#322 -- Evil Dead (2013)

Director: Fede Alvarez
Rating: 4 / 5

I was beyond pissed when I realized that this movie was being remade. That anger was increased tenfold when I realized that there would be no Ash character; it just seemed completely pointless and made no sense whatsoever to leave out the character that made these movies. But I guess Bruce Campbell is just too old these days (though Ash returning to the cabin as an old dude sounds interesting to me...), and they didn't want to bring in a new actor for the character. Which I'm actually glad for, because I'd hate to see someone fuck that character up (which they most certainly would, because they're not Bruce Campbell). Anyways, the more I heard about it, and the more I saw the trailers, I started to think that it might actually be good. I read a lot of reviews stating that it was nothing but a gore-fest; some liked that, some didn't. I disagree with that statement, though. There's a lot of gore here, don't be mistaken, but that's not all the movie has going for it.

No, there's no Ash character. It follows a girl named Mia, a drug addict trying to sober up. She's there with her brother and a couple of their friends. I thought that aspect of it was very interesting, since they just thought she was going through withdrawal when she was possessed. The only person who knew what was really happening was the one who found the book and unleashed the demons (the other characters didn't even see the book until he told them that Mia was possessed).

I will say that this is one of the best remakes I've seen, and that's saying a lot because it's a remake of one of my favorite movies ever. I first saw the original when I was around ten years old, so it's been with me for pretty much my whole life. I've always had a soft spot for it, and I always will. But I think this one did exactly what a remake is supposed to do. It appealed to a new, younger audience, while still being able to please fans of the original. It introduced new characters, new situations, and new plots. It switched the story up, like it's supposed to. But it also stayed true to the original. Though everything was almost completely different, I still found parts of the original in there. They even used the first-person camera views when the deadites were coming. There was a boomstick (though, of course, none of these kids would dare call it that), and there was a chainsaw-hand. It didn't copy the original scene for scene (which I think is obvious from the trailers), and I'm glad for that, because...that would have just sucked. But they did honor it and respect it while still bringing new things to the table.

Some people seem to think that this has too much of a budget going for it; that the original worked so well because they had so little to work with. I disagree. I love the low budget charm that the original had, don't get me wrong. But I don't think that's what made the movie. What made the original Evil Dead was Bruce Campbell, plain and simple. That entire series would have been nothing without him. And I honestly believe that, if Sam Raimi did have a large budget back then, this is the movie that he would have made. He and Campbell were both there for it; they produced the damned thing. There's  no way they would have let them fuck it up. I did find a few problems with the movie, but they weren't really that big a deal.

Mia (who, I guess, is the "Ash" character) had the funny lines here. She's no Bruce, but she delivered one or two great one-liners. Like "Kiss me, you dirty cunt" and "Your sister's being raped in Hell!" But that was where the humor ended, which was cool with me. I think it would have been weird if she'd started shouting "Groovy!" all over the place. Okay, let's talk about the gore. There were some pretty gnarly scenes here. Limbs were being cut (or torn) off, faces being removed, and all sorts of other lovely delights. Most of those looked fucking wicked. There were also a couple of cringe worthy moments, like machetes through knee-caps (oh my fucking jesus, I can't handle that shit), and fingers being broken by crow bars. And the gore is pretty much constant. If you're a gore whore like me, you'll love it. The action starts right away and it doesn't stop until the credits roll, which was great. Speaking of credits, if you see this in the theater (which you should; there's no excuse for seeing it otherwise), you should stick around after the credits for something pretty cool. If you're an old school fan like myself, you'll really enjoy it.

So, was it as good as the original? Hell no. Was it the most terrifying film I've ever experience, as the poster suggests? Not even. But it's entertaining, exciting, and I was pleased by it. If you look at is as a remake, you'll definitely find problems, but they're not big ones. You have to compare it, it's only natural. But if you can take a minute and try to view this as its own movie entirely, you'll find that it's actually pretty great. If the original didn't exist, and this was something entirely new, I'd say it's one of the best movies I've ever seen. But since it is a remake of one of the greatest films ever made, I can hardly say that, now can I? I'm rambling, but the point is...either way you look at it, it's definitely a good movie.

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