2:30 p.m., April 30, 2013

Remake of the cult classic "Evil Dead" goes all in on horrifying imagery.


Old name, new scares

“Why, God, why,” we all shouted at the screen. “Why that one? Take me instead.” This was one of the many reactions that accompanied learning one of the greatest movies of a generation has gotten the redo treatment.

But sometimes, once in a blue moon, comes a remake that can stand on the same pole as its predecessor, or even make one of its own. “Scarface,” “3:10 to Yuma” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” were all great films that could even make you forget about the original. “Evil Dead” didn’t acquire the status of the original, but it was still pretty cool.

What made the original so brutal and legendary was its over-the-top, gleeful violence, causing audiences to smile and cry. “Evil Dead” delivered this by the bucket. Unique kills and cringe-worthy body-slashing at a neck-breaking pace—each kill different than any in the original—gave this film all, if any, of its creativity.

Not your parent's cult classic

Not only was the film horrifically violent, but it was also flat-out horrifying. Given this movie already existed, it seemed impossible to pull out the same scares twice. However, the director, Fede Alvarez, used this to his advantage. He set up the scenes in such a way you knew what was coming because it was following the original so closely. You knew exactly what was on the other side of the door, and that’s what’s scary, along with the curiosity of how they changed things up. It’s both mysterious and expected, and some astounding makeup and voice work made for genuine scares, sometimes even gore-free.

But the movie had its faults. Along with enjoyable murder and scares, there were also a freeing simplicity and black humor to the original. Here, the writers tried to fill the first 20 minutes or so with soapy melodrama. There were a character with a drug addiction and a bunch of other adult-aged characters who said nothing of humor, depth or relevance. Though there was some obvious humor during the carnage, too much filler and plot structure tried to add depth to something originally one-dimensional. Less talking and more humorous killing, please.

The questionable ending followed the format of what I like to call (Gamers will enjoy this.) the “Big Boss Battle.” It can be seen as either a fun, little twist to fans expecting the original ending or a dubious copout. Either way, it was violent and even scary. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Though “Evil Dead” did fall under the weight of the modern horror format that didn’t work for most modern horror movies, it was still so incredibly fun. Plenty of horror and gore for fans of the original and newcomers alike, with enough to set it apart in all the right areas. Let’s just thank God this was one horror remake that didn’t make us wanna throw popcorn at the screen. However, in the woods, God can’t save you…muhahahaha, oops, scared myself.

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"Evil Dead" official site

"Evil Dead" on IMDb