So the remake of Evil Dead is here-- the last great horror franchise… MoreSo the remake of Evil Dead is here-- the last great horror franchise to get exploited by the Hollywood machine. But unlike the droves of half-hearted reboots that have slimed their way through cineplex this past decade, THIS one is produced by the creators of the original franchise... and it shows in every blood-soaked, gleefully sadistic frame. Frankly, this may just be the best modern horror remake of them all... and while that's not saying much, you shouldn't let that take away from the fact that this movie is, from beginning to end, AWESOME.
Evil Dead is one of those wonderful, rare remakes that is faithful to the original in all the ways that matter, but also knows when to take the concept or the characters in new and interesting directions. In fact, the set-up for the wacky cabin shenanigans is a refreshing change of pace from the norm: rather than heading out into the secluded woods for a weekend of drinking and debauchery, the friends in this film are there to help one of their own kick a ferocious heroin habit-- which not only gives us a good reason as to why they don't just leave as soon as shit starts getting weird, but also adds a fantastic new thematic layer to the whole movie (which I'll get into later). Stylistically, this is obviously not a Sam Raimi movie-- its desaturated colors and designer-grunge aesthetic does harken to other, less-impressive horror remakes-- but director Fede Alvarez manages to bring the kind of frantic visual energy to the film that you would expect from an Evil Dead movie, so it doesn't feel like a half-assed cash in. Better still, he also keeps the pace relentless-- when this movie gets going, it grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. (more to come)