Evil Dead (2013)

tn_evildeadnot to be confused with THE EVIL DEAD (1981). They take the ‘the’ out to streamline it, like FAST & FURIOUS.

I’m an EVIL DEAD 2 man myself. But I love THE EVIL DEAD too. It’s a timeless classic that I dig out every couple of years and it keeps getting better. And I never wanted them to remake it. But the truth is, I’m afraid, that that first one is pretty forgotten in our culture. I know this by the overwhelming number of genuine horror fans, not just Johnny-come-latelys, who are confused why the remake looks so serious. You have to keep explaining to them, no, this is supposed to be a remake of the first EVIL DEAD. The one before EVIL DEAD 2? That sequel is just such a perfect do-over that it eclipses the first one in the popular consciousness.

This is in that rare category of horror remakes where instead of somebody (Platinum Dunes or whoever) buying the rights and cashing in on the name the original director decides to get it over with, picks out a director himself, produces it and is pretty hands on to try to make it worthwhile. The originator of this strategy might’ve been George Romero with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1990). It was also used successfully by Wes Craven for THE HILLS HAVE EYES (2006) and THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (2009). Note that he had nothing to do with A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (2010). That’s what they’re up against here.

Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Bruce Campbell produced this through Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures company. To write and direct they chose Fede Alvarez, a young Uruguayan rookie known for a youtube short he did about a robot attack.

I think Alvarez made alot of good choices that aren’t what you’d expect:

1) He kept the tone of the original. There are plenty of laughs but they come from how out-of-control things get, not from jokes per se. It must’ve been tempting to make it more like part 2 or 3 since that’s what people want, but fuck people. What do people know? The number of movies that have balanced horror and comedy as well as EVIL DEAD 2 could be counted on one hand by the world’s worst shop teacher. That’s not something to be messed with, probly not even by Raimi himself. Going back to the roots was the only way to proceed.

2) He didn’t recast Ash or have an obvious Ash-replacement character. Angry one-star reviewers on IMDb are of course crying bloody murder over this, but I got a strong hunch they wouldn’t be any happier seeing some new guy pretend to be Ash. Alvarez was smart to stay out of that trap.

3) Although he clearly has more resources and technology than the Michigan boys had on the original he does almost entirely practical effects. There’s probly a little digital in there somewhere, but if so not much. This is a solid object movie, not a pixel one. It’s meaty and boney and wet.

I love the audacious tagline. I guess it's their update of the end credits of the original calling itself "The ultimate experience in grueling terror."
I love the bragadocious above-the-title tagline. I guess it’s their update of the end credits of the original calling itself “The ultimate experience in grueling terror.”

Like most remakes they change some shit and they keep some shit. It surprised me that the entire opening sequence is an entirely different take on the material, threw me off balance, in a good way. Then they introduce the characters and they’re all different, they’re up to something different. But they’re young people who go out to stay in a cabin, accidentally unleash demons from an ancient book and then watch their friends become possessed and murderous. And sometimes giggly.

There are nods to many evil deadisms: a workshed, a chain saw, a possessed hand, a severed hand, a trap door to the basement, a broken stair, a lullaby, a few of those within-the-woods POV shots. Also I believe that’s Raimi and Campbell’s beloved original car that everybody sits on behind the cabin. But one of the few major scenes they directly remake is the only one that Sam Raimi has been saying for decades that he regrets putting in the movie. Whether you like this one or not you gotta admit it’s not one of these horror remakes that tries to water things down and make them more sanitary.

I don’t know how or why it happened, but this has gotta be by far the goriest movie to ever land an R-rating. Every main character gets fucked up six ways to Sunday. Probly seven. I was already sure it was the goriest well before it started literally raining blood from the sky. This is gonna ruin alot of slumber parties. Some poor girl thinks it’s gonna be like THE RING and neither she or her friends will ever sleep soundly again. Or it’s gonna change some lives. It’s gonna make a man out of those girls.

But what’s great is (I guess with the exception of the infamous botany related scene) it’s not this kind of ugly gorey we’ve gotten used to from SAW or the Rob Zombie movies, the “oh, you want to see violence? Well violence is no picnic. It’s like HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER. It’s fucked up,” approach to horror. I’m not saying that’s not valid but I like this return to pushing things so far that it’s okay to laugh at the audacity of it instead of so far you want to take a shower. In many ways it looks like the modern horror, but the spirit is more in tune with the horror movies of the ’80s that outraged the cultural watch dogs but actually were meant to be fun.

The major story change that I thought was really smart is that instead of just going out to a cabin for a vacation these kids are there to help their friend Mia (Jane Levy) go cold turkey. So when she starts seeing evil deadliness it seems like she’s just freaking out on withdrawal, when she begs to go home they won’t let her because they think it’s best for her to stay. Mia’s brother David (Shiloh Fernandez) feels alot of guilt about not letting her be free to leave, but that will seem like a quaint problem later on when he starts thinking he may need to chop her up and set her on fire. Also, Mia knows from her first scene that she’s looking down the barrel of a harrowing weekend. She just doesn’t know how harrowing.

Diablo Cody did a polish on this script, I don’t think she was credited and she said she didn’t change much. The one part I guessed she might’ve written was the name of their dog. (spoiler: it’s “Grandpa.”) It would be interesting to know what she added. (Everybody’s on her jock since she made YOUNG ADULT. Or maybe just me.)

There’s not a huge amount of time dedicated to these characters as humans before they start getting possessed and mutilated and slimed and slammed into things and what not. But in that time they do set up relationships and backstory that are built on through the mayhem and do pay off effectively. It’s a little bit like THE RAID in that sense. Trying to subtly fit a little characterization into the cracks of what seems like non-stop mayhem.

Still, I didn’t feel like these characters were much more fleshed out than the pretty generic ones in the original, and Fernandez (who sometimes seems like the lead) reminds me of the lunkheads that star in MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D and things like that, the type of cheesy mainstream horror that I enjoy despite myself, not because they’re amazing. He’s kinda bland, they coulda found somebody with more presence, and that holds the movie back a little.

So it did take me a little bit to warm up to it, but once it gets ripping it’s so relentless I couldn’t help but get my pantleg caught and get dragged out a bunch of windows and down a bunch of stairs. It’s the type of movie that the phrase “like a rollercoaster” was invented for, it’s all about hurtling you through this heightened experience, making your heart beat fast and not allowing you to take a breath until the sun breaks at the end. Despite the obvious debt to the energy of the original (it definitely borrows some trademark Raimi camera moves and edits) what it reminds me of most is staying up late watching gorey Italian movies at a horror marathon. It’s an endurance test, making you watch these kids suffer every body trauma imaginable, special emphasis on parts that cause sympathy pains: a bite on the web between the thumb and the forefinger, a needle near an eye, a razor splitting a tongue. Some of that self-inflicted.

Interesting note for you bodily discharges fans: they’re more reality based than in the original. Not just slime but spit and snot and pus and even some piss. There is some green vomit, but also bloody vomit. With chunks. It really goes out of its way to show you something disgusting and then show you something way worse and then something way worse than that. And when you think you know how disgusting it is it will surprise you with a little twist (spoiler: like when the girl saws her own arm off with an electric kitchen knife and then it’s just hanging there by a tiny thread before it drops).

And yet, just as they say, one of the most effective parts is something that happens off screen. You’ve probly seen that disgusting shot in the trailers of a girl with her cheek cut open so she looks like a skeleton. But the highlight is when she’s off screen, you’re not sure what she’s doing but you hear the sound of frantic sawing through something… mushy. And you see her from the back and she’s hunkered over doing… something… you’re not sure what, but you know it’s something terrible!

The mythology is different in little ways that I didn’t entirely follow. I missed some of the more straight up ghostly phenomena, the furniture coming to life and stuff. But maybe I’m old fashioned. I heard some people complain about the curse words written in the Book of the Dead – I thought those were things that some previous victim had written in there, not the Ancient Sumerians. It fits with the EXORCIST style filthy mouths some of those possessed people have.

