump – many times. The special effects and make-up were fantastic. The characters didn’t look like Muppets covered in Kero-syrup and tapioca pudding. It had all that the original lacked from a production standpoint. But it lacked all that the original had from an enjoyment standpoint. The characters were not well developed or very smart or likable, especially the protagonist, David (Shiloh Fernandez). I don’t blame him as much as the screenplay. The lines were cheesy – and not in a so-bad-it’s-good way, but rather in an annoying way. The movie seemed way too long and was almost frustrating to watch. Sad indeed.

The original Evil Dead was charming and fun. This one was neither. It was an attempt to fix something with the Hollywood treatment that wasn’t really broken. If I were an unbiased party that had no connection to the original, I would certainly say it was a decent, maybe slightly above average, Hollywood horror flick. But it wasn’t at all memorable because it lacked one of the key elements the original movie focuses on – a soul. I blame the Necronomicon. If you want a good freak-out Friday night at the movies, then by all means, see it. But if you want a really good horror movie with a bonus dash of charm, stay home and watch Cabin in the Woods or the original Evil Dead.

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