Saturday, April 6, 2013

Jason versus Evil Dead (2013)

Shawn and I have bitched and bitched again about the number of remakes coming out of Hollywood, and we've been more than vocal about our dislike of an Evil Dead remake, reboot or rewhateverthefuckitis.

But all the bitching in the world won't stop Hollywood from making movies like the new Evil Dead, nor will a generation that's never heard of the original stop paying to see them. With that in mind, yours truly ventured to the multiplex on a very busy Saturday night to see Fede Alvarez's spin on the Sam Raimi classic. It was my duty to see this movie so you don't have to.

Five friends head to a remote cabin, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads them to unwittingly summon up demons living in the nearby woods. The evil presence possesses them until only one is left to fight for survival.

Evil Dead (2013) is The Bourne Legacy of the Evil Dead franchise. It doesn't need to exist, no one asked for it, yet it's surprisingly good for what it is. Truth be told, I had a lot of fun watching this movie, as did the audience I saw it with.

This is a crowd movie if ever there was one. People gasped, yelled at the stupid characters on the screen. Yes, I was the oldest person there by a long shot, but I enjoyed myself as much as the young 'uns. I did.

A lot has been made about the violence and gore in this movie. Yup, it's probably one of the most gruesome mainstream releases I've ever seen. Limbs are cut off, tongues split in two, a woman gets raped by a tree (although it actually advances the plot this time). Suffice to say, things get messy.

But the violence isn't the movie. It's there, the movie wouldn't exist without it, but it's just one part of the equation. Normally, I don't find goreporn entertaining, but Evil Dead is.

Maybe it's the rapid-fire editing and the way Alvarez paces the flick. It could be that the acting is decent. There's some humour -- intentional and otherwise -- a few jump scares, and some great vulgarity. I laughed, I cringed, I had a good time.

Alvarez's Evil Dead is as much of a remake as Raimi's Evil Dead 2 was of the original Evil Dead. Only jet-black serious. This isn't a scene-for-scene redo. It's very different from the first film, which is what all good remakes are. While he apes Raimi's visual style, Alvarez's film still feels fresh.

It almost pains me to say it, but I'm giving this Evil Dead a Good. And stick around for a groovy treat after the end credits. Silly, but worth it.
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