At the climax there’s something that must be from a page we never turned to in the Necronomicon before, a prophecy that happens. Nothin too big, kinda simple actually, but pretty clever in the way it’s executed.

Like most modern horror remakes it’s got real nice cinematography (by Aaron Morton, who cut his teeth on Xena). It also has a particularly good score, sometimes reminiscent of the bombastic orchestral parts of Joseph LoDuca’s original but often going for the weird atmospheric shit. The composer is Roque Baños, a Spanish guy who did SEXY BEAST, THE MACHINIST and several of the Alex de la Iglesias movies.

I can already tell that alot of us older horror fans are just not open to this movie. I’m sure some of my buddies will hate it, and that’s too bad. If nothing else it’s a fun time at the movies, with an energy and unbridled relentlessness lacking from most horror today. It never even considers wimping out but it isn’t trying to bum you out either. Even my favorite modern horror movies like MARTYRS tend to be oppressively bleak. This is a reminder that you can make horror that’s not a comedy or 25 consecutive punches to your balls. It can make you suffer but then put its arm around you and laugh with you about it. It’s never gonna replace THE EVIL DEAD, but it’ll be an enjoyable companion piece to dig out every several years.

Then again I’m kinda itching to see it again already…

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 9th, 2013 at 12:15 pm and is filed under Horror, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

150 Responses to “Evil Dead (2013)”

  1. Yeah this movie,although I thought it started out painfully slow, eventually won me over with the relentless way it kept one-upping itself scene to scene. One guy in particular(glasses) just got fucked up in so many different awful ways so many times(crowbar to the hand anyone)I just wanted him to be put out of his misery.

    My favorite aspect overall would be the complete 180 the movie throws at you 4/5ths through it all when you realize the older brother isn’t the Bruce Campbell fill-in afterall and that the sisters going to get the best badass moments.

    Most brutal scene? Ripping your hand off when it’s trapped under a truck.The effects on that shot were just fucking brutal.

  2. I think that Jane Levy deserves some recognition for her work in this movie. She really sells each stage her character passes through.

  3. I think I’ll just wait for the unrated DVD.

  4. I saw this on opening day and felt almost exactly the same way. I really hope that it’s seemingly successful box office numbers starts another horror revolution. Sort of like how the Ring led to a bunch of pg13 ghost stories (or maybe 6th sense started that) or how Saw led to a rise of “torture porn” (I hate that term, but haven’t heard a better alternative that I can recall right now). Hopefully, this leads to a slew of intense, scary horror films which are also fun as hell.

    Also, Vern, I’m surprised you didn’t mention the (Spoiler) Marvel-esque tag at the end. Apparently, a more lengthy tag was originally shot and leaked online which supposedly suggested a “shared universe” between the remake and the originals.

    Anyway, fun movie.

  5. I guess I don’t disagree with your take at all, just the takeaway. It’s a strong movie, particularly for a remake/reboot/reimagining/re-whatever, but I wish I liked it as much as you did. The technique was super-solid, and the horror scenes were individually effective, but taken together as a whole, they didn’t add up to anything significant for me. Because the movie failed to make me care about any of the characters (besides the ones I liked because I’d seen them elsewhere already), it mostly felt like watching one of those medical channels that shows gruesome dissection footage. From hell, obviously.

    And ultimately, like you, I’m an EVIL DEAD 2 man. I like the fiendish invention, the stuff no one — no matter how solid a craftsman — could ever replicate. I could probably do without the first one, and now I guess I can do without its remake.

  6. One Guy From Andromeda

    April 9th, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    I read people complain that the characters weren’t rounded enough, that it’s hard to empathize with what’s happening to them because they just don’t have enough characterization. I am not a big horror guy, but i have seen the original maybe 5 times or something, and i cannot remember a single character in it. Even Ash isn’t really memorable until part 2. The Evil Dead to me was all about atmosphere, funny, dynamic camera and being raped by a tree.

  7. On the sliding scale of horror remakes this is kind of a miracle. Not perfect, but I think this young guy has a future making horror movies. The ending kind of fell flat for me, but I really liked:


    1: The first victim became the final girl. I don’t think anyone has done that before.

    2: You want the dipshit that opens the door to hell to die horribly and right away, but instead he gets put through a ringer and suffers a new and more terrible injury each scene he’s in.

    And yeah, the sfx on the face cutting should win someone an Oscar. As good as the makeup was it was kind of a letdown after that horrible horrible noise.

  8. Eddie – I don’t see how there could be an unrated version unless they cut a sex scene or something. It does not give the impression of a movie where there were any censors awake during the screening.

  9. I just learned through the comments on another page that apparently during the Saturday night showing at the Arclight Hollywood, the director unexpectedly showed up, introduced the movie, then sat with the audience and watched it. I saw it at the same theater the night before. Damn my impatience!

  10. Vern- I remember it originally got an NC17 and they said they’d be making cuts to get an R. I can’t imagine what they left out, but apparently it was something. Guess we’ll all know when the blu ray comes out this (I’m guessing) October.

  11. IMPLIED SPOILERS * * * * * Dtroyt – I didn’t mention that unmentioned thing because I had it spoiled for me and was not happy about it. The kind of spoiled where it’s in a headline and they pretend they’re not spoiling anything but just by knowing it exists and not being stupid you can figure out sort of what it’s referring to. And then you see it and it’s absolutely nothing and you’re disappointed and you know if it had been a surprise as intended it would’ve been great.

  12. Vern- excellent reasoning for leaving it out. That’s why you’re a pro.

    Have you heard anything about the alternate version of the surprise or this (probably just fanboy wishful thinking) shared universe idea that people are speculating about. Do you think a movie with Mia and Ash together would work or would it just spoil both versions? I’m torn about it, so I’d love to hear other opinions.

  13. The only scene that made me wonder if they had to make an edit was the head-smashing bit. It just seemed like a really odd cut considering the rest of the movie, and was the only act of violence that didn’t show any fx in detail until afterwards. We’ll see I suppose.

  14. I respect the craft that went into this film and it is not a bad movie, but I found it to be a little disappointing how familiar it all was despite the changes to the set up. It is like a skillfully executed cover song that only served to remind me of the superior original material. I also found that by paying so much service to the fans and trying to cram in so many familiar scenes, ideas, and references it robed the film of any suspense. I think it is similar to how Vern felt the cheesy self-referential comedy hampered his enjoyment of EX2, ED 2012 seemed to go out of its way to constantly remind me that is was a remake. I agree with Vern it was a good idea not to try and bring Ash back, but the film is hurt by not having a strong lead to fill Ash’s shoes. However, with all that being said I think anyone that is a fan of horror that is not familiar with the original ED will really enjoy this updated version. The practical effects and gore are awesome.

  15. Remember last week when I said in the BREAKING POINT comments that it’s better for a movie to disappoint for 80 minutes and then kill it for the last 15 than to do it the other way around?

    Yeah, I call bullshit on myself. You were wrong, me. More minutes of goodness is always better than less. It’s called math.

    This movie bored the shit out of me for so long that it never won me back even when the nailgunning started. It’s funny that this movie is getting praised for how fun it is, when I thought it was a relentless downer. Why does every single horror movie these days need to start with its characters recovering from some kind of emotional trauma? It’s always a guy who just lost his wife in a car accident or a couple who had a miscarriage or a brother and sister whose parents just died or some girl who just got out of a mental institution and is trying to get her life back together. Everything is all depressing before the horror even starts, so then when people start getting stabbed it’s like kicking a puppy who just had stomach surgery or something. This one tripled down on the trauma: dead mom, drug addict sister, abandonment issues. The score is all plinky-plinky piano, like we’re supposed to be so sad that this cast of bland, one-dimensional cannon fodder is going through a real emotional time right now. Who the hell goes to see a movie called EVIL DEAD to get bummed out? The original might not have been the all-out campfest its sequel was but it also let its characters crack some smiles before the shit went down.

