I am a horror fan. It should go without saying that I am also an Evil Dead fan. I feel like my review of Evil Dead is going to be filled with Captain Obvious statements so just consider yourself warned.
I thought the great part of reviewing the remake of a classic was going to be the lack of need for a SPOILER ALERT. If you are reading this review without seeing the first Evil Dead you should get off the computer and start living life right by viewing the entire original trilogy NOW. (Looking at a few of you ProFans right here – you know who you are)
I intentionally avoided reading much about the remake because I wanted to approach it without the taint of the inevitable haters. The trailers looked so exciting and I was looking forward to Evil Dead without the campy vibe. As it turns out, this was not a direct retelling of the original story. In a way this was a brilliant idea because it avoided the need for a new actor to try to fill Bruce Campbell’s shoes. Unfortunately, little thought appears to have gone into writing the new script. It also puts me in the position of warning everyone that you are approaching SPOILERS should you continue reading.
You know those horror movies where the characters are full of terrible impulses and make really bad choices that make you yell at the screen or just hide your head in your hands? Welcome to Evil Dead 2013.
You know those horror movies that rely on gore over a terrifying plot to develop a cringing audience? Welcome to Evil Dead 2013.
You know those horror movies that are so campy and outlandish you can’t help but fall in love? That one was Evil Dead 1981.
In this version of Evil Dead, everyone has gathered at a cabin in the woods to help Mia as she goes through withdrawls dumping heroin cold turkey. It’s OKAY though – Olivia is a nurse! (Apparently the type of nurse that can prescribe medication and refuses any other form of medical treatment other than her own….) Mia’s been in touch enough with her brother David to invite him to her quitting party but not in touch enough that he would know this ain’t her first quitting rodeo. Everybody is happy to see David but they don’t really like him because he moved away and got on with his life. He brings his girlfriend who nobody has met before, but she’s easy to get along with because she doesn’t say much and doesn’t seem to expect anyone to speak to her (including David). That’s a normal meet the family scenario right?
Also normal –
Approaching your abandoned family cabin to see the door has been broken in and not even considering calling the authorities or looking around the house for that matter.
Leaving weapons lying around for a detoxing junkie to play with:
Finding a room of hanging dead cats and simply taking down the cats to dispose of (no other need for concern here):
Popping a horribly injured person in a car and leaving everyone else in the freaky cabin while you whisk them however many miles to find medical attention. (No need to call ahead or contact emergency services):
I wish I could tell you this is the only nonsense you are expected to buy in the “new and improved” Evil Dead but sadly this is only the beginning. Many horror fans are willing to let a few plot holes slide for the sake of a good scare and we are more than used to handling our share of bad acting. Evil Dead 2013 is condescending in the amount of scenes it expects the audience to go “Okay, sure, I’ll just take that stupid idea and pretend it would ever happen.” If we can’t relate to the characters, we don’t really care about them. That makes it impossible to feel fear or worry and makes the film a complete waste for the horror genre.
It is just a given that when remaking a classic, every aspect is going to be held under a magnifying glass. When you are dealing with fans as devoted as those of the original Evil Dead trilogy, it is pure stupidity to put such little effort into the story you are expecting them to embrace along with the original. I didn’t want to compare the two but knowing this had already been done better adds insult to injury.