Evil Dead Far from DOA

Posted on June 19, 2013 by

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In Hollywood, it seems like there is some obsessive movement to remake every horror movie ever. Whether the film is a beloved darling of horror, a cult classic, or a piece of obscure garbage best left to the dust bins of history, no horror movie seems to be unworthy of a remake with results that typically fall in the awful to mediocre spectrum.

However, as everything, there is an exception to the rule, and the recent remake of Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead is an example of such. To begin, the new Evil Dead is directed and co-written by Fede Alvarez with quite a lot of differences to the movie it tributes.

The basic plot itself is the sam–a group of friends go to a cabin in the woods for the weekend, but things are flipped upside down when they discover the Necronomicon (the book of the dead) and summon the souls of the evil dead who possess, kill, and terrorize them.

The circumstances couldn’t be much more different though. In the original film Ash (played by the always enjoyable Bruce Campbell), his girlfriend Linda, his sister Cheryl, and friends Scott and Shelly go out to the cabin just for a fun little getaway. However, the circumstances in the remake are far more serious.  David, his girlfriend Natalie,  nurse Olivia, occult buff Eric are staying at the cabin to give David’s artist and heroin addict sister Mia an intervention.

The plot goes deeper into how years ago David walked out on his sister and mentally unstable mother and how Mia blames him for their mother’s death,.  Most of the characters are more fleshed out than in the original. At the same time, however, the characters are also much less human than the original Evil Dead’s characters. In the original, yes, all the characters except Ash are rather generic, and all of them are idiots who do stupid things, but that’s because they are a bunch of terrified kids. They are dealing with demons who are possessing and killing their friends, and they don’t know what to do. 

But in the remake, characters are barely human. To begin with, Eric is apparently a superhero; not only does he save the damsel in distress that is David, but also because he is injected right below the eye with a sedative needle, stabbed through the heart, and has his arms and his torso shot up by nails from a nail gun before finally dying during a fight where he subdues the possessed Mia.

David himself is dumber than a sack of hammers and manages to blunder through the entire movie, which makes him the virtual opposite of Ash, who, though also incompetent, was the most competent of all of the characters.  In the end, despite severe mental trauma, he manages to overcome the evil dead, whereas in the remake Mia becomes the hero. Overall, Evil Dead, though not as good as the original, still manages to offer a fresh but familiar perspective and is worth a shot from fans of the original and newcomers alike.

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