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"Remake Comparison: Evil Dead"
When I was nineteen I saw a campy, low-budget horror film called The Evil Dead starring Bruce Campbell, who I knew currently as Autolycus in Xena: warrior princess, and directed by a young Sam Raimi (director of the Spider-man films). It was already older than me, but I enjoyed it nonetheless with it's dark, tension filled suspense and it's low budget effects involving mostly clay and watered down ketchup.
Over a decade after seeing the original Evil Dead trilogy, I see a trailer that opens with a very familiar looking house. “Oh cool,” I say to my wife, “That's where they filmed Evil Dead.” Ninety seconds later I am pleased to see the words “Evil Dead” strewn across the screen. Needless to say, I had to see it for myself.
Unlike the original, this version opens with a prologue diving into what the Evil Dead is: an entity or a demon? Whatever it is, it must be destroyed so a group of paranoids burn a girl alive; whom they think is “possessed.” They hint around what it is, but don't spell it out for you. Next, we are brought to the present day where we meet the people who we will spend the next ninety minutes with.
There is a stoic Bruce Campbell-like character by the name of David (played by Shiloh Fernandez) that is wearing the exact same shirt that Ash wore in the original film, so it's fairly obvious that he is the film's protagonist. Next is the obligatory scaredy-cat played by Lou-Taylor Pucci, who is single-handedly responsible for the Evil Dead's release from the Naturom Demonto (the book of the dead). In the original film the book of the dead was referred to as the Necranomicon; written in blood and bound in human flesh. Finally, what would a horror movie be without three attractive women; it's a rule that woman always outnumber men.
The setting this time is that they want to use this old house to secure the protagonist's sister, Mia, during her recovery from drug addiction; compared to the original's overused “getaway” reasoning. The brother and sister relationship is a bit tattered as I assumed it would be, but Sam Raimi's car from the orignal movies can be seen in the background. After the scaredy-cat, who looks like he's from 1981, unleashes the evil spirit of the book, the Evil Dead chooses Mia as it's vessel and everyone assumes that her new personality and psychosis is a result of a jonesing addict; a nice curveball.
As with the original, it starts to get a little creepy when decaying smells begin to arise from the basement. David goes down to investigate to the tune of “please, don't go” being sung by his girlfriend, who is very generic; right out of the horror handbook. What does he find? The scene of the prologue from the beginning of the movie, except older and with more dead cats hanging from the ceiling; poor kitties.
The next hour of the film is wrought with gruesome horror scenes, glass cutting a face comes to mind as I think back; but I won't ruin everything for you. The final scene consists of blood raining from the sky and a final standoff involving the Evil Dead in his true form. And this is horror, so be prepared for a twist ended and by all means stay tuned after the credits for a really nice treat for you Evil Dead fans. All in all a great movie as far as 21st century horror movies goes. But what if you haven't seen any of the Evil Deads? Which one do I see first; original or remake? That's a fairly easy question... Evil Dead 2. I give Evil Dead (2013) “Watch Worthy.”