Sunday, June 16, 2013

Cinema Junk: Evil Dead (2013)

In this entry of Cinema Junk, our friend Humor Tumor talks about his feelings on the recent Evil Dead remake, read on to see what he thinks of it.

Hollywood has been on a rampage this past decade on the remake front. From Texas Chainsaw Massacre to Dawn of the Dead, it's safe to say the most notable classics of yesteryear have been adapted (some loosely). Some are inferior (that is most of them), while a few others are quite good. This time, Hollywood has turned it's Eye of Sauron like gaze towards my beloved Evil Dead franchise. And this time, the results are...disastrous to put it kindly.

I've been watching the progress of this remake for some time now, with both eagerness and trepidation. It reminds me of watching the remake of Day of the Dead, one of my favorite movies. Both were seemingly stuck in a limbo, unable to get any footing. Than one day, I see a trailer....and poof the movie is out and I had no idea of it's existence.

Seeing the trailer kind of made me very worried. Evil Dead has always been on more of the slap-stick campy  side of things, more of a dark comedy/horror film. The trailer though, made it seem very serious, and sadly the film loses a lot of its charm and draw when it is treated in a more serious light.

I think there's a peek-a-boo joke in here somewhere...

But of course I would give the movie a chance, it was kind of an obligation, being a massive fan of the originals. And yet again, I feel a like someone took something I loved and destroyed it, just to stomp on the pieces and call me names while I pay them $16 to do so.

There seems to be a certain trend in horror movies these days. The tendency towards super fast editing. Loud noises seemingly designed by an angry deaf person who wanted the world to be on their level. And of course the always popular gore porn of today. You see, none of this works anymore. Maybe a few decades ago I might have been shocked. But all too often Evil Dead relies on these methods to startle and shock, and it kind of just leads to a tedious, boring film. On top of it all seems like it's trying way too hard to be extreme. Sure there's a bisected tongue, or a needle to the eye, or even a few limbs being sawn off; but it all feels so contrite and "been there done that" that it seems more like the extra scenes from a Saw or Hostel film.

You could also say that the characters where for the large part very boring/flat/weak. But this is alas a modern day horror movie, these kinds of cannon fodder are expected in this day and age. And the plot takes some very strange turns, adding lore and back story into the universe that doesn't quite make sense. The motivations for the demons border on moronic, rather than just wanted to mess with the poor people who read the necronomicon. It kind of feels like someone made a zombie film, then someone bought the film and named it Evil Dead and changed some details.

If I read from this book made of flesh, maybe my dreams will come true

To say it's all boring rehashes of the same old gore and violence and stereotypes we've been accustomed to for the past few years would be wrong though. There are some moments where Evil Dead does manage to meagerly pull itself out of it's own coffin. A few spots of dark comedy poke out every now and then, and when coupled at the insane circumstances around those moments, it pulled out a good laugh from me. These are the few moments where the film felt like a true homage to it's fore fathers. Sadly, I think I can count these moments on one hand. And it never really hits the spot quite like the older films, like this for instance:

Or this where Ash's hand is possessed:

And this is all said without even going to far into "fanboy" territory. I'm fairly certain that if I went into a full on ranting about this film I would either:

1) Be admitted into a mental ward

2) Have a heart attack/stroke

3) Go into some deep PTSD kind of stupor and have random flashbacks to seeing this movie

4) Get drunk and try to forget it ever happened

Evil Dead is another one of those many remakes that seems to forget what the point of the original film was. Rather than the B movie charm, it has the odd dingy but sterile feel of a moderate budget film. Instead of fun effects that are seemingly made to torture the actors and make you burst out laughing, there's the few set piece moments where you get the feeling the people making the film just wanted to outdo a 30 year old movie. The film makers made their movie, the fans went to see it. Now all that's left are the smashed hopes and shattered dreams of those that cared. And you know what, I bet the people behind this film are laughing their asses off, and they look like this:


Humor Tumor is currently hoping an Army of Darkness 2 gets made to cover up this drek.

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