Monday, 22 April 2013

Evil Dead (2013)

EvilDead2013Poster.jpgIf you go down to the woods today...

Five twenty-something friends become holed up in a remote cabin, when they discover a Book of the Dead and unwittingly summon up dormant demons living in the nearby woods.

We live in an age where the horror genre is mainly fuelled by two things: sequels and remakes. One by one, the classics have each had an attempt at being remade, and sadly, just about all of them have come out with poor results. It was a long time coming for Sam Raimi's cinematic debut to get its own attempt at a remake.

But here's the interesting thing: despite going over some similar ground as the 80s film, this isn't officially a remake. No, the filmmakers have established that it's set within the same world as Sam Raimi's original trilogy, with plans for it to all culminate in a film crossing over with the original trilogy's big chinned hero Ash Williams, played by the one and only Bruce Campbell. Evidence of this is seen in Ash's Oldsmobile popping up early on, as a tease for fans.

What's refreshing is how the characters are given an actual reason for taking a trip to the cabin, as opposed to the standard 'taking a holiday' reason, as they go to help their friend Mia get clean from her drug addiction. Because of this, the characters are actually given a reason to not heed Mia's warnings, believing the warnings to be a psychotic episode due to her going cold turkey, which is a far more reasonable excuse for not leaving than the typical skepticism that horror characters seem to have.

David and his sister Mia share a troubled history, involving their mother and David leaving his family, that makes these two the films strongest characters. Eric is portrayed as the inquisitive type, being the kind of person who would rather satisfy his own curiosity as opposed to heeding the warnings written on the Book of the Dead, but understands what's happened and what must be done when things make themselves apparent to the characters.

"Whatcha doin'?"

While we're given a good feel for the characters and their relationships with each other, they ultimately could've done with more development. Take Olivia, who's a nurse that helps Mia through her withdrawal symptoms, and old friends with the gang, but we don't get much else from her, and as a result, she just feels like 'the characters friend' rather than a full fledged character of her own.The worst offender is Natalie, David's girlfriend, who comes off as little more than the disposable blonde.

To reveal the specifics of the moments of horror and gore would be likened to revealing the best jokes in a comedy film, as the surprise of it helps to make the experience a great one. What I can say is that the choice to use practical effects over CG was definitely the best decision made regarding this film, going a long way to keep you within the experience, making the moments seem more realistic and gross.

In an age where horror remakes are full of half assed attempts, Evil Dead is one of the better released attempts, especially within recent years. Making the best use of practical effects, Fede Alvarez has delivered a film full of great gory fun, especially within the final act.

4 comments:

  1. Good review Rodders. It's fun for the blood and gore, but that's about it really. Everything else felt a tad dull for me.

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  2. Great review! I definitely loved that the kids had a reason to be there. The practical effects were a nice touch. Looking forward to that crossover film!

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