Welcome aboard Hollywood’s remake train! I hope you enjoy the ride, mind the deja-vu and please remember that nothing is sacred any longer. You might want to keep your arms and legs inside the carriage in case someone cuts them off with an electric knife, you have been warned.
Up and coming director Fede Alvarez known for, well…nothing except a few short films, hits the big screen with horror remake Evil Dead in which five unfortunate friends head to a remote and run down cabin to help Mia (Jane Levy) overcome her drug addiction.
The remote cabin thing has been done to death now and there have been so many variations on the remote cabin premise since The Evil Dead back in ’81 that it’s hard to watch this film without getting that eye-roll inducing ‘here we go again’ feeling. Just because this is a remake of one of the original ‘classic’ horror films it doesn’t make it’s unoriginal premise any more forgivable, especially since 2012 The Cabin in the Woods was very nearly a ‘The Evil Dead’ remake itself, except it parodied it and threw some pretty huge twists in. Evil Dead, although the original story has been changed somewhat, it does very little to reinvent the genre and sadly The Cabin in the Woods got there first and did a pretty good job.
Despite it’s done to death premise and irritatingly predictable plot Evil Dead is an enjoyable film with some pretty awesome special effects and make up. The gore is top notch and will satisfy the most blood-thirsty of gore hounds and force everyone else to peer through their fingers at least once at some of the close up gore shots. Evil Dead does nothing to reinvent the horror genre or challenge done-to-death conventions in the wake of much more self aware horror films like The Cabin in the Woods. It’s a shame Evil Dead didn’t come before TCitW because it made it difficult to fully appreciate since just one year previously we were given pretty much the same film that actually made an effort to reinvent the genre and challenge the viewers too.
Evil Dead is well paced going straight into the action pretty much from the get go. Although we know what’s coming and can predict everything else it is still a highly enjoyable horror film that utilises classic horror techniques with fancy special effects and camerawork to really hone the style. It almost pays homage to the original Evil Dead films and other similar horror classics with its refusal to challenge the conventions of the horror genre and instead make everything more stylish and modern. It brings to life a re-imagining of an old classic that serves to either remind fans of what they loved about the original or open up the eyes of audience members who haven’t seen or heard of The Evil Dead. Unlike a lot of remakes Evil Dead isn’t just a carbon copy of the original it actually changes the story and Fede Alvarez does a great job as writer and director, making Evil Dead current and prominent again in a genre that seems to have somewhat lost its way in recent years.
The acting is neither brilliant nor terrible, with a standard cast of attractive young people who do a good job of their roles but fail to stand out as particularly groundbreaking. The representation is, as you would expect, stereotypical but it works in this kind of film. Evil Dead is enjoyable, bloody, exciting and a decent horror flick but nothing more. It doesn’t live up to the hype and it doesn’t do anything different with the horror genre. Horror is fast becoming a stale, boring genre and there should be more emphasis on films that actually try to do something different. Evil Dead is much the same as a lot of other films, remake of an old classic or not there is little reason for this film to have been made other than to force people to remember the original franchise and to make money off of its name. There is nothing particularly interesting or new about this film, it’s an enjoyable horror romp which will suit any avid horror fan but it’s no better than anything else being churned out by Hollywood these days.