A First Look at the NEW Evil Dead: A Disaster…or a Masterpiece?

So, someone saw it fit to make an Evil Dead remake, I, uh, I don’t quite know why. After all, the original is just fine and is hailed as a cult movie classic, you know, the kind NOT to be touched, kind of like remaking say, The Big Lebowski, it’s not right…Anyway, many a fans WILL say, “yes, this movie could do with a long-awaited remake,” and I would agree, if it didn’t seem like the director was trying to make his own thing out of the source material. It kind of looks like the SECOND remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (yes, they’re making ANOTHER ONE, this time in 3D, woo-hoo guys). I say that in the sense that it looks modern, and it looks scary, both movies do, they really do and I appreciate that, particularly as a horror fan and a horror fanatic, so I can sympathize with trying to make a scary movie that’s modernized and relevant for this day and age. What I CANNOT sympathize with is simply throwing the source material out the window—completely. Alexandre Aja did that with The Hills Have Eyes and LOOK what happened; this is why I’m worried, now, before I go on, let me tell you what’s different and what I’m getting all up on my soapbox about (because they’ve only released a preview at this point, so we’re only getting a sense of the movie, but in all fairness, it’s a good sense). First off, there is no Ash, none whatsoever—now, this is wrong to me because the SERIES of Evil Dead was DEFINED by Ash, this would be like if they took out Freddie or Jason from their respective remakes, it DOESN’T WORK, you have now entered another movie altogether and what we in film studies call a level three transition, as in, it has NOTHING to do with the source material and stole the title, is it extreme, absolutely, but we’re MISSING the title and series character here, folks, not a good start (looking at you Halloween III).

Now, let’s continue, the setting is similar, they clearly took the design of the original cabin and modernized it, everything seems to be still there, including the trapped door to the basement, the only difference is it looks bigger and we get to explore the basement and outside better, presumably. The demons are still there, after NOT ASH reads the incantation from The Book of the Dead, they still seem to be only able to possess things and people, in the preview we see musings of the demons possessing the friends, and in this

One of the deadites (possessed humans) from the new Evil Dead.

translation, having them do horrific things to themselves whilst scaring the ever-loving S#!T out of their friends through methods such as cutting their own tongue in half, yummy, the horror part of brain is already lighting up. We even see musings of the wonderfully hilarious tree rape scene from the original, great, so we haven’t left the source material completely behind and the director seems to even be willing to not only credit, but make heavy homages to the original, this is turning out to be slightly promising.

      Oh, but wait, this isn’t good, someone has rule 63ed Ash (for every guy/girl there is a girl/guy counterpart SOMEWHERE on the internet)—the main protagonist, is, in fact, a girl, great, thus invoking the old, worn out adage of the horror term “the last girl.” This term basically refers to, well, the last girl alive; so think Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween and just apply it to every other horror movie and you’ve basically got your concept. How do I know this, two reasons: 1) her name is at the TOP of the credits, this always means this actor or actress is either the main protagonist, main focus, or at the very least, has the most lines; in Evil Dead who the Hell else could this be but Ash, or in this case, girl-Ash. 2) There is a scene shown in the trailer where we see this girl not only with an infected arm, but showing her, followed by a blackout, then hearing her, cutting her arm off—exactly what Ash did in the original. This is weird to me though because we see one of the male characters with the chainsaw in the trailer, how strange…This is a red flag to me though because typically in horror movies (unless you’re watching House of Wax (the remake)) only ONE person survives, especially if we’re reviving Evil Dead, it’s almost a REQUIREMENT that only one person survives.

     Lastly, I want to look at who’s making this: Fede Alvarez is directing and writing (don’t bother looking him up because he only directed and wrote movies you’ve never heard of, both of them shorts, sounds promising…), on-board also is Alvarez’s partner Rodo Sayagues Mendez (who helped with both shorts), Diablo Cody (who’s worked most notably on Jennifer’s Body, which is strangely

Shiloh Fernandez as David from the new Evil Dead trailer wielding the iconic chainsaw of the series.

enough a horror comedy much like the Evil Dead series (I thought this was supposed to be a STRICTLY horror movie?)), and finally Sam Raimi himself (thank God) is specifically writing the screenplay. Looking at this list, I am not convinced, at all: we have a director and writer team who have worked on next to nothing save two foreign short films, a writer who has worked most notably with comedy and ONE horror-comedy film, and finally, the possible saving grace—but my confidences are not high—Sam Raimi. I’m sorry, I don’t trust it just from looking at what I just typed out, I don’t.

…Anyway, let’s move onto the acting quick: in the lead of Mia (our Rule 63ed Ash) is Jane Levy…who’s credits are less than spectacular; in short, she’s been in a few episodes of TV shows, and two teen drama movies—promising. Next is Shiloh Fernandez, an actor with a MUCH more impressive roster than the lead (also not promising) who has starred in films MUCH closer to the mark than Jane Levy has such as: Red, Deadgirl, From Within, and Red Riding Hood (the recent one); maybe he should be in the lead…Following on the roster is Jessica Lucas, AGAIN, a MUCH  more impressive acting resume’ than Jane Levy, and again, WAY closer to the material of this movie, Jessica Lucas has been in: Cloverfield, Amusement, and The Covenant, why is she not the lead, although I think she is the girl the tree falls in love with, if you catch my drift…wood, sorry that was a bad joke, moving on. Our last male lead we have is Lou Taylor Pucci, and, AGAIN, better acting credits than the lead, this guy was in Carriers and Horsemen, at least he’s FAMILIAR with horror movies somewhat and not leaning on two teen dramas and TV shows, geez…what was this director thinking? Bringing up the rear is Elizabeth Blackmore, whom I’m going to guess is the first to go as her name is last on the credits, she boasts only involvement in a few TV shows and one movie, but at least they’re darker TV shows like Beauty and the Beast (the live action recent one) and Legend of the Seeker, it’s not spectacular, but it’s better than a bunch of teen dramas. Now, maybe I can’t judge too hard because back in the day, when Evil Dead first came out, Bruce Campbell and Ellen Sandweiss didn’t have that impressive of acting rosters either, they only had about 9 movies between them and most of them were shorts, about 90% actually, and there can be something to be said for wanting to use unknowns in a movie like this so you don’t get too caught up on who the actor really is in real life on the ‘red carpet,’ if you will. So there might be a chance here—after all, everyone said Heath Ledger couldn’t be The Joker and look how that turned out.

In conclusion, honestly, my trust for this movie wanes as I continue to talk about it, but from seeing the preview, there might just be a chance because the preview DOES look good, but that’s what previews are supposed to do, make a movie look good…nay, AMAZING, and it does. I’m just worried…there’re so many factors: Ash is missing, an inexperienced director, an inexperienced cast, the inarticulate meandering away from the source material, and let’s not forget changing the feel of the movie. So overall, yeah, I’m very worried…but this could turn out to be good, and if the preview and my hopes have anything to do with it, we just might be looking at a good movie after all, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Lastly, before I sign off here, I want to offer you the website for the movie which contains the trailer that I saw; now, it’s terribly violent and disturbing to say the least, so watch it with caution, if you’re not a horror person, then I wouldn’t recommend it, particularly before bed, but give it a watch and tell us what your predictions are for the movie and what you think of the trailer, after all, you’re why we do this, so stay scared and happy Halloween from us here at Games-Tec.

http://www.evildead-movie.com/

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