    But you know what? I’m sorry I brought up the original, because I tried to keep it out of my mind and let this one stand on its own two feet. Which was difficult because it was one of those remakes where all the same shit happens but with a twist, so you’re constantly running the old movie in your head alongside the new one. You can’t help but compare the two when the movie insists being a reaction to what came before rather than blazing its own path.

    Mostly, though, I just hated it for having incompetent storytelling. It brings up rules and mythology that it flat-out refuses to adhere to. The demon needs five souls to arise, yet it only gets three and comes back anyway. You can only kill the evil dead by fire, live burial, or total bodily dismemberment…or a good conk to the head with a toilet lid, whichever. Who the fuck were those inbreds at the beginning and why didn’t they come back at the end when the demon came back? These might seem like nitpicks, but they distracted me so much that I was trying to wrap my head around how it all worked instead of enjoying myself.

    (Also, about that total bodily dismemberment: There was none. Zero. Why even bring it up if you’re not going to deliver? It’s like that kickboxer in SNAKES ON A PLANE. That was a great finishing move at the end, but according to the rules, the Abomination should have shook it right off and kept coming. [I know Linda would have. That bitch got decapitated and it barely slowed her down.] Same with everything that happened to any of the possessed people. The whole movie, I kept waiting for them all to admit that they were just playing dead to fuck with their victims, but no. These are the kind of evil dead you can kill by shooting them in the arm. Seriously? That’s your new and improved take on the material: make the monsters pussies?)

    On the positive side, Jane Levy was great at playing both scared and evil. There were a few instances of effective gore, particularly the climactic chainsaw facefuck and the belated arm drop. But as a whole the movie was just dreary and dull, while still being completely idiotic. I pretty much can’t stand it.

  16. Technical aspects were all very strong, although I didn’t care for some of the sound design choices (over laying in clips from the original was cheese, and not in a good way). The gore was excellent, I loved that it was 95% practical.

    But man oh man was that script terrible. It totally killed this movie for me.

    The characters in this movie continually do things so completely idiotic it is simply unforgivable. We’re not talking your usual “don’t run upstairs idiot” clichés, some of this is just head scratchingly bad. I’ll give a couple of examples (SPOILERS):

    Just prior to the first scene where a possessed Mia (the main character) attacks she’s given a dose of tranquilizers that, and I am quoting a character who is apparently some sort of doctor or nurse, “would be enough to knock out a horse” and she is completely unaffected by this. Later in the movie when the Book of the Dead tells our characters that you can stop the evil by burning them possessed the brother of Mia decides he’s going to douse the cabin in gas and set it ablaze with Mia in the cellar. Keep in mind here this is after several extremely brutal encounters so the whole, “but she’s my sister” angle isn’t flying with me here. He of course wimps out. Ok that’s stupid, but whatever he’s a sentimental pussy I can accept that. What I can’t accept is that his brilliant plan is to enter the cellar and attempt to tranquilize her with the same fucking drugs as the last time!! That, my friends, is plain and simple BAD FUCKING WRITING.

    Here’s another one, the cabin reeks and Mia is constantly complaining about it. The dog starts sniffing around a floor mat and underneath is a trap door with a massive blood smear leading into it. The blood is still red mind you, which is movie stupidity in its own right, but whatever. In the cellar they find something like 50 dead mangled rotting cats hanging from the ceiling with barbed wire and a plastic bundle wrapped up in barbed wire next to a shotgun and some shells. I think right there is when everyone packs up and gets the hell out of dodge. They don’t of course because they need to stay at the cabin to detox Mia and “let’s not make a bigger deal out of it than it is” (another brilliant quote). Again, it’s stupid, but maybe none of them liked cats or something. But what I can’t accept is that the high school teacher guy takes the plastic bundle, goes into his room, clips open the barbed wire, opens it up and finds the book of the dead. All over the book someone has written warnings basically saying “DO NOT FUCK WITH THIS”, and there’s a passage completely scribbled out. What does Mr. Genius decide to do? Of course he makes rubbings of the words and then inexplicably decides to read them all aloud as he’s doing it, because people often read out loud when they are by themselves. In the original they didn’t know what they were doing when they were playing the tape and it was all a joke, but in this one the guy wilfully ignores every possible warning sign and does exactly what he shouldn’t. I am sorry, no one would do that.

    There’s more but I won’t get into it.

    The characters weren’t brilliant in the original either (though I still totally prefer them to this one), and they weren’t too much beyond one note, but it never falls into the realm of unbelievable.

    PS: Vern it was originally rated NC-17, they had to cut it down according to the director. They plan to release it uncut on home video. One scene that stuck out for me was the thing at the end not having an ass crack, I’m pretty sure the crack had to go to get the R rating, so they digitally painted it out. Humorously enough, that would’ve made it rather difficult for that thing to walk.

    PPS: if you want to read my whole review you can see it here: http://www.sweetooth0.com/movies/evildead2013.html

  17. Thanks Mr. Majestyk we are 100% on the same page on this one.

    I was so bummed out when nobody had to be dismembered, that’s like the best scene from the original!

    What also bummed me out was finding out the red band trailer literally showed you every single death in the whole movie, so it ruined any of the shock the gore scenes might’ve had otherwise.

  18. MR. M, (SPOILERS) maybe they were counting the dog among the 5 souls needed to awake the demon.

  19. SPOILERS: My wife figures it just meant 5 people had to die there, which I believe 5 technically did since apparently MIA was killed by being buried alive for all of 10 seconds. I assumed souls meant they had to be possessed.

  20. Sweettootho: I would be okay with the plot inconsistencies and brain-damaged characters if the movie had even the slightest sense of humor, but if you’re gonna go the grim-and-gritty approach with the feelings and the trauma, your shit better be tight.

  21. Mr. Majestyk: Agreed. It’s why I can enjoy a piece of utter shite like Texas Chainsaw 3D even if it has the most idiotic continuity error in cinema history because there was no pretense that the movie was anything but a cheap cash in on the name for some fun at the movies.

    With this one we were inundated with how amazing it was and how great the movie is going to be. Everyone on the technical side of things obviously put in so much work with this, that to have the foundation of your movie (ie the script) be so bad it just boggles my mind. Did no one throughout the multiple rewrites ever look at this stuff and scratch their heads?

  22. Chopper Sullivan

    April 9th, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    I didn’t find the setup depressing because they didn’t really do a great job of making me invested emotionally in it. It was just a plot device to keep the characters from acting until it was already way too late. It’s a knock against the movie, but not so bad that I couldn’t enjoy it when things start going nuts.

    And I didn’t really care about them sticking to the rules or some type of logic. If I did, I wouldn’t be a fan of any of the Evil Dead movies. Awesomeness trumps continuity every time.

  23. “I think I’ll just wait for the unrated DVD.”

    I feel the same way, I’m looking forward to seeing this but I don’t have the desire to see it in theaters for some reason

    anyway the original Evil Dead has always been my personal favorite, while I love 2 and 3 as much as the next guy, there’s just something about the “spunk” of the original

  24. I feel sort of bad to come here and bash films other people like, but I can’t contain my absolute loathing for this film.

    I’m sorry but this is a horror film for children.

    I absolutely hated it on almost every level. I guess visually it looked OK… I liked the look of the foggy/rainy woods. But utterly lacking any suspense, and worst of all boring. I’ll never understand how a film this violent and loud could be so boring. Also, I thought it was almost more of a remake of Jackson’s BRAIN DEAD, without the wit and humor.

    If this is what passes for a good horror film these days then the horror genre is completely bankrupt… at least in the US.

  25. I LOVED The Evil Dead! I loved all of them. I was too young to enjoy The Evil Dead when it was first made, not having been born yet and all. In fact I probably didn’t see any of them until around 2000 and I was a hardened horror fan by then but I still loved them.
    I was very excited to hear that they were doing the remake. I’m glad that you liked it Vern even though your review made me cringe and want to hold a hand over my crotch. I may not have the same equipment as you men but I still feel some sympathy. I’m actually going to wait to rent this though it’s going to kill me. Sorry just not a people person.
    I’m glad that they didn’t try to replace Ash. The only way that would have been feasible in my mind would be to dip Bruce in the fountain of youth.
    I also like the thought of them going old school and not CG on this. I think that’s what I liked about The Evil Dead the most. What made me laugh the most.
    I’m glad you liked these movies Vern. You da bomb!

