My memories of watching Evil Dead wasn’t so good. I saw it when I was a lil kid, tucked under a table and was petrified beyond limits. The horrific images from Sam Raimi’s original crept crawling back to my head haunting me till I reached puberty. I thought to give it a second chance and watched it again recently only to be laughing out loud at the twisted humor and appreciating the wonderful effects and imagery that made it a classic. So when I heard they were remaking Evil Dead, my 28 year old self was twice as excited coz by now I was a hardened horror movie enthusiast. Being in India I had the privilege of waiting for more than 3 months since its worldwide release. I realized they were pushing the release date further and further until it was no more in the ‘Coming Soon’ section. I suspect the ball-less censor board and theatre owners behind this. I couldn’t wait for more and albeit the pain of not getting to watch it on the big screen, I ended up watching it on the small screen.
2013’s Evil Dead directed by Fede Alvarez and produced by Bruce Campbell kinda falls in between a reboot and a remake. The new Evil Dead is more dark and more on the serious side and kinda avoids the humor that the original had. It feels like its trying hard to scare the shit outta you but myself having watched most of the best horror movies of this gen, it hardly scared me. Think HOSTEL with demons doing most of the torture than humans. Evil Dead is saturated with shocking and gory sequences that’d make most of the people squeamish and run for the nearest restrooms. Just like the original Evil Dead, this one too is filled with bucket loads of gore, gibs and whatever bodily fluids you could imagine though in an excessively exaggerated way. Believe me you won’t be scared seeing this, instead it instills dread and disgust. But what it does best is to pay homage to the original and it does it well. It does takes you back to the great horror movies of 80s. Add more makeup effects and less CG, it does bring those nostalgic memories from the yesteryears.
Evil Dead is very serious, devoid of the campy humor the original had. The original was very campy which at the time would have been good and I am thankful that this iteration wasn’t so. What I liked about the this one is that it had a wee bit backstory. These guys didn’t come randomly to the cabin ready to served hot for the demons. The main character Mia was a junkie and she, along with her supportive friends and brother came to the cabin for the sole purpose of detoxing her. As far as the actors were concerned they were just cannon fodder when all hell breaks loose. Seeing enough horror flicks gives you that uncanny ability to let you foresee who’s gonna be the first to go and the moment I was introduced to the 5 characters in Evil Dead, I’d known they were all bait for whatever came from the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis. Jane Levy as Mia was the only character who served for some intrigue. Rest was just, as I said, CANNON FODDER.
Evil Dead has its advantages being made this-gen. It has some brilliant sound and visuals which screams to be seen on the big screen. I bet the grotesque makeup effects, the creepy forest and all the blood and goo along with the eerie music and ambiance would look and sound ten times better on the big screen. Visually it maintained that essence when I watched it on the small screen as well. Kudos for the cinematography. I felt the chill when I was watching scenes with the forest as the backdrop. It could also be so, coz I was very excited for this one and reading all the rave reviews I was doubly ‘turned on’ (yea I’m twisted enough that horror entices me :P). But I was extremely disappointed when I’d done watching the movie. If you’ve seen Cabin in The Woods, you’ll know why Evil Dead comes off as tad bit boring. I mean how many Cabin movies have you seen? I watched Evil Dead to scare me as demonly as possible but I wasnt even remotely scared. As mentioned above Evil Dead does one thing best: throw you into constant nostalgia. It reminds you of the good times and not-so-good-times you had watching all those horror flicks when you were young.
PS: The post credit sequence wasn’t that good either, leaving more unanswered questions.