Friday Fright Club: Evil Dead (2013)

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We live in an exciting time for horror, folks. Today’s topic of discussion, Fede Alverez’s Evil Dead, has been heating up the movie blog debates since it was announced and at its release, something spectacular happened…it was positively received! *shocked gasp* Yes, Evil Dead, the remake that everyone asked for but nobody really think would work…worked. Let’s start at the beginning, though.

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In 1981, a much younger Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert cast an unknown college dropout as the lead in their new film, Evil Dead. Considerably low budget, it had enough going for it to become a cult classic still fondly remembered today, spawning a franchise all starring the film’s overly-charismatic and fan-favourite lead Bruce Campbell, who would go on to forge a career out of being the unopposed king of camp.

When the new Evil Dead was announced, the world initially reacted negatively but when it was made known that the holy trinity of Raimi, Tapert and Campbell would be involved, with Raimi’s first-time filmmaker prodigy Fede Alverez at the helm, our interests were piqued. At the release of trailer, this turned into full-blown fan mania as Evil Dead promised to be terrifying, bloody and very much a loving nod at the franchise that it will now form part of, while still managing to stand tall among the other cult-classic giants. While there was sadness regarding Bruce “Ash” Campbell’s character not appearing in the film and the inclusion of a female lead, we patiently waited for the end result and I have to say, I loved it and I’m sure many, many others did as well.

Why, though? We all know the story – a gang of cliche teenagers head to a cabin, bad things happen. Naturally, but what most people don’t realise is that Cabin-films have turned into its own sub-genre of horror, as so aptly satired by the also-brilliant Cabin in the Woods. In my opinion, Evil Dead and Cabin in the Woods are the one-two punch that horror needed. It’ll be a long time before a film about a gang of kids in a cabin will even dare to compete with these two films. Sure, we can expect many knock-offs over coming while but that is the mark of success…a sign that people noticed and loved your film, and that people want to try and parasite off your winning formula. We can spot these films a mile off, and they are hardly worth mentioning.

As I mentioned earlier, we live in an exciting time for horror. Cabin in the Woods poked fun at a genre that had become tired, while still being fantastic, and Evil Dead showed us how it is done. Of the few complaints regarding the film, it has been said that some people miss the humour from the original film but for the most part, I reckon people are forgetting that Evil Dead draws a lot more from the original Evil Dead film than the better-known Evil Dead 2, which was comedy-horror. I welcome this, though. Cabin in the Woods made us laugh, Evil Dead made us respect the genre again. With other films out soon like The Conjuring, horror is finally clawing back the respect it has lost by disrespecting the needs of horror fans for so long by doing something revolutionary…they’re good.

Evil Dead sees Mia, a drug addict, taking to a remote cabin in the woods by her friends to help her go cold turkey off the bad stuff. Between Mia’s breakdown and finding an extremely disturbing basement in the cabin, which included a book wrapped in plastic and barb wire, things quickly take a turn for the worst as one of the gang reads from the book and unleashes a horrific, bloody hell on the twenty-somethings in the cabin.

Definitely not for the squeamish, we are launched back into the familiar world of Evil Dead, but as with the old one, it goes right for the jugular and if you aren’t spending most of the film hiding under a blanket then you, Sir or Madam, are a better person than I.

With the guidance of Tapert, Campbell and Raimi, Alverez has managed to craft something quite incredible, a film that should not have worked, and has earmarked himself as a director to watch…more specifically, since his next project will be Evil Dead 2. Did I mention that Raimi will, at the same time, be creating Army of Darkness 2, a direct sequel to his original franchise? As an added geek-gasm, Alverez and Raimi are planning on a 7th film that will join the two story arcs together. Mia…meet Ash.

Sorry, this is where I leave you all. My pants just exploded. I’ll just leave you with this: (you can thank me later)

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Last Updated: July 19, 2013

Lourens Corleone

I'm the series and console geek that you can always depend on for passionate, but respectful, opinions of all your favourite tv shows. Easily distracted by pictures of cats.

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