Slam the door on remakes as hard as the aged door on EVIL DEAD’S abused wooden cabin clings from one rusted nail. Shut the trapdoor to a basement filled with corpses, strung up animals and books wrapped in human flesh. Hasn’t this group of 20 somethings ever been to the movies? You just don’t open a book that is wrapped in human flesh. Repeat that and then realize, you don’t remake the movie about a book wrapped in human flesh.
You know the story from the 1981 Sam Rami classic version, which now looks so dated that I liken it to a puppet show with dancing marionettes and deep shadows. Remember film noise? Wow, that was a blow to the head more deafening than anything else was the near pristine visuals of Evil Dead compared to the original film version.
Now if you can get around the remake idea, there’s a cabin full of limb throbbing, flesh cutting, and eyeball staring visuals in EVIL DEAD, waiting for you to thrill on. I realize that amping up the original could have been reason enough to green light this project, but with Rami co-producing would a little character acting to stand up to Bruce Campbells original angst hurt anyone?
So EVIL DEAD is set to 11 for guts, gore and pacing only without the originals humor but plenty of cash flow to wreak havoc with, about 14 million. Yes I mouthed the number in disbelief. And you can see the money flow on the set, literally, this forest is so well lit it could have been 51st street New York.
Still it’s funny but only when it doesn’t mean to be. Pathetically funny when from the start David (Shiloh Fernandez) and a few slow witted, autistic friends Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) and girlfriends SLASH wannabe victims, Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore) and Olivia (Jessica Lucas) drag David’s drug addled, holier than thou, oh please die, junkie sister Mia (Jane Levy) for the umpteenth time away to stop her from screwing up her life with drugs and hipster culture affliction, of which I heard there is no cure. Everyone kinda knows it’s a waste of time, but hey if they can torture Mia even a little, it’s truly worth it.
Only issue is, the cabin, wait for it… has an EVIL history. Long time ago demonic forces possessed another girl and her common sense family tied her up in the basement, then promptly lit her on fire when she started getting filthy evil ugly on them. The good old days, never stops bringing on the charm.
So when sarcastic sissy starts bending sideways and creeping everyone out, it just looks like a normal day for Mia, the pain in the ass junkie girl that never stops wanting attention. Look at me I’m a junkie with expensive clothes, look at me I’m possessed by demonic forest evil. Look, just look damn it, seriously I’m possessed look at my face, this is real.
Although Eric understands quicker than his logical minded friends what happening because he’s the moron that found the book wrapped in human flesh and barbed wire in the basement. Pried it open and read all words despite warnings scrawled in blood, LEAVE THIS BOOK ALONE.
Hey, that means snicker and read this book out loud right? Cause it says here that demonic forces will rise up and tear the limbs from our torsos and it’s all cotton candy rides from there.
So nervous sissy Mia gets felt up big time by the sex hungry woods then creepy crawls her way back to the cabin to hide wide eyed in her room corner. Tree rape is never a laughing matter but in this instance, she plays it full tilt and warns in sheer terror that the blood letting gag stunt crap is going to hit the fan. Let’s get the hell out of here now.
Cut, cut , cut. The bore of a remake is that you know everything that must happen, it’s inevitable, there is no chance of a detour, so your watching for the gore of it. Hmm, the bore gore? And gore bore Evil Dead does. I was never scared or grossed out, strangely enough. It felt more like the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, trapped in a oval seat with a bar across my lap, the ride made it’s turns and you watched for something interesting to happen.
Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) does bring genuine reaction to some scenes and I enjoyed his performance the most as the guilty smirking unbeliever turned frightened conjurer of the Evil Dead forces. He reeks of pathetic guilt and remorse almost consigned to what is his ineventual grotesque demise for his lack of respect for forces beyond his simple minded knowledge.
David plays the brother extremely slow witted with a slacking caring face as Eric tries to drum up some intelligence in a vain attempt to compensate for his obvious blundering. The girlfriends sit on the sidelines mostly waiting to be possessed. Olivia manages to be the know it all medical nursemaid well enough until she is found carving the flesh off herself in a quivering twitch to get the evil out since the filthy molding shower failed to work.
Natalie is a played gently and when it comes her turn to start playing cut the muscle parts off the bone, then cut the bone. I did feel something, I think it was sympathy. If only the other characters had some content to them, I might have felt something as they were ripped up like shredded beef tacos for demons.
But they don’t, it’s all predictable from here, though stylishly done. Real gags instead of CGI means real jobs for artists of the old school ways and it really lends a visual style and color to the dismemberment proceedings. Still the murder by numbers doesn’t have any real effect and I missed Bruce Campbell’s wicked gleam.
If it’s popcorn night at home and you have a good couch, this is a great Blu-ray Redbox one buck fifty, evening killer. Thank god for home theater, it lets the mundane take on a new role as a time killer at your living room box office, at 14 million a pop.
Cut, cut, CUT!