Monday, April 8, 2013

RAPID REVIEW: Evil Dead

We live in a world of remakes. If there's a film  (especially a horror film) that you enjoyed in your younger days, you can be damn sure that Hollywood is going to try to bend it, mold it, and sometimes break it for it's modern movie-going audience. In the case of Evil Dead, keeping the "die hard" fans satisfied may have been it's undoing.
From the moment the first red band trailer was released it was apparent that the tone of the 2013 Evil Dead was stark in contrast to that of the 1981 original. Gone was the camp (which wasn't quite intentional) and we were left with a good ol' fashioned, gore heavy, cabin in the words horror flick. With all the hype drummed by the trailer and promotion for the film, you're left feeling that there's a lot to live up to. Then again, how could it? Evil Dead is a cult classic. It has a rabid fan base and it's star, Bruce Campbell, is legendary. Remakes are more so aimed at a newer  audience. No matter how much is promised or repeated in press junkets and interviews leading up to the film's release, it's likely that 'original' fans will be left angry and disappointed. Again, hopes were high. Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell, the iconic Ash himself, were producing. So, it's gotta be good right?  It's gotta live up to the hype, RIGHT?!?!

Personally, I don't feel that it did.

The opening setup was great. It completely set the 2013 Evil Dead apart from the 1981 The Evil Dead, and reassured the audience that this wasn't going to be a remake. This was a re-imagining. I'd say 75% of the film is pretty good (I'd dare to say great) but, as our cabin friends begin to go down so does the films.  The nods and winks to the original film caused this film to stumble a bit. They began as subtle ("Hey, is that the car from the original film?!"), but in trying to re-create Raimi's signature shots a few times throughout the film it caused the established "serious" tone to unravel.

So, let's get to the Rapid Review:

The Good: 


  • Gore - Great make-up effects. Gallons upon gallons of blood!
  • Kills - Once our group begins to go "Deadite", we get some fun kills. 
  • First 30 minutes - Good opening sequence that establishes a fresh take on the story. 

The Bad:

  • Acting - The cast is not very strong. Jessica Lucas is a familiar face and does well to establish herself as the strongest character, but SPOILER ALERT ... (scroll over) she doesn't last long. Jane Levy as Mia plays a good crazy, but there's no Bruce's in this bunch. 
  • Consistency - As I mentioned previously, the films stumbles over itself. 
  • Strong Ending - This is a common problem with modern horror films. They build to the climax, but the transition AND payoff are a big letdown. 

See it now? Or later...at home?:

  • Now. The movie isn't awful. I feel that it actually benefits from the energy and reactions of the crowd viewing. Plus, who doesn't want to see all that gore splattering upon the big screen?

Good, Great, or Eh...?

  • Good. Do not go into this movie expecting to see someone attaching a chainsaw to their nub and rifling off witty one liners. If you do, you will be very angry. Go ahead and watch Psycho and then try and live through the Gus Van Zant/Vince Vaughn's shot for shot remake (1998). Tell me how that works out for you. 

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

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