It is so easy these days to cast aside remakes, being a veteran horror fan. Now, when I say I’m a veteran horror fan, I do not mean I know more than most. Hell, I’m still learning so much about the classics. But I have been a fan almost my entire life. The Evil Dead series is a must for any fan seeking out all their horror fantasies. Amateur stylized directing, tons of over-the-top gore, stop motion — they are just downright fun! The series found this perfect blend of frightful scares and hilarity. When you try and remake something like this in the 21st century, it’s not easy and you will not please everyone.
Remakes come from all shapes and sizes. For instance…
- Dawn of the Dead – The team at STRIKE took the simple elements of zombies in a mall and ran with it.
- Halloween – Rob Zombie told an origin story while at the same time telling the same story we already knew.
- A Nightmare on Elm Street – Platinum Dunes told the same story and just updated the characters.
I would say the 2013 Evil Dead falls somewhere between Halloween and Nightmare‘s concepts. And that made me sad. I was hoping for something fresh. Something new brought to the series. A film that really got under my skin and made me scared. Now I can go on and say that I’m a jaded horror fan and that nothing scares me anymore, but I know that isn’t true. Evil Dead is in no way scary. In fact, the only thing that made the audience jump was the Ghost House Pictures logo at the start of the film because everyone was on the edge of their seats ready for a frightfest.
I had so many problems with this movie BECAUSE I enjoy the original so much. The deadites (possessed humans) looked terrifying in Raimi’s film. In this they are just cut up with a green filter overlaying the picture. There are other detailed aspects like the tree rape scene and the Book of the Dead that I’d like to get into, but I do not want to spoil the film here for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. Just know that love and labor is there for horror fans. This film is soaked in blood (50,000 gallons of blood to be exact) and gore from head to toe. I’m surprised it made it to theaters! The film has little to no CG effects, like promised, and the makeup department did a fantastic job. But I wanted more from an updated Evil Dead film than gore. The subtle humor is there (duct tape, anyone?) But it’s not enough to help me care for the bland performance from some of the characters we are supposed to care for.
Honestly, if I was just getting into the horror craze and saw this film, I’d love it. But I’m not. I didn’t expect the same 1980s films at all. I just wanted to be terrified by the movie. I wanted to run and tell all my friends that Evil Dead is back and it is horrifying! Instead, I’m telling you all that this movie is missing some major key elements to making this a great horror picture. And from what I hear, a good 15 minutes were cut from the final product. Will that really make this a better movie? Probably not. But it’s something. Hopefully we will get an unrated cut on Blu-ray soon and I’m anxious for that. Evil Dead is in no way a bad horror film. It’s just not the Evil Dead I wanted.