Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Movie Review Wednesday - Evil Dead Remake

History first:

Anyone who is a horror aficionado of any ilk will of course know the Evil Dead series from the '80 - starring Bruce Campbell as "Ash".  Evil Dead, the sequel Evil Dead 2 (more of a remake than a sequel) and the hilariously awesome Army of Darkness make up the Evil Dead trilogy.

Evil Dead/Dead 2 are the original "Cabin in the Woods" story  - Band of teens/20's come to a cabin in the woods, find The Book of the Dead and unleash an evil force which, after talking all of their souls, will bring Hell on earth.  Blood and gore and foul mouthed demons follow.

Army of Darkness is same theme - except replace the Cabin with sending Ash back in time to Arthurian England  - literally fending off an army of the dead with a chain saw attached to where his arm used to be and a sawed off shotgun.  Yup, pretty badass.

Upshot - What made the Evil Dead series so awesome was despite the really really really low budgets of these movies, director Sam Raimi made them scary and gory but loads of fun.  Bruce Campbell is hilarious as Ash - fighting off sick demons but with humor too.  There are buckets of blood, gore, foul language and just the right creepy funny balance.  And chain saws, lots of chain saws sawing off limbs infected by evil.  Oh and the creepy demon locked in the basement of the cabin (like cabins in the woods ever have basements).

Which brings us to the 2013 remake of Evil Dead, which I watched the other night on Demand.

It is produced by the same geniuses who did the original movies.  It also follows a very similar story line: Young people join each other at a cabin in the woods to help a heroin addict get clean.  One jackass unleashes the book of the dead and wham bam, thank you maam.  Blood, gore, sawed off limbs and chainsaws. And a creepy demon in the basement.

Here's the difference.  The remake is a straight horror/gore fest.  The producers have taken out the humor which made the original story so...freaking cool.  Instead they have gone with the wave of straight horror which followed - From Amityville Horror to Friday the 13th, to Halloween to the Living Dead to Saw to Paranormal Activity. 

What made evil dead different was its comedy - accomplished later in the film series Scream (at least the first one was good) and to a lesser extent the highly overrated Cabin in the Woods (helmed by genius Joss Whedon).  This new one could have been any standard movie - just not the Evil Dead most people know and love.  Which didn't stop it from getting good reviews. 

On a happier note, they are making a sequel to Army of Darkness - the funniest horror movie ever made. 

And that is something to get excited about.


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  2. Lol I loved the originals but never saw the remake. Guess I'll won't check it out now (it was on my list). Totally looking forward to Army of Darkness 2 :)

    And Cabin in the Woods is not ovr-rated! You can't take the skies from me!!!!

    (Sorry, typing from my phone)