Monday, April 8, 2013
Evil Dead (1981) + Bloody Gore - Humor = Evil Dead (2013)
The studios were smart to release this film at festivals before the actual wide release: it built up a word of mouth about the no-holds-barred barf-worthy moments so horror geeks around the country were well aware and were willing to shell out the inflating price of a movie ticket (the shocking red-band trailer helped, too). But I can't help from feeling disappointed when expecting something shocking when it comes to American horror films. They never match their French counterparts (check out Martyrs or Inside if you want some real terrifying and cringe-worthy moments). But this film definitely tries its best. Huge needles in scenes with eyeballs, electric meat cutters slicing into forearms, projectile bloody puke coming out of many orifices--these are the tools that first-time director Fede Alvarez uses to create this disturbing world.
The plot is similar to the original in the sense that five friends (two of them are siblings) travel to a remote cabin, where they discover an old book in the basement underneath the carcasses of dead and rotten house animals. I could go through the names of the characters, but it's not particularly necessary: most of the time, they are strictly the meat to be thrown into this movie's grinder. A few words of this ancient, human-skin bound book are uttered by one of five, and demonic forces begin to gather around the cabin, starting with a forest-vine rape that mimics the original.
After watching the red-band preview that was circulating the web for weeks in advance, I knew that Evil Dead would be pretty gruesome. But watching that two minute clip was a mistake: it gave away some of the more hideous set-ups of the film (for instance, the one in the picture above). I wish that I had never watched it. But there lies the problem with certain horror films, ones that are produced mainly to try and give you an upset stomach: once you're desensitized to its graphic depictions of a group of friends in a shanty-like cabin getting sliced and diced, you're left with bad acting and a story that was told better back in 1981. (B-)