  26. I have to completely side with Mr. Majestyk, which is something I never thought I would type. At least not the word “completely”.

    I did not find this relentless in a good way, I found it tiring in the most annoying way because once the bloodletting begins, none of the story, none of the mythology and none of the characters matter.

    I have read some people that said it was fascinating that the setup was helping someone kick drug addiction (internal demon) and then it turned to all sorts of other demons. I will agree that the setup is solid, but they completely ignored it after we get the poorly designed escape attempt which results in the already mentioned recreation of the original’s most infamous scene.

    And that was when most of the mythology went out the window. I really cannot believe that we should be scared of a big evil that exists in such a way that it spends a large majority of the movie scampering around in the basement doing voices. It’s not tempting people or attempting to connect to the evil within a person. It just waits to slash its tongue with a box cutter. That is the big evil that has people so scared? Kiss my ass. That’s not horrifying or scary in the slightest. What someone does to themself? Only horrifying if it is a reflection of something our society has driven them to. So the other cutting scene after the vomit could qualify, oh wait, that could have worked with the addiction thought, but sonofabitch, it was the wrong character.

    I thought every character acted like they were filmed at separate times and on separate days. (Shocking) No part of the characters’ actions and the actual “movie” ever seemed to exist in the same reality.

    Fun – I guess everybody’s mileage may vary. As far as a solid movie, I guess my transmission was in reverse because I went backwards. I thought it was tolerable but that is only by 2013 standards.

    And for the record, I went home and watched the original on Blu immediately after this because I was worried this film was more faithful to the original than I remembered but thankfully the answer was nope. The original still stands. And I never really liked 2 because I never got the Raimi camp humor love. So I did not want the new one to be anything other than solid horror like the spirit of the first.

    I guess you can’t learn everything off of youtube.

  27. “I have to completely side with Mr. Majestyk, which is something I never thought I would type. At least not the word ‘completely’.”

    Man, between this and RRA writing fanfic about my butthole on the JP3D thread, I am really taking a beating today.

  28. SPOILERS. I thought the idea was he used enough tranquilizer this time to put her in a coma so he could then revive her. Her being defibrilated had been mentioned earlier, he figured maybe her heart stopping would end her curse, and that it was better to try a far-fetched plan then just give up and burn her alive. What he didn’t figure was that her temporary death would fulfill the prophecy that would bring The Abomination up out of the mud.

    Some of your “inexcusably dumb” is the exact same things I’m talking about as my “fun.” I like movies where a motherfucker starts reading a demonic incantation and everybody knows he needs to stop. There is some humor in the movie and it’s that stuff, or the guy saying that everything will be fine after it is clear that everything will not be fine.

    That’s why, Griff, I would recommend seeing this with a crowd. It’s a good laughing and cringing together movie. Or at least it was for me. And I saw my friend who loves Fulci movies hiding behind her hands a couple times. But I guess judging from the overwhelmingly negative responses here and some other places there’s probly also a chance of seeing it with an openly hostile crowd like when I saw SILENT HILL.

  29. Vern, I think your sight is going through some kind of spam attack.

  30. yeah, I noticed too, we’re getting invaded again! run for the hills!

  31. why does everyone keep complaining about the 5 souls thing? *SPOILER ALERT*
    The girl gets burned at the stake, the nurse dies, the blonde dies, the bearded guy dies and mia’s brother both die in the fire….thats 5 victims mia isn’t involved.

  32. About the Unrated version: The director said currently in an interview that the cuts they had to made were so minimal (“5 frames from that scene, maybe one second from that one…”. You know how the MPAA roles sometimes. 5 seconds are NC-17, but 4 1/2 get you an R.) that he isn’t planning to release the complete version. (Of course the distributor might think otherwise.)

    And about Diablo Cody: Before production started, she said that she mostly worked on polishing the dialogue, because as people who don’t speak English as first language, Alvarez and Sayagues had trouble to write good sounding English dialogue and wanted a re-write for that part.

  33. I ended up seeing this movie three times this last weekend. This is really the kind of film I want to see more of in the theater. Like The Raid, how every fight seemed to have something that made you cringe. Or Dredd’s slow motion gore, but at the same time it’s awesome (concrete face rupture). Just brutal fun. In fact, Brutal Fun should be a new genre. It shakes you up, but still leaves you feeling great when you leave the theater. Everybody in every show I saw spent the film squirming in their seats or laughing or yelling at the people in the film to do or not do things. That’s a film that has it’s audience in the palm of it’s hand. I can nitpick about things in the film but that’s like winning a million dollars and complaining it wasn’t 2 million, so I’m just gonna enjoy it and support the crap out of it:)

  34. Chopper Sullivan

    April 10th, 2013 at 4:59 am

    I’m a little surprised by the hatred towards this here. It’s one of the few remakes that seems to get the spirit of the original and is made by people who actually seem to give a fuck. I can’t imagine how anyone could find *SPOILER* a possessed woman who cut off her own arm with an electric knife and is firing a seemingly endless supply of nails into her boyfriend and his pal to be boring.

  35. I was on the fence about the flick for most of the movie, but in the end the overwhelming gore (for a studio film, heck for any film) and the stinger won me over. I didn’t like the prologue (why do most horror remakes try to over-explain everything), the new “rules” of the book, and the fact that the evil was personified into a girl that looked like a chick from a Japanese horror film, but I couldn’t help but love the way Lou Taylor Pucci took a beating. Dude would’ve made Bruce Campbell himself proud.

  36. Eh, I’m like 90% certain I’ll watch it again in three or four years and just not pay attention during the boring parts and the parts that made no sense and think, “Hey, that’s a decent crowbarring. Two and a half stars.”

  37. Between this and Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning the Crowbar is having a banner year.

  38. I enjoyed it. I had to go alone because all of my horror movie loving friends are boycotting the film on moral grounds. I didn’t think it took that long to get to the gore, but it will seem longer I’m sure if I rewatch it at home (but then I can fast forward). About the teacher reading from the book, well hell I would do that even if I HAD JUST WATCHED THIS MOVIE. Because I know none of this shit can really happen. But I agree there was some really goof ball reactions from the characters. But I would probably try just about anything to keep from having to kill my own sister, no matter how crazy she had become. I am of course speaking of my younger sister and not the elder. And I really liked all the goo and gore. Will it hold up for me the way the original does? No, I saw the original in the theater at just the right time and it holds a special place, but I thought it was the best horror film I’ve managed to see in the theater in a loooong time.

  39. Dan, what did your older sister do to you? You’re pretty cavalier about killing her once she gets zombified.

  40. Sorry if I am repeating anything that’s been said above but I’m skipping most conversation about this film as we don’t get it here in the UK for another two weeks. However, you are totally right about the Jonny come lately Evil Dead 2 fans Vern I was outside a pub tonight (as is the British way) with a guy who was saying that apparently the remake isn’t funny like the original and he’d read it’s more like torture porn (yawn). I said what the hell are you talking about!?! A girl is raped by a tree in the original: he had no recollection of this, almost certainly because he’d only seen 2 and 3. Or at least blanked it out of his memory, which is fair enough, it’s always been a grim little scene.

  41. I guess I can see where Vern is coming from to a certain extent, but I never really saw The Evil Dead as being as SUPER SERIOUS as this remake made it out to be. It’s still got a sort of funhouse, entertaining quality–it’s a splattery gross-out movie, whereas I think this new one is trying to be more balls out, disturbing, and straight up gross. Like the first three minutes all but shout out “HOLY FUCK, WELCOME TO THE NEW EVIL DEAD.” Not saying that’s a bad thing; in fact, it kind of fits right in line with the series since the first three didn’t feel alike. It’s just that, I dunno, it didn’t have a sense of escalation or subtle build-up that I prefer. That said, it’s not a bad movie, and I would definitely put it in that category of remakes that feels worthy of its title. It’s not a lazy, half-hearted job like Nightmare on Elm Street was.

