One year ago, Lionsgate released ‘The Cabin In The Woods’, which provided an interesting commentary on the state of horror movies in this day and age. Now, the remake of Sam Raimi’s cult classic horror film ‘Evil Dead’ is in theaters and it takes the style of movie that Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard somewhat poke fun at and elevates it to a whole new level. And I have to say, I was expecting to like it as much as I did.
At first glance, Fede Alvarez’s freshman feature film had some things working against it. First thing was the rapid fan base that places the original on such a high pedestal. Then, as with all remakes, there’s the matter of spicing up a story that we’ve seen before. Just like it’s source material, this ‘Evil Dead’ is about a group of twenty-somethings who travel to a secluded cabin in the woods, where they encounter the Book of the Dead. After one of them foolishly reads from it, the group becomes living tableaus as depicted in the evil book. With demons trying to break into our world through these kids, they must find a way to stop it before all of them are killed off.
There have been so many variations of this story over the years that it’s become almost stereotypical of the horror genre. However, Alvarez and company manage to make their film stand out above the rest because of how they made it. The story wasn’t the star of this particular film, but the cinematography, sound, and special effects were the things that made ‘Evil Dead’ such a great cinematic experience.
When Sam Raimi made his first ‘Evil Dead’ film, he didn’t exactly have a massive Hollywood budget behind him. Well, Fede Alvarez did and he put it to good use. First of all, this movie had to be the most gorgeous looking horror film that I’ve ever seen. The colors just popped in a way that no film in the genre could. The vivid imagery was perfect for the graphic nature of the events depicted onscreen to make everything more nightmare inducing.
But the look of the film wasn’t the only thing that aided in creating the most horrific scenes possible. The sound effects were so on point in ‘Evil Dead’. Whoever did the Foley work on the film needs to be commended. The blood-curdling noises to come out of this film were so creepy. The sounds were definitely on par with the great sights. And by great, I mean I was super freaked out and uncomfortable a whole bunch throughout the film. It was one of those situations where it’s so shocking and gross that you can’t really look away.
Finally, the original ‘Evil Dead’ is known for it’s use of practical special effects. Keeping in the same vein, the team behind this new one utilized old school methods of creating the blood and gore and it all worked out so well. Some movies these days rely too heavily on CGI technology, but there was little to none of that in this film, which is a completely mind-blowing fact considering the things that are shown on the big screen. I’m cringing just thinking about it!
The filmmakers of the new ‘Evil Dead’ need to be lauded for so many reasons. Somehow, they managed to capture the feel of the original while still presenting a completely fresh take on the material. I wouldn’t go so far as to agree with their poster that says that it’s “the most terrifying film you will ever experience”, but it’s definitely up there in terms of the freak out factor. This is the best-looking horror movie I’ve ever seen, that’s for sure. And on top of everything, fans of the original should really have nothing to worry about. When it comes down to it, I’d recommend this film to anybody looking for a few good scares. ‘Evil Dead’ is horror at it’s finest and is one of the most fucked up films I’ve seen in a long time. And I mean that in the best way possible.