Evil Dead is No Evil Dud

Bruce Campbell You might have thought that Cabin in the Woods was the last word on horror movies, or at least the "several kids go into the woods and have terrible things happen to them" genre of horror movies. No, they're still pumping them out – including a remake of the low-budget, B-movie classic, Evil Dead.

Evil Dead is sort of the ultimate "cabin in the woods" movie, and there've been rumors of a remake or sequel for years and years. With that much pent-up demand for another Evil Dead, it's easy to see how fans would be disappointed when it finally arrives.

I can't speak for all fans, of course, but I have to say … I went in expecting much less from the Evil Dead remake. It's not quite what I hoped for, but I had to admit it was a solid remake that paid homage to the original without being a slavish remake or complete departure from the original.

What do we get with this remake? First, there's a bit more of a plot this time around – with the kids' expedition to the cabin explained by one character's need to detox and try to kick the habit.

The movie is a bit weak on interpersonal relationships. It does try to breathe a little life into some of the characters, but several are pretty much disposable fodder for the inevitable.

The violence and gore are seriously amped up in the remake. This should be obvious from the trailers, so squeamish types should look to something a little less blood-soaked for their viewing pleasure. When I say blood-soaked, I really do mean it.

The first Evil Dead was a very low-budget but straight-up no-frills horror movie. Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn was basically a remake of the first, but campier and with some humor. (Not exactly refined or sophisticated humor, but humor). I had hoped that the remake might continue more in the campy vein, but no dice. It's all about the horror, not much about the humor. There's some dark humor here and there, but it's not prominent.

What I liked, without giving anything away, is that the movie stayed true to the originals but keeps the audience guessing if they've already seen the first movies.The violence and gore in the movie is more than many folks will be able to handle, but I don't think it stoops to "torture porn" at any point.

Mia does a pretty damn good performance in the film, she definitely has chops. You'll be surprised by the evolution of her character and she kind of has me rooting for a sequel. And, of course, the door is left wide open for a second installment if this one does well enough at the box office. Maybe they'll take it in a campier direction with the next one, if it happens. Perhaps they'll even find a way to work Bruce Campbell back in, which is what most Evil Dead fans are really hoping for. 

Author: Joe Brockmeier

Joe Brockmeier is a long-time participant in open source projects and former technology journalist. Brockmeier has worked as the openSUSE Community Manager, is an Apache Software Foundation (ASF) member, and participates heavily in the Fedora Cloud Working Group. Brockmeier works for Red Hat in the Open Source and Standards (OSAS) and manages the community team.

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