Shaking Hands with Savages

Indie. Passion. Art. Music.

Leave this Book Alone: The Evil Dead Remake


I remember going to go see Cabin in the Woods,  actually let’s take a step back. I remember watching Evil Dead for the first time;  I was about to head over to a friend’s house in middle  school and for some random reason, I had never seen the movie, so I asked him if he owned it and to my surprise he did. This was circa 2000 and nearly every horror site out there was like, “You can’t call yourself a true horror fan unless you’ve seen Evil Dead”. “Challenge accepted!” I thought silently to myself  ; pumping my fist like some early 90 ‘s superhero ready to enact some plan to save the world. So i get over to his house and we watch the movie;  it was basically my first experience with honest to goodness gore, and I was equal parts thrilled and horrified .It was at this point in time that I went from causal horror movie observer to full on insane horror movie lover. Yes, Evil Dead is just as important to me as Rawhead Rex was. So when I heard back in early 2011 that Evil Dead would be making a glorious return to the big screen I was beyond excited (unlike many in the horror community). Especially knowing that Sam Raimi , Rob Tappert, and Bruce Campbell themselves would all be producing this.

Evil Dead is easily part of a “must see” list of films for all horror movie lovers, aficionados etc.It highlights what a creative mind can do on a shoe string budget with a young hungry cast . It took a simple concept that is as old as time itself, the creepy old house in the wood. Again , humanity has  this fear boner  about the unknown, and there is something that is overtly horrifying about the woods minus the obvious stuff like  “The Jersey Devil” or “El Chupacabra”, and it is this primordial fear that makes the Evil Dead franchise work so well. The concept has led to many knock offs throughout the years ( Night of the Demons , The Convent, Demon Wind, Demon Knight, Savage Harvest) though most are awful. Okay, I lied, Demon Knight was amazing for plenty of reasons  : great FX , Billy Zane as an insane charming Demon and a decent little storyline ; just go see it asap it’s totally worth the two dollars that it will cost you to purchase it. Right, we were talking about Evil Dead, anyway,the notion of relatability and universal human fears , has made this film’s storyline go from a genre trope  to a full on sub-genre itself. Aside from the five just listed there, are plenty of films that take the old house in the woods and inject it full of demons, monsters,  or ghosts. In fact one of the better films of the past decade did this but added a great little (huge) twist to it.

The film that I was hinting at is of course Cabin in the Wood (review here). Director Drew Goddard and Writer  Joss Whedon(aka Geek God) crafted a nearly flawless love letter to the horror genre and specifically Evil Dead. You could call it Scream with  zombies, but I call it an interesting meta- narrative that focuses on the relationship that the audience has with the film makers and how difficult it is to make a modern horror film . With nods to everything from SyFY originals to Clive Barker’s Hellraiser series the film does a great job of neatly tying  many a horror trope into it without seeming over-bloated. Unfortunately,  this film would only serve as a really awesome appetizer to the horror meal that was to be the next Evil Dead. You could call it an issue , but there still remained questions in my mind as to whether I would see the film even if I was excited about it initially.

Back to the lesson at hand, er, sorry,so the unfortunate part of all this would have to be the fact that it is a remake.We have a scenario at hand that may lead to an out of control situation and it is this. If Evil Dead is  really really really good (based on the trailer it looks amazing) ;it could cause a demand for 10x as many horror and other genre remakes leaving us in a perpetual state of revolving door film making, in which every 5 or ten years a movie is remade or re-envisioned (i.e. now X-Men, Spiderman , Superman etc.) Now I am not usually the person who bitches about…. Nevermind that , yes I am,  every chance I get I am slightly irritated at the rate at which it seems no one is creating new content in Hollywood. This movie has created a dilemma for me, which will ultimately create a situation wherein I will do what I normally don’t like to do, which is support a remake… I blame nostalgia and the promising creepy shenanigans that take place in the film. All I have to say is the box cutter kiss in the trailer sold me **shudder**.

If you have stuck it out with me long enough to try and piece together some sort of underlying theme , well, here it is. The original Evil Dead was an amazing little flick with a big bloody heart. The new Evil Dead looks like an amazing big film with an above average sized heart and a hefty budget. The original helped define horror films in the 80’s, 90’s and hell even now. Now, ultimately I don’t know if this new grittier Evil Dead will be able to stand up to the original in terms of inventiveness, but it sure looks like a hell of a lot of fun. The fun being one of the bigger factors involved in my viewing choices (especially horror). Yes , it bother me a little that it is a remake , but I have hope that if it doesn’t open the remake floodgates that it will open the quality remake floodgates.  I guess we will have to decide for ourselves come March. So, here’s to being dead but not,er, staying buried… Evil Dead.

p.s. To those who click on the Evil Dead link, sweet dreams.

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This entry was posted on January 19, 2013 by in Musing, Rant and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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