‘Evil Dead': How Does The Remake Stack Up?

By Ryan Rigley

“Halloween,” “Friday the 13th, “A Nightmare of Elm Street.” There have been a number of horror movie remakes in recent years, taking classic horror films from the 70’s and 80’s and turning them into modern day massacres. Ranging everywhere from “The Wolfman” to “Fright Night,” these remakes either come across as really awesome or really unnecessary. I mean, hell, most of these horror films were only made about twenty years ago.

The latest, and perhaps most anticipated, horror remake to grace the silver screen with its senseless gore and violence is Fede Alvarez’ “Evil Dead.” Produced by both Sam Raimi (the original director) and
Bruce Campbell (the original star), “Evil Dead” looks to be different enough for first-time viewers and gruesome enough for diehard fans. So did “Evil Dead” live up to the hype?

The Original
In Sam Raimi’s original cult classic, five college students decide to spend their Spring Break in a remote cabin in the Tennessee woods. Not long after settling in, the young, hapless victims happen upon the
Sumerian “Book of the Dead” and a tape recorder that plays an evil incantation unleashing the wrath of the Candarian demons. Ash Williams, as played by Bruce Campbell, is then forced to murder all of his companions as they each fall victim to demonic possession.

Despite the film’s micro-budget, the original “Evil Dead” manages to terrify and/or nauseate audiences of all ages. From dismemberment to tree rape, Raimi’s first masterpiece is as cringe-worthy as intended and as shocking as its cult status implies.

The Remake
Fede Alvarez’ re-imagined horror classic sees five friends traveling to an isolated cabin with the intentions of helping their friend (Mia) get over her dangerous drug addiction cold turkey. However, their rehabilitation plans fall off course once the gang discovers a mysterious spellbook bound in human flesh. Reading a spell from the “Book of the Dead” aloud, the five friends accidentally summon an ancient evil that plagues the burial ground on which the cabin was built.

This “Evil Dead” remake is chock-full of blood, guts, bloody guts, tree rape, and dismemberment. In fact, I’d say it’s safe to assume that there is at least ten times more gore in this version than the original (and five times more than in “Evil Dead 2″). Also, while the story is completely different from that of the original, the film is chock full of subtle references and Easter eggs alluding to its 1981 counterpart.

The Verdict
With a different (but similar) story and a butt-load of gory practical effects, the “Evil Dead” remake is absolutely worth the price of admission. If you’re a long-time fan of the original, the new “Evil Dead” takes that same “shock till you drop” sensibility from the original and amps it up tenfold resulting in a film that, at times, makes you want to scream and vomit at the same time.

If you’ve never seen the original “Evil Dead,” I guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how disturbing this new take is. The classic “Evil Dead” staples are all still there (i.e. the tree rape and severing of one’s own arm), just produced on a much bigger budget. And believe you me, this remake does not shy away from the gore. I cannot stress that enough. Anyway, go see this movie or I’ll swallow your soul.