Tuesday, August 20, 2013

In short: Evil Dead (2013)

Turns out it is possible to remake one of the most important independently produced horror movies in genre history as a semi-mainstream (let's be realistic here - Ghost House may belong to Sony, but it sure as hell doesn't provide filmmakers with hundreds of millions of dollars as a budget, so its films are generally really low budget movies with a commercial eye)  horror movie and not have it end up a boring piece of crap.

I suspect it helps to have somebody like Fede Alvarez in the director's chair who seems to actually know what he's doing, instead of either a Rob-Zombie-like self-declared horror fan who couldn't direct his way out of a paper bag, or a typical work-for-hire director who may be able to direct his way out of a paper bag but can't be bothered to. The tone of Evil Dead is close to the original, but rather runs parallel to it than being identical, with the older film having energy and a willingness to be crude on its side where this one is comparatively slick and professional; though not so slick and professional it can't develop the all-important sense of hysteria that is what holds the plot of both versions together at their respective cores. In fact, the film is downright exhilarating when seen in the appropriate state of mind (hint: it's not meant to stimulate intellectually).

This is also one of those remakes that neither is so far from the original you don't understand why it even needs to be a remake, nor one that's so close you have to ask yourself why it even exists until it begins changing elements but only for the worse, nor one that seems out to piss all over what made the original great (hello Rob Zombie and Marcus Nispel again). Instead, it acts as a mirror that refracts elements of the original film, often in ways more clever and more organic than I would have expected.

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