  42. For a community (which I participate in way too sporadically) that thinks Die Hard is quite possibly one of the best films ever constructed, I say that even a smattering of some of those qualities in a well reviewed remake of Evil Dead would be nice. Not that the new Evil Dead has to be the best film ever constructed but it would be nice for the new ED to recognize that conflict without character is no conflict at all. The new sequel to Die Hard ignored this maxim and we all witnessed the results. Hence the end of the franchise.

    As for Evil Dead, Yes, I watched it with a full house that talked at the screen everytime some “character” did something stupid but it was almost annoying. Especially for a film that took itself somewhat seriously.

    All I ask for from any film is some consistency from the characters and some purpose to the story. Sadly, I am beginning to consider myself a dinosaur and recognize that few movies deliver either because no one expects it anymore. As a movie watching culture, most just want a good time. But imagine if Kael watched this film. We can all have different versions of the way that review might have been written, but would she have pointed out the lack of actual story telling? I sincerely hope so.

  43. I really have nothing new to ad to this argument, I saw Evil Dead on with my Lover; her best friend and both my brothers(cross section of ages 27-33), we all agreed it was awesome. Not to deliberately cause any hurt feelings but I feel Evil Dead 2013 is superior to Jurassic Park on every level.


    I will agree I had no idea what the fuck that post credits STINGER was all about and was the biggest detriment of the film.

  44. RBATTY- That was really just a joke at my older sisters expense because I am an ass who will joke about anything.

  45. I appreciate gore, but my problem with this remake is that I didn’t find it to be scary or funny. I think an Evil Dead movie should be at least one of those things. The “demon” voices were a huge misfire. Not frightening or at all disturbing, and it’s a pretty important thing to get wrong.

    As far as deleted scenes go, it’s possible that there was more of Jane Levy licking the girl’s thigh in the cellar, eating her pussy perhaps? We’ll have to see. The classic “We’re gonna get you” (scary in the original, annoying in the remake’s trailer) was not in the theatrical cut, so maybe that’ll be restored.

    Also, can someone explain who the girl is that is stalking Jane Levy throughout, the one she fights at the end? It’s so badly done that I couldn’t tell if it was supposed to be a doppleganger version of Jane Levy, or who the fuck it was supposed to be. Maybe it was a studio note. “We need the girl from The Grudge in this movie.” Thanks everyone.

  46. I would have really enjoyed some “real” demon action in the make-up. Like HAXEN or CURSE OF THE DEMON style stuff. Woul the young people not like that?

  47. Thank you! I have read so many reviews from people that can’t seem to tell the differance between Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2. So they go on to bash the remake because its not campy slapstick. They drag out words like “torture porn” when the original was just as intense if not more so. I love 1,2 and Army of Darkness, and I know the difference in tone each movie took. This remake captured much of the essence of the original; something that the majority of Remakes fail to do.

  48. I can’t even get through the comments on this, they upset me so much. I guess we would rather see the horror genre SUBVERTED by something like Cabin in the Woods than REVERED by this remake.


    “if the movie had even the slightest sense of humor”

    What about when the long-haired dude reads all the explicit warnings telling him not to utter the text of the Necrobook and then immediately utters the text?

  49. Seriously though, no wonder they can’t get hard horror like this made anymore when all you fair-weather-fans bitch and moan at even this. Easily the most brutal domestic theatrical release in years, if not like, ever, and you guys are too busy hallucinating plot inconsistencies and pretending like the characters weren’t perfectly functional in their roles to enjoy it.

  50. Well, to be fair they have gotten some pretty hard horror made in recent years, including in American theaters. There’s the HOSTELs and the Rob Zombie ones and the SAWs and the two good Wes Craven remakes. But I agree, this takes it to a new level and uses a tone I’m more into than some of those.

    I was kind of annoyed by this quote from a positive review on Rotten Tomatoes that said “Even as a huge fan of The Evil Dead, it’s impossible to wholeheartedly embrace this one when just last year we were treated to a cabin-in-the-woods yarn — The Cabin in the Woods, of course — that carried on Raimi’s legacy far better than this film does.” I can understand why other people would prefer that to this one, there are plenty of good reasons, but you’re really telling me that just because it has a part at the beginning that sarcastically uses the cabin-in-the-woods trope that means it carries on Raimi (who is still alive and making movies, by the way)’s legacy? CABIN obviously has the smarter script, but this one is the clear winner in visual style, special effects and “grueling terror,” plus obviously much closer to the tone of the original.

    I don’t mean to disparage CABIN but I hate quotes like that that seem to praise a movie I love (THE EVIL DEAD) but then go on to make me wonder if we’re talking about the same movie.

  51. when are we gonna start getting hyper-violent action movies again?

  52. I don’t know. People who think that CABIN IN THE WOODS destroyed this subgenre (or horror in general) just piss me off. All CABIN did was adding a far fetched, heavy handed metaphorical explaination, that only works in that movie’s universe alone and nowhere else. (Or do you think in EVIL DEAD some guys pushed a button whenever a character died?)

  53. Vern – it’s a fair point that the horror genre faired a lot better in the last decade than in the pre-SCREAM dark era, but we agree that there’s an impressive amount and degree of gore on the screen in this one.

    I saw this and MAMA with a similar crowd, and they obviously came to snicker throughout this one just like MAMA but seemed utterly unprepared for where the film took them.

    You mentioned RAID in your review…did you notice that both feature a scene where a machete is coming through a wall and narrowly missing (or not) the intended victim?

    CJ – I don’t think CitW destroyed the genre or anything. While I enjoy the film, I can’t help but feel that it’s a bit insincere as a *horror* film. Several of the comments Whedon made w/r/t the picture indicated to me that he intended to explore the stupidity of horror first, and pay homage second. “Meta” is NOT a pejorative term for me and I like the high-concept deconstruction, but the notion that it could be a substitute for the real thing bugs me.

  54. Renfield: I wasn’t talking about you, but CABIN has been brought up and unfortunately way too many people seem to think that because of that movie, we should now all stop watching horror movies, because nothing can be added to the genre anymore.

  55. to be fair, CABIN does have a Unicorn impaling a guy, it’s a little hard to top that

  56. “I guess we would rather see the horror genre SUBVERTED by something like Cabin in the Woods than REVERED by this remake.”

    No, I’d rather see the movie that made me laugh 50 times than the movie that barely made me crack a smile. Subvert, revere…who gives a shit? Entertain me. Make me care. Make me have any kind of reaction at all. EVIL DEAD didn’t. I don’t get this idea that I’m supposed to be grateful for a movie I didn’t like just because it’s “hardcore.”

  57. I don’t want to derail this thread into a CABIN IN THE WOODS debate, but I completely disagree with everybody who thinks that CITW is some how disparaging or mocking horror films. It is a love letter to the horror genre that creates a mythology that embarrasses all aspects of the genre including the sillier themes and conventions. ED 2013 is well made but is nowhere near as inspired or entertaining as CITW. I don’t have any problem with what others in this thread have precevied as poor writing and story telling in ED 2013, my problem is that it is just a more polished version of something we have already seen without bringing anything new to the table.

  58. “No, I’d rather see the movie that made me laugh 50 times than the movie that barely made me crack a smile. Subvert, revere…who gives a shit? Entertain me. Make me care.”

    I feel the same way, as an adult horror movies don’t really scare me anymore, all I ask is that they be entertaining and CABIN was very much so

  59. I am sorry that should say EMBRACES not embarrasses. Damn auto correct. That us a huge typo.

  60. “I guess we would rather see the horror genre SUBVERTED by something like Cabin in the Woods than REVERED by this remake.”

    I don’t want to see horror films subverted OR revered. I would like to see some horror films that just excel without a lot of meta baggage. What ever happened to just being good, not being good in relation to something else?

  61. Mr. M:
    “I don’t get this idea that I’m supposed to be grateful for a movie I didn’t like just because it’s “hardcore.””

