Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Evil Dead (2013) was ok but disappointing.

I remember before it came out, the director made a big deal about how there was no CGI in the film. Then he backtracked a little and said they used it to enhance a few things. So when the first scene had some obvious computer-generated fire (or computer "enhanced" to the point where it looks fake), I was pissed. There are some great practical FX in the movie, but they shouldn't have said there was no CGI especially when it's in the fuckin opening. I don't understand the appeal of remakes unless they really do something completely different. John Carpenter's The Thing shares very little in common with The Thing from Another World. The characters are totally unique, the themes, the approach to the monster, the visual style, the amazing score, the opening with the dog, etc. Same with David Cronenberg's The Fly and the 1958 film with Vincent Price. The beginning of Evil Dead is essentially what you saw before with one of the most memorable characters of all time missing of course. Does Mia stand up at all to Ash? Not even close. You can see they're trying to be unique, but they don't do nearly enough. That short little scene at the start doesn't really add anything aside from CG fire. It was obvious before the cabin had a history, and you can't trust someone who is possessed. They also undermine their efforts sometimes by too clearly foreshadowing with the images in the Necronomicon. Spoiler: I was disappointed when the book hinted Olivia would cut off her entire face, you see her working on that in the bathroom from behind (a cool shot), but then all she did was cut into her cheek. End spoiler. There are a lot of little great touches though. The staples in the flesh of the Book of the Dead, when Mia first whispers David's name after the tree rape scene, the way Mia glides at David in the basement (reminds me of the scary old woman in the original House on Haunted Hill), etc.

Nice fake out from the trailer. This scene isn't in the movie.

The ending disappointed me so much. Spoilers from here on. I loved the blood rain and the thing coming out of the ground (an image teased by the posters for Sam Raimi's classic), but then that monster is basically just another demon girl like we've already seen. Heck, they could've had it start as a girl then mutate into some truly hellish creature. And what the hell is up with Mia tearing off her own hand? That was so pointless and stupid. She screams when she rips it off, but then she acts like it doesn't even hurt. The pain would be unbearable, and she would bleed to death unless she took care of the wound quickly, but all she does is casually tuck her still-bleeding-and-should-be-horribly-painful-with-the-bone-sticking-out stump under her other arm. What the fuck? She isn't even going to wrap the wound? When the blonde girl earlier cut off her own arm, at least they covered it in duck tape and tried to deal with it realistically. At the end, they don't even give a fuck. Mia just stands there for the longest time, acting like it's a little scratch. You lost your fuckin hand because it got crushed under a jeep and you tore the rest off! I can't believe they had her act like it was nothing. Yes, I love Bruce's cameo although people made such a big deal about it tying everything together, I was expecting more, but it's always great to see him especially reprising Ash and saying his famous line.

By the way, what's up with the dog? I didn't even realize there was one until David found it dead. They really didn't set that up well at all.

Anyway, the movie wasn't awful. At least, they didn't make it PG-13 with CG blood or something atrocious like that, but it still could've been a lot better. And please quit trying to do CG fire.


  1. I'm actually one of the people that watched it the other way around. First the remake, and then out of interest I got into the original movies.

    First of all, the original movies really haven't aged well.
    I'm aware they were low budget, but it's almost cringeworthy to look at today, the stopmotion/claymation whatever the hell that was in the sequel. I'm all for practical effects, but only if done right.

    John Carpenter's "The Thing" being a great example on practical effects done right, mainly because that movie still holds up today!

    Secondly, you compare Ash to the new chick, and while I agree that Ash is more memorable, I'm not sure it's fair to compare the two, considering the tone of the remake and the original are dimensionally different.

    Bruce Campell for one, let's be honest, isn't the greatest actor, at least he wasn't back then, I guess we'll get to see in the upcoming "ash vs. the evil dead"

    I have to be honest though the main character for this remake was not very interesting at all.
    At least Ash was occasionally funny, whereas I can't even remember this chick's name.

    You were spot on with the ending though I'll agree with that much. Was very disappointing to see what appeared to be a possessed version of herself, I too expected it to be something genuinly disturbing, not an evil version clone of her.

    You mention CGI fire as if it was a big deal, I can't even remember this part, and I think you being unhappy with the sheer existence of this remake is causing you to lash out at some pretty insignificant details, but hey that's just me.

    Yeah I don't remember a dog whatsoever, so another somewhat valid point there.

    As for the original movies, the comedy people mention often, I'm not sure I understood where it was supposed to be funny, not even for the second movie which I believe is the one people refer to as the "comedy/horror" blend?

    The trippy scene where everything starts laughing and Ash laughs manically along was pretty funny I'll say that much, but besides that it was just more of the same really.

    Decent review, but it does kind of seem like you were lashing out at some really minor things for the sake of making it look worse than it is.
    Not at all a bad movie in my opinion.

    1. The CGI fire really bugged me because it was right at the very beginning of the film and the filmmakers made a big deal about the use of practical FX in this whereas that was obviously quite fake. Watch the opening scene closely again and you'll see what I mean. It wouldn't have been such an issue for me if they hadn't patted themselves on the back so much for using practical when they immediately start the film with weak CGI.

      I'm not really unhappy with the sheer existence of this remake. I mean Sam Raimi really wanted one and all those guys helped produce this so I have no problem getting on board with that. A lot of remakes are done solely for the intention of cashing in but clearly this one wasn't. I just wish it had been better.

      I don't think it's awful but like you agreed, the main character is utterly forgettable, which is a serious crime. It'd be like remaking John Carpenter's "The Thing" without MacReady but instead with a bland worthless character, which they pretty much did with the awful 2011 prequel/reboot-in-disguise (and yes, I know Carpenter's is a remake itself but it's very, very different from the original film whereas this remake is not and this remake came out in a period of gluttony as far as remakes go). You can imagine "Alien" without Ripley or "Aliens" without Hicks. You need a strong main character, and this film has none. That is a big issue, which shouldn't be understated.

      You can say Bruce Campbell wasn't a great actor in the original, and he himself will agree with you since he has said as much but by the end of that film, he definitely left an impression, which was absolutely cemented in the sequel.

      The dog is definitely a valid point made even more so by the fact you don't remember.

      You concede my point about the ending and the evil version of herself, which should've been spectacular really because the whole film was building to that and I love the blood rain but like you wrote, it was very disappointing. I think we actually agree on a lot but I guess you're more positive overall than I am. I don't think it's really bad either though. I just think it's ok, and it could've been amazing.

      Sam Raimi has said many times the original Evil Dead was not supposed to be funny although many think it is, and that seems to be part of why he wanted to remake it.

      Anyway, the point of my review was not to lash out at the film and make it seem worse than it was but simply to express the things that really annoyed me about it. Sometimes, the most frustrating films are not the really bad ones but the ones that are pretty good yet they could've been phenomenal.