Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Evil Dead (2013) is Not That Bad: a DVD review
First and foremost, there's no doubt that a lot of viewers are sick of remakes, particularly where cult and horror films are concerned. Other than the totally respectable Rob Zombie Halloween films, there have been very few interesting ones, many (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th, Death Race, I Spit On Your Grave, Last House on the Left, Total Recall) seeming unnecessary in a world with easy access to the originals, as they add nothing particularly exciting (bigger budgets, better effects - but so what?) to the films and franchises they exploit, offer no new ideas or insightful elaborations on their source material, frequently lack the audacity and courage of the originals, and in the end seem more like transparent attempts to separate young people from their money than labours of love, fandom, obsession, or sincere derangement (as was generally the case with the original films). Each time another one comes out, it's like you can smell the producers' thought process from miles away: "Hey, this is a small budget movie with a huge cult following, and no one has remade it yet (or no one saw the last remake); if we remake it, and amp up the effects, we can cash in, because everyone who loves the original will come see it!"
At some point, as a cinephile, you want to stop co-operating with that logic, want to draw the line, say "count me out." Who needs to spend money on a lazy cash-in that takes as its first premise that you are not that discriminating about the films you watch, that you're easily duped, that, as the Dead Milkmen once put it, you'll dance to anything?
Given all the above, it's entirely reasonable to have questions. How necessary is the 2013 Evil Dead? Do I really need to see it? What can it possibly add to my life? Even if it's a good remake, does the world need a good remake of The Evil Dead? And given the state of cinema and the nature of remakes, how good could it possibly be?
It does so nicely, which is ultimately why I'm recommending the film; it crafts a new ending, fit for its characters, and resolves things on a fairly satisfying note. As remakes go, Evil Dead is one of the better ones - it would be a good film to watch with the friends you saw the original with in the 1980's, if any are still in your social circle (none are in mine; ah, well).
Evil Dead party, anyone?