I have a confession to make. I wasn't really that into horror cinema. In fact I downright loathed it. Remember the video nasties era? While movies like 'Driller Killer' and 'I Spit on your grave' were not exactly outright banned, like they were in Britain; these films were still hard to come by. My brother rented a VCR and a couple of video's. One of which was, Sam Raimi's, 'The Evil Dead'. Now, as careless and excited my brother was, he decided to put on The Evil Dead first. To make a long story short; that film corrupted and traumatized my six year old mind. It was my first experience with a horror movie.
I got back in to Horror in my late teens. Discovering the classics on late night TV and actively seeking out the b-movie fare. Having been exposed to so much horror cinema, I have certainly become de-sensitized to a lot of it. Would there ever be a movie to scare me again?
|The silence before everyone goes: Yaaaaargghh!!!|
With the new 'Friday the 13th' and 'A nightmare on Elm Street', failing to recapture the magic of the originals; fan reaction was quite mixed after the announcement of the Evil Dead remake. With the key players of the original (Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert) behind this, there was some hope that this could actually turn out right.
Mia (Jane Levy), is a troubled woman with a drug habit. Her brother David (Shiloh Fernandez) and friends Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci), Olivia (Jessica Lucas) and Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore) decide to organize an intervention. They take Mia to an old vacation spot; a cabin deep in the woods, hoping to help her overcome her addiction. They stumble upon a hidden cellar and find this book wrapped in plastic and barbwire. When Eric reads passages from the book he unwittingly summons an ancient evil. From that moment on they are being terrorized, have to fight for their lives and save Mia from possession by this demonic entity.
|This movie is to tomato soup, what 'The Exorcist' is to pea soup.|
The plot is simple enough, Just as it was in the original. It's the execution that counts here and I’m glad to say it has been done superbly. First time director, Fede Alvarez (handpicked by Sam Raimi) is clearly a big fan of the original. He might have changed little details here and there (The look of the deadites, book of the dead and the actual hero) but his wild camera moves and crazy angles, perfect use of practical effects and gore; shows that his heart was in the right place. While the film does have its nods and easter eggs to Evil Dead and Evil Dead II, it doesn't slavishly follow the original. Making this movie strong enough to stand on its own merits.
|I remember being this desperate when i saw 'Batman & Robin'.|
'Scream' and 'Cabin in the woods' dissect aspects of the horror genre. While having gruesome scenes of gore and death, those movies were played for laughs. Evil Dead is playing it straight. There is no wink, wink or funny tongue in cheek moments to be found. The characters in this movie suffer so much punishment and terror that you as the viewer, feel it as well. Roque Baños' excellent music score certainly helps. His 'Evil Tango' at the end credits is a delightfully, devilish piece of music. The combination of the score and the images is relentless. The viewer isn't allowed many moments of rest.
While you feel the horrific moments, you never really feel for the characters. While there was little character development in the original, much of that lack was saved by Bruce Campbell's charisma. Despite a minimum of character development, the people in the film are somewhat likable. I still wanted to know a little more about them. If you care for the characters, the horror becomes all the more real. If there is a drawback to this movie, it is only that.
|Bruce Campbell tweeted: "This movie needs more blood". I agree|
While it did not scare me personally, it took me back to that place when i was six years old. Where that fear is primal and real. I enjoyed it because i saw how other people were affected by it. I was happy to see people scared in the theater again. Screaming instead of laughing. Hiding their faces in their hands instead of chuckling. I am happy to see the “serious” horror film make a return. I am also very excited to see where this will lead to. Sam Raimi has already announced he's writing an Army of Darkness 2 and an Evil Dead 2 is already on the fast track. All I can say is that this is truly a horror movie and a triumph on multiple levels. Highly recommended.