    That’s not an entirely unfair way to put it. More gratitude please. (Subnote…don’t see why laughter was a criteria in the first place, or why it’s a more valid criteria than creative, envelope pushing bodily harm)

    “as an adult horror movies don’t really scare me anymore, all I ask is that they be entertaining”

    Seems like a slippery slope to me. If a genre’s primary function is to scare you, and you can’t be scared, you’ll naturally gravitate more towards movies that are nominally horror but locate their true reason to exist elsewhere. Like CitW.

    “It is a love letter to the horror genre”

    Whedon explicitly said it was a love/hate letter. I see the love aspect but good grief, it’s also a pretty smarmy movie that clearly thinks movies like EVIL DEAD ’13 are obsolete. I think that’s from where the “horror is now over” culture CJ referenced stems.

  62. renfield, where did you hear/read where Whendon said that CITW is taking shots at the horror genre?

  63. “What ever happened to just being good, not being good in relation to something else?”

    That’s where I’m trying to come from, Mr. S. I did my level best not to compare ED13 to the original or to the other prominent cabin-based horror movie of recent years. I was against the idea of an EVIL DEAD remake from the very start, but I’m not against the idea of a fun, gory horror movie about demons and chainsaws and shit, so I went into it hoping it would stand on its own two feet. I don’t think it did, though. It had too many callbacks and recreations to ever get the original out of my head, and not enough invention to make it stand out from it.

    I was particularly disappointed in the deadites themselves. They’re so unimaginative. The old models didn’t even have to kill you. They didn’t want your body, they wanted your soul. They’d possess your lover, taunt you into insanity, and then make YOU kill her and bury her, only to have her come back to taunt you some more. There was a sense that even when you thought you were getting somewhere, they were just playing with you. These new ones just show up and bludgeon you repeatedly. Brutal, sure, but not interesting. There’s no personality there, no sense that they’re trying to drive you mad. They’re just uncommonly dexterous zombies, not immortal lovecraftian trickster demons.

    I know I said I tried not to compare the two movies, but how can I help it? They’re the ones who chose to throw in dozens of callbacks to the original. Why do filmmakers always do that? Did Cronenberg put in a “Help meeeeeee!!!!” joke in THE FLY? Did Carpenter have the Thing turn into an asparagus head? Or did they make a completely different movie out of the same basic concept and hope to hell that no one would be thinking about some other film while watching theirs? ED13, on the other hand, has a workshed scene, a kitchen hand-chopping scene, the exact same trapdoor, a double-barreled shotgun, a mirror gag, a tree rape, crap hanging from the ceiling in a flooded basement… Why can’t they come up with their own shit? There are no limits to what could be done with the basic elements of forest demons who possess people and turn them into cackling self-mutilating monsters, and these fuckers gotta do all the same scenes I’ve already seen? The TEXAS CHAINSAW remake is not very good, but it had the good sense not to try to recreate the dinner scene because they knew they’d never be able to do it right. ED13 does the same shit with one little twist that they think is so brilliant and subversive but only makes you think of how much better it was the first time.

    Case in point: The Abomination. The O.G. ED ended with two claymation deadites with monster arms growing out of them who disintegrate into cockroaches and creamed corn in a gloriously absurd and over-the-top finale. ED13 has some zombie bitch no different from the four other zombie bitches we’ve already seen rolling around in the mud until she takes a chainsaw to the face and gives up like a chump. This is not an improvement. This is not a clever defiance of audience expectations. This is a stunning dearth of inspiration.

    I’m sure in a few years I’ll find it a passable time-waster for its few inspired gore gags and Jane Levy’s appropriately mega facial expressions, but right now there’s nothing about the way this story is told that interests me. If it was just some random little horror movie called THE STABBIN’ CABIN or something, it probably wouldn’t piss me off so much, but it wouldn’t even exist without the name recognition so I don’t think I can be blamed for holding it up to the standard it wouldn’t let me forget about.

  64. good points majestyk, but i still think that not having the dinner scene in Texas chainsaw remake was a sign that the filmatists had no clue what was good or special about the original. You have to have some of the touchstones and that’s one of them since it’s the climax of the terror and brings all the characters together.

    in other news, I had to replace my keyboard and the new one is hard to get the shift key to work

  65. The original Paul

    April 12th, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    If the makers of this thing thought the film stood up on its own merits, they wouldn’t have called it “Evil Dead”.

    Seriously, the only remake I’ve actually paid money to see in the last three years or so has been “The Thing”, and that’s because even my principles will bend a little when bodyshock horror – my absolute favorite genre of film – is involved. Vern, I’m glad you liked this one, but I’m not going to pay to go see it on the off-chance that the detractors in this thread are wrong and it turns out to be that rarest of oddities, a remake that actually works as its own individual film.

    If the makers of the excellent “The Pact” had called it “The Exorcism 9” or something, would it actually have been given a decent distribution and marketing budget? Or at least, anything like the kind of budget that this film has obviously had (given that its boringly generic trailer has been running before just about every 15+ movie I’ve seen)?

  66. True, the TEXAS CHAINSAW remake missed the point that the family was the true villain, not just the saw. It would have been smart of them to have a scene that fulfilled the same purpose as the dinner scene and showed all the characters together as a family so we could see the dynamic, but I think if they’d done another dinner scene, we’d all be complaining about what a letdown it was. I mean, didn’t they have dinner scenes in Parts III and IV? And how well are they regarded?

  67. The original Paul

    April 12th, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    And to explain that first line a little more: yeah, I know there are decent remakes out there. Most aren’t, but a few certainly are **. They don’t generally come from the same type of culture that I think this one comes from though – the culture that sees a “brand” as not a mark of the quality of the films that fall within it, but rather as an excuse to slap that self same brand on any mildly-related film in order to turn it into a cash cow. Maybe I’m being too cynical here, but I’ve seen too much marketing for “Evil Dead” to think this is anything but more of the same – even if it does turn out to be a decent film. And hey, if I don’t spend my money on this, maybe others won’t either.

    If the makers of this film wanted to make a classic horror movie, they could’ve made a classic horror movie. “Hostel”, “The Pact”, “Kill List”… all great films that used elements of previous horror films, but still managed to have their own unique identity.

    ** Possibly the greatest remake of them all, “The Thing” by John Carpenter, wasn’t actually a remake. It was an adaptation. It had far, far more in common with the novel that was its source material than with the film it was supposedly “remaking”.

  68. The original Paul

    April 12th, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Majestyk – so what you’re saying is, if the TCM remake had had a dinner scene, it would’ve been a letdown; but what Vern is saying is, you can’t make a TCM remake without a dinner scene?

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm… I wonder if there’s a moral here…?

  69. Something about motherfuckers alway iceskating uphill, probably.

  70. 28 fucking days fucking left…

  71. Chopper Sullivan

    April 12th, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    I was furious when I heard they were remaking DAWN OF THE DEAD. I knew they were going to miss what made the original special. And they did miss it. Completely. It was still a pretty good movie, but if you are going to use the name you should at least embody the spirit of the original, which I think EVIL DEAD 13 did. There were some new gags, some good re-dos, and some poor imitations, but it mostly captured the crazy frantic tone of the original, once it got past the boring (but fairly unique) setup.

    Maybe my expectations are lowered from the constant barrage of shitty remakes of every horror film I love, but at least EVIL DEAD 13 is clearly made by fans who are trying to do something special while paying tribute to the original.

  72. Well said Mr. M, John Carpenter’s THE THING & Cornenberg’s THE FLY are both remakes that took the original premises and built something new on that foundation.

    Speaking of horror film remakes, I watched CRAWL SPACE on Netflix streaming the other day (I enjoyed it way more then ED 2013), and if studios insist on continuing to remake classic horror films it is a great horror film that not bery well known and is ripe to be remade for modern audiences.

  73. I had the same experience as Vern. I kept noticing the same stuff they were remaking. Okay, this time there’s full vine penetration. Oh, this scene is like that but a little different. But man, it was just so relentless it won me over.

