|Actually, I was more terrified by Arsenic and Old Lace.|
Greetings boils and ghouls! I finally got around to watching the new Evil Dead movie just recently, so I figured who better than to give my thoughts on the putrid piece of work than your horrid horror host? Let's get right down to coffin tacks, shall we?
Now while I am a huge fan of the original Evil Dead trilogy, and I usually despise remakes (and their ugly cousins, spinoffs) I went into this movie with an open mind. I hadn't seen the trailers nor the billing or anything, so I had no expectations of what it was going to be other than the title. I'm not going to give this film a thumbs up or thumbs down, I'm just going to give my own spoiler-freeish thoughts on Evil Dead, and you can judge for yourself whether or not it's worth watching.
The biggest thing I loved about this movie is the total and utter lack of CGI. Everything was traditional special-effects done in the Tom Savini vein of making things that splatter, goo and ooze look like actual splattering, oozing, gooey things. After the glut of CGI that horror has had to deal with in the past decade, it was a welcome feeling to see someone get hit with a real deal tangible effect. This movie is a gore-fest. It's excessive and over the top with everything, you want to see something, anything gush out of a human actor? In this movie, you'll get it in spades.
Love gore? You'll like this. It's no Dead Alive, but it's pretty close. The only other thing that I really enjoyed is that they didn't have anyone reprise the role of Ash. Bruce Campbell *is* Ash, just like Bruce Springsteen is the Boss and Bruce Wayne is Batman. An attempt to replace Ash in this film would have caused people to shun it like some kind of red-headed stepchild with an overbite.
The biggest problem this movie suffers from is that I didn't give two shits about what happened to the characters. I know that horror films aren't exactly known for A-list acting, but having wooden delivery and poorly thought out characters with questionable motivations/reasons for doing stuff at best does not help. Usually, there is at least one person that you find yourself caring about and rooting for to survive until the end. And if you don't have someone like that, then you've got a really bad-ass antagonist that you want to see wreck shop. The problem being is that Evil Dead doesn't have either of these things. No Michael Meyers or Jason Voorhees, and nobody that you care about. Evil Dead, has...well...a book. And unless the Necronomicron is going to sprout arms and legs and start hatcheting people in the face, color me uninterested.
Another big problem with the movie is a total lack of tension. The original Evil Dead had some comic breaks, but it was extremely nerve-wracking. This has nothing. There was exactly one time where I jumped just a little bit. Just enough for me to mistake picking a wedgie out of my musty old robes. What starts out with a lot of potential quickly devolves into how much gross out effects can we cram into a film? Trust me, there are a plenty. If you are faint of heart, don't see this movie.
Frede Alvarez (the director) does try to play tribute to Sam Raimi's camerawork. The infamous crashing through the woods scene is recreated, but it lacks any of the tension. It feels overly polished, and without the recklessness that Raimi managed to capture. Instead of getting a POV shot of the big bad rushing down the protagonist, it feels exactly like what it is - a camera gliding through the woods quickly.
In short, it's a pretty average modern horror flick with buckets of gore in it. It is instantly forgettable, because of the bland characters, lousy pacing, and mediocre camera work. You might enjoy it if you have a thing for splatter effects and gore scenes, but I doubt this movie is going to make it on your annual rotation list come Halloween.
One lack bone to pick ghouls: Stick around for the end of the credits for something that will tickle your tooth-rot!
Evan 'Eerie' Arnold.