Saturday, April 6, 2013

Evil Dead ( Fede Alvarez, 2013)

The last time I saw a movie that such an intense audience impact as the new The Evil Dead  was 1999's The Blair Witch Project, which left some poor girl  weeping in terror long after the lights came back on.    Even though the remake of Sam Raimi's 1981 The Evil Dead  wasn't the life changing event I hoped it would be, it is still had a good time.  Unless you are the poor guy behind  me who fainted during the tongue-cutting scene (at about 2:09 in the red band trailer).

 Fede Alvarez's  version of The Evil Dead is a basic "5 Stupid People in the Wrong Place" movie where the beginning sets out the back story.  In this case, douche-bag brother Dave (Shiloh Fernandez, the hunk from Little Red Riding Hood) and his girl friend show up at his little sister Mia's (Jane Levy from the US version of Shameless) cold-turkey heroin intervention.  I did a lot of eye rolling, especially over the horribly bad choices the characters made before the crazy happened.  Seriously, the best thing to do would have been to drop Mia off at a nice clean rehab under a qualified doctor's care and everyone else find an Al-Anon meeting.

Worst moment:  Mia seriously burns herself and everyone wants to take her to a hospital.  Everyone except friend Olivia (Jessica Lucas), the worst nurse  in movie history.  Nurse Ratched is against going to a hospital because "She would just get the same treatment I'm giving her."  Not really, in a hospital they have real doctors and medical equipment.  All she brought is a large supply of Chlorazepam.  Seriously, when others need medical attention, Dave's girl friend and an old first aid kit in the shed at the first line of defense.  Granted, by the time they needed bandages, the nurse was out of the picture, but she still should have brought bandages. 

Once the supernatural stuff starts to happen, the movie's pace quickly speeds up.  There is very little of the vacillating between "She is a demon" and "She still my sister."  

From 1981's The Evil Dead
I wasn't sure I wanted to see until I saw Sam Raimi's car in the another trailer.  Not because I am opposed to remakes, but because I didn't think it would be any good.  Too often I've seen low budget, independently made horror movies redone with large budgets, CGI, and TV stars trying to  make the jump to movies and found them lacking.

Not all source material needs to be treated with an almost fanatical sense of reverence, after all, this is not The Koran. It isn't the duty of every remake or reboot to is to be extended homage to the original (ever see Gus Van Sant's Psycho?).  And don't get me started on the "It's not as good as the book" crowd.  In both cases, people seem to forget that it is an original movie first, then a remake of an older film or movie version of a book.

This Evil Dead is not a shrine to Ash, Scott, Cheryl, Linda and Shelly, the characters of the original (and the word deadites is never said).  It is its own thing.  Once you get pat that, it is pretty kick ass horror movie and I am glad I saw it.  There was plenty of the jump-out-of-your-skin moments.  It certainly kicked the ass of the guy behind  me.   

I can't really think of a better 
recommendation than that.