  74. Did anybody else notice what the characters initials spelt out or am I late to the party on that one? I can’t believe some of the negativity for this film. As much as I love the original (holding it in higher regard than the sequels), I thought this was better than any ‘Evil Dead’ remake really had any right to be. I’m not saying it’s perfect but the remake has more atmosphere and memorable images (not taken from the original) in it’s trailer alone than something like the (overrated and ten years too late) Cabin In The Woods had in it’s entire runtime. The members of the horror community bitching about this film need to realise how lucky we are to have something this bloodthirsty and energetic and think about what a disaster this would have been in lesser hands (watch the Elm Street remake if that helps). I can’t think of a remake that tried harder to please the hard core than Evil Dead 13 and yet people still bitch. Again, it’s not perfect but I’ve got it’s back. I guarantee time will be kind to this one.

  75. Again: Why should I feel lucky to get a film I never wanted and don’t like? I am not some hungry puppy who should be grateful for whatever scraps my betters feel magnanimous enough to let slip from their table. No one is doing me a favor here. The filmmakers are making lots and lots of money off of me and those like me. I’m not going to pat anybody on the back because they didn’t make the crappiest possible film. That’s the exact opposite of striving for excellence.

    Please bear in mind that I don’t care if other people liked the movie. That’s not my problem. I just don’t get this notion that as a horror fan I’m supposed to be happy with whatever I get, regardless of whether I enjoyed it or not, just because, hey, it could have been worse. I’m not grading on a curve here. This isn’t some indie film labor of love. It’s a big budget (for a horror film) studio product that only exists because there’s a brand name attached and a preexisting story that nobody had to get paid to come up with. Nobody suffered to get this film made. I’m not shitting on anyone’s heartfelt personal vision. If you liked it, great. I’m glad. But don’t tell me to cut it any slack, because it doesn’t deserve any. It’s a movie that had everything going for it except a reason to exist.

  76. what do they spell out?

  77. But Mr. M, the studio bigwigs who greenlit an EVIL DEAD remake in order to make money are not the same people who put the tlc into actually making the film. Just because the inception of the film stems from crass commercialization doesn’t neutralize the fact that filmmaking is an artistic process. Somebody lovingly built and strung up those cat corpses. Does suffering to make a film only happen if it was hard to get it funded?

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the last horror film I saw in the theater that had this level of gumption and enthusiasm was DRAG ME TO HELL. I don’t have a problem with you *not liking* the film but I guess I’m confused that you don’t recognize, and yield props, to the degree of love and skill that (in my estimation) infuses this picture.

  78. Okay, I’m sure the director cared a lot. It’s his big Hollywood break. But so? What’s that got to do with me liking his work? I thought his script was terrible and his direction mediocre. Whatever gumption and love and skill you claim he put into it, I didn’t like the product that came out of it. Again, you’re asking me to grade on a curve. Why should I do that? Why does this guy deserve that benefit of the doubt? He’s the guy who took the job nobody with any kind of integrity would ever touch because he thought it would help his career. And he was right, and he did an okay job, I guess, better than many others would have done. But he’s still Ellis. You wanna be Ellis, you better be the real deal. We’ve seen what happens when Ellis bluffs.

    Fred: See, I don’t see that relentlessness everybody keeps talking about. I see a movie that keeps pausing to let me catch my breath and think it over, which is a bad idea because the script can’t bear it. Every time I thought it was finally getting good, it just…stopped. Ooh, she’s coming right for him again! How are they going to…oh, he killed her with the toilet lid. But wait, she’s just faking it…oh, no, she’s really dead. Oh, now the other one’s beating him with the crowbar! Nothing can stop her…oh, wait, she got shot in the arm. Ooh, but don’t let her put her head in your lap, man, she’s gonna…die quietly with no fuss.

    The whole thing was like that. All stops and starts. No relentlessness at all. You make a list of all the vicious shit that happens, you’d think it would be something I’d be into. But there was no momentum carrying me through these events. And once the really impossibly lame live burial thing happened, I was out. Done. It’s like the blood transfusion that cures vampirism in NEAR DARK: You expect me to buy some shit like that, I don’t trust you anymore. My disbelief has come off suspension. It’s got its badge and gun back and it’s out for payback. Not even a pretty epic chainsawing can recover from that.

  79. Chopper Sullivan

    April 13th, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    “He’s the guy who took the job nobody with any kind of integrity would ever touch because he thought it would help his career.”

    How do you know that? Who are you to judge his intentions?

    I thought it was an entertaining tribute to a film I love. You didn’t find it entertaining. That’s fine, but that doesn’t automatically make it a cynical cash in. Even the post credit stinger that bothered you doesn’t feel like a studio move, it feels like a fan of the series trying to appeal to other fans.

  80. Yeah, but aren’t we all sick of tributes? Tributes are what fanboys who don’t have any ideas of their own make. Making your film a tribute to another film is admitting that the other film is better. You’re quitting before you even start. If you’re remaking a movie, don’t set out to honor it. Set out to CONQUER it. To fucking DEMOLISH it. You go in scared of screwing up the original, it’s gonna smell your fear and it’s gonna eat you alive. You gotta be like, “Fuck that movie. It had its chance, now it’s my turn to do it my way. And my way is AWESOME.” If you’re not attempting to make a movie that’s so good that it will erase the original from the popular consciousness, why are you even making this movie? Because you have a burning ambition to be second best? What kind of person would admit to something like that?

    I’m tired of these polite remakes that just want a chance to humbly breathe the same air as their predecessors. They’re afraid to be too different because then they might alienate the fans. Fuck the fans! Fans are idiots! They don’t know what they want! They complain if it’s different and they complain if it’s the same! You’re a director, so direct! Be a leader, not a follower! Don’t be a fucking fanboy who’s too chickenshit to get in there and make it your own! Be fearless! Be yourself! Be a fucking artist! An artist doesn’t color between the lines! An artist follows his muse and has something to say, something that’s different than what anybody else has ever said, because he’s the one saying it! He doesn’t just trace over somebody else’s work with a shinier, more expensive pen! Don’t be a tracer!

    Don’t be Ellis!

    Okay, it occurs to me that I may be taking this all a little too seriously. Hey, that part with the cheek on the floor was pretty good, right? I’ve never seen a severed cheek before. That’s something new right there. I gotta give ’em that one.

  81. Oh you’re absolutely right Majestyk. (If maybe just on this, so don’t let that get to your head.)

    I think of John Carpenter’s THE THING, which had only two “tributes” per say to my memory: (1) the title card, and (2) wait did they actually do that shot of the crew going out into that ice where that ship was so they could show how big it was?

    Well if its both, then well he borrowed them because they were fucking awesome ideas in the first place. Otherwise, completely different animal compared to the Hawks movie.

  82. Hey, that was a pretty good rant. Satisfying. I think I might have finally gotten it out of my system. I went so far that there’s no way the movie is really that bad. It’ll probably surprise me now. I’ll definitely check out the inevitable unrated cut when it comes out.

  83. Just got back from this one. I thought it was good but not brilliant. Lots of nasty viscera and cringe inducing body horror. The lead actress was fantastically versatile and does great “crazy eyes.”

    I didn’t love any of the characters and the evil power was a pretty generic sort of menace, but for a thrill ride horror show I though it hit the mark nicely.

  84. So Mr. Majestyk is taking it as a given that they shouldn’t have remade EVIL DEAD in the first place, and anybody who likes the new one must be an apologist who is saying “well it could have been worse.”

    For me, I could give a shit if it’s a remake or an “original” property or whatever. I simply thought it was an excellent demonic splatter flick. I thought that impaling the Abomination’s face with the chainsaw was the best Final Girl Triumph moment since the end of the (also underrated) FRONTIER(S). I enjoyed sitting in the theater with a bunch of hipper-than-thou youths and watching them get their collective ass handed to them.

