Let me start by saying horror films are hard to make nowadays. Kids are not scared by the same things as they were years ago. But yet, so many modern horror films do the same things as found back in the 1970s and 80s.
The choice of going alone in the forest, going downstairs to investigate a noise. All done back then and for the last few years, joked about by today’s modern teenager.
So in recent years, that meaning and scare tactics has waned. So now we have just a competition as to how graphic we can be before the censors jump in and things that make you jump as the tactics to scare you.
This is not horror. Making you jump is not horror. Making you jump is not the same as making you scared to look out of your window or walk down a path in the dark.
Nah, now it’s all about how much blood can we produce and how we can make CGI look real and how much torture we can get away with.
That’s why I’ve not watched or cared about a horror film for years. On hearing the news the The Evil Dead was going to be remade had me crying into my hands and a continued hatred for modern horror.
But also hearing about the involvement of Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell (the original creators of The Evil Dead) certainly made me think again. Seeing the trailer also brought me forward into thinking, this could be rather good. I was excited about a horror films for this first time in years. The words of the pair saying have faith rang in my head. They made me have faith.
Oh and by the way. This IS a remake. Most on the set have said this isn’t so. This is a new version that should be thought of as it’s own and want it to stand on it’s own two legs. Huh, well the very fact that it copies 99% of the original shows that this is so a remake and they are all liars.
I then saw the red band trailer. Oh the pain. Oh the anger, oh the lies…
This appeared to be nothing more than Evil Dead meets Saw. Gone was the true scares only to be replaced by blood and one frame cuts hoping to make you jump. This had me running for the hills. In one fell swoop had me doubting everything I was told, and in no way had me wanting to race to the cinema to see this.
So here we are with the Blu-ray release. Being such a huge fan of the original, almost a bigger fan of the sequel and liking the third instalment, no matter the reviews, I would sit down and watch this alone, in the dark, on the floor – the snoring black Labrador was taking my place on the leather sofa.
I was hoping to be proved wrong and that this was finally a remaking work remaking. To improve on the original and restore my faith in the horror genre. It didn’t.
The premise of how they get to the cabin is rubbish. To be fair, I don’t know how you could get a bunch of teenagers into a cabin in the woods without it being shit, but this was weak.
A girl hooked on cocaine was going to go cold turkey with the help of her friends, and so this cabin seemed the only only place to do it. I guess Betty Ford was too expensive.
So the group roll up and make themselves comfortable in the cabin. But there is a smell coming from the basement. They investigate and find a load of dead animals and a book wrapped in plastic and barbed wire.
Of course this is an open invitation for it to be opened and the famous words of resurrection of the dead are recited. This I am not bothered about as how else would you raise the dead? By reading a Mr Men book?!
We soon get to the smack addict being left alone outside in the pouring rain who is “taken” by the woods. In the original, the first victim is also attacked by the woods and is bound, tied by it’s branches.
What follows I’m sure you can guess if you don’t know already the infamous scene. A scene that lead to it being cut for the UK video release (as well as other cuts). Later, the original director said he was not a fan and that he wished he cut it out completely. But in true fashion, the remake tried to improve it and in true fashion failed… Hugely.
I was surprised it was not more graphic, in fact I’d say less so than the original despite the censors allowing much more realistic and explicit footage to be shown nowadays. It has ZERO scares and just reminded you of how much better it was done 32 years ago!
To cut a long story short, the whole film carried on in this manner. To be fair to the film, it was impossible to remake it and for it not to be compared to the sublime original.
There were takes of the 1981 film that took you back, but within seconds we are back to blood and gore and despite the involvement of Sam and Bruce, simply no idea how to make a horror film. At least a good one in the 21st century.
The 1981 version had some great funny moments that this version was sorely lacking. The original didn’t take itself seriously and yet this version has nothing but. It was “Hey look at me, I’m trying be be a great horror film, please come and watch me” all the way through. It tried to be scary, but it just wasn’t. At all and that’s it’s big problem.
I was so bored I found myself drinking yet more Polish 96% Vodka just to get through the film!
The acting was awful and had me wanting everyone in it to be killed ASAP.
The good stuff just reminded you of why you’re not watching the original where it was done better.
It reminds of the remake of Psycho which literally copied the entire film shot for shot but was somehow turned it to utter crap. The ONLY redeeming thing is the fact that with this Evil Dead, God bless ’em, there is very little CGI and what CGI there is, is done very well.
This was a terrible idea and at no point did anyone involved stopped to think the same thing. I urge you, to never go anywhere near this steaming pile of excrement (tho massively better than Eden Lake) and just go out and buy the original Blu-ray and watch how it’s done.
Not scary, not funny, not funny scary, so what was the point?
Further reading on The Evil Dead:
Mark Kermode’s thoughts