When this movie first came out, I was unsure what to think. I consider Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead movies some of my “holy grail” films. You just don’t touch them. And to me, the main allure of those films is the joyful, almost playful, energy they all have. So what was I to think about a straightforward, dark as hell, humorless remake? Well, it’s taken me many years to fully grasp it, but I now love this movie on its own regards. I’ll explain further, but for now, (as if we didn’t already know) here’s the brief synopsis from imdb.
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.
My re-evaluation of this film was really cemented this past week as I was able to go to the glorious Beyondfest Festival here in Los Angeles, and watch the never-before-seen NC-17 cut of this Evil Dead film on the big screen, with genius director Fede Alvarez and screenwriter Rodo Sayagues in attendance for a Q&A. I’m here to say that this movie kicks serious ass. It stands on its own two feet in more ways than one. The decision to play this straight and serious, and not look for another Bruce Campbell type character was actually one of the best decisions they could have made. Then the decision to deliver some of the most grotesque and disturbing PRACTICAL gore effects was their next great call. The gore in this film is so nasty it made me wince countless times. And this unrated cut I just watched only upped that ante. The arm scene, holy lord. I thought it was bad before, this version was incredible. And the chainsaw ending? *Chef’s kiss* To top it all off, Fede said in the Q&A that they always considered this film to live in the same universe as Ash. So it’s not there to remake or replace him. They’re all in the same universe (kind of driven home if you keep watching all the way until after the closing credits.) So there you go. It’s not a remake. It’s just another chapter of Evil Dead. And one that truly stands on its own as an incredible, modern day, horror classic.
Where to Watch: Streaming on Starz
Food/Drink Pairing: A nice slab of roast, cut up with an electric knife.