    I’m not going to dock the movie points just because it’s attached to a franchise. A wise man once said there’s only two stories you can tell: Boy goes out into the world, and Stranger comes into town. Everything is just a variation on one of those two ideas (which are themselves just inversions of one another). So calling something a “remake” or not is simply a marketing strategy and has little bearing on the actual lifeblood of a film.

  85. I fucking loved this movie, no reservations. I’ve seen it three times and I eagerly await getting the Blu-Ray. It’s exactly the movie I didn’t think they would make when I heard they were doing it again. It’s unrelenting, it’s energetic, it makes you gag, it makes you wince, it makes you laugh in exasperation, and that’s precisely what I want out of my Evil Dead movies. In a lot of ways, this is the movie I had in my head when I was 13 years old and “The Evil Dead” was a but a legend I couldn’t actually see. Vern nailed it when he said this’ll ruin some slumber parties. Yeah, it didn’t scare me, but I’d be full of shit if I honestly thought anything Evil Dead related was ever going to scare me ever again. Cabin in the Woods didn’t scare me either, but that’s still top 5 of 2012. If I’d seen this when I was 13, it would’ve ruined me in the best ways. When I marathon these movies in the future, Evil Dead 2013 will be replacing Army of Darkness. I’ll take chainsaw-face-fucking over “Little Goody Two-Shoes!” any day.

  86. I think finding EVIL DEAD to be more of the same is a perfectly reasonable reaction. I was feeling that for a while but it clicked with me. If you’re a harder sell that’s cool. Own it.

  87. I only mention the thing about the characters initials (they spell ‘DEMON’) as it backs up what Vern said about Mia being the fifth one to die. It didn’t play that clear though (especially for an inebriated crowd) so I reckon they added that prologue later, leaving it ambiguous as to who resurrected the demon at the end. Regarding the reaction to this thing, I didn’t think this film was lazy or dumb in the slightest (trust me, I’ve seen Die Hard 5 – I know lazy and dumb) and to group it with a lot of the other recent cash ins is totally unfair. The film blatantly went that extra mile to stand on it’s own two feet which is extra commendable when you realise that essentially it’s also working as a third sequel and not just a remake. I can’t actually think of any part fours that I like this much ( Rocky and Rambo aside :-) ). The first half hour was excellent; the figure in the woods, the tree rape, the creepy smile…just the overall ambience. The ‘dumb’ parts weren’t so much dumb as just got the characters from a to b as quick as possible. Sometimes characters need to do dumb things like read from demonic books and go into cellars to give the midnight crowds something to shout at, but there was nothing so stupid as to take you out of the film. I think a lot of viewer’s problems lay with the film being judged not on it’s own merits but in comparison to what they wanted the film to be. It kind of reminded me of Rob Zombie’s Halloween sequel (that’s a recommendation by the way) which tried something different and I think ended up dividing fans too. Anyway, I thought the whole Evil Dead meets Linda Blair vibe rocked and I agree with Dustin that this was pretty much the film in my head that I imagined the original to be. This whole weird apologist situation reminds me of last summer – where Prometheus WAS lazy and dumb, hiding behind a thin veil of intelligence (especially in comparison to Alien), I feel Evil Dead ’13 is kind of the opposite.

  88. That’s not me calling this film intelligent. I’m just saying that there’s more to it than a lot of people are giving it credit for :-)

  89. I definitely won’t be replacing Army of Darkness with anything, but I will for sure be adding this to the marathon. I’ve seen the original more times than I can count, and the second, and Army of Darkness. I’ve listened to the commentaries each (all four (two on the original)) into the double digits. I’ve seen the musical more times than I can count on my hands, and loved it. And the new one three times and I will GLADLY put the new film in with all those. It’s got it’s own feel, but then they all do. And it seems most people have complaints about it that can apply to the original as well (even though they seem blind to it). Sure, the original is more non stop once it kicks in (20 minutes into the film, btw, for those that feel the start of the new film is too slow), but the new one is more brutal. Much more brutal, while still being fun. It’s not better than the originals, but it’s still a great film. And things like not having crowbar woman come back after she gets her arm blown off? Yeah, I thought she was coming back, but that’s because that was the predictable thing to happen. Maybe people just want to watch one film their whole lives so they can comfortably know when scares are coming, but I like not knowing. I love Psycho being a movie about a woman running that gets interrupted out of nowhere by a psychotic killer. I loved each surprise in Memento as each previous ten minutes was revealed. I love not knowing when demons are fucking with you or not, and I love unpredictable switches of the one who seems to be the main character. I think the new Evil Dead is one of those fun gore films that I wait for (like the originals, or Dead Alive, or Riki Oh, or Slither or Planet Terror, or Feast), and I can’t complain when they come along. They get your adrenaline pumping.

  90. And right on, CC, about Cabin in the Woods! What a disappointment that was. Very overrated.

  91. The original Paul

    April 14th, 2013 at 4:30 am

    Chopper Sullivan

    April 13th, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    “He’s the guy who took the job nobody with any kind of integrity would ever touch because he thought it would help his career.”

    How do you know that? Who are you to judge his intentions?


    Chopper – I don’t know about the film’s quality, but I’m with Majestyk on this one. You don’t remake a film like “Evil Dead” because of good intentions or artistic integrity or anything, you do it because that’s the surest way of getting your film “out there” and getting it seen by a large audience, hence getting the big payday in the process. Of course, the climate being what it is, “original” horror films – the term is always relative but I’m talking brand-wise here – are far less likely to 1) be marketed, or 2) make it into the multiplexes. Therefore, the big remakes are the ones that sell.

    I try to do my bit to stop this rot by not seeing them at all. Unfortunately you’re not going to reverse the trend of excellent films like “The Pact” flopping if the studios are only willing to market stuff that’s got a current “brand” associated with it. I keep seeing excellent reviews of horror films that will never come to a multiplex anywhere near me. Fuck that.

  92. The original Paul

    April 14th, 2013 at 4:41 am

    And by the way, I totally blame YOU guys here. Take “Die Hard 5”. Another film that I haven’t seen. We all knew how this film was made, we all knew why, we all knew what the talent level was of the people making it. I don’t think there was a single person who liked that film, yet almost all of the regulars here had something to say about it when it came out. …WHY?!!! This wasn’t another case of the “Dredd”s, which turned out to be unexpectedly good. I haven’t seen a single positive review of DH5 that I can recall.

    But everybody goes out to spend their cash on a film that we all know is probably gonna be crap – and again, I haven’t seen it, but the concensus would seem to be that it’s even worse than people were worried it would be. So WHY go spend your money on this? Just because it has the Die Hard name on it? If it was anonymous action thriller #132, nobody here would be giving it the time of day.

    Vern’s gotta see it because he’s gotta review it. Doesn’t mean the rest of us have to feed cash to the machine.

  93. Chopper Sullivan

    April 14th, 2013 at 5:16 am

    Again, how do you know? Imagine being a guy who made a short and put it on youtube, and then Sam Raimi taps you on the shoulder and asks if you want to make an Evil Dead movie. Sure, you might be thinking about money and your career, and you might be doing backflips because you get to make a fucking EVIL DEAD movie with the blessing and support of the creators. How can you be so sure its a cynical endeavor?

    And I’d love to see Anonymous Action Thriller #132, because I love to see action thrillers. It’s what Vern and most of us do. See the DTV or the big studio stuff and hope for the best. Maybe we’ll be disappointed most of the time, but it’s worth it for a UNIVERSAL SOLDIER REGENERATION or (in my opinion) an EVIL DEAD 13. We’re looking for gold, in whatever form it may come. It seems more fun than writing about movies you haven’t seen, anyway.

  94. I also, have to disagree with the idea that the gore in ED 2013 is that unrelenting. The craft that went into the execution of the gore and effects is excellent, but I would argue that in this day and age when you have more violence and gore on TV than ever before (THE WALKING DEAD, HANNIBAL, THE FOLLOWING, and numerous other primetime crime procedurals) that the gore in ED 2013 isn’t that shocking or brutal by comparison. That is not a knock on ED 2013 it is more an observation about gore and violence in mainstream entertainment. It is also an example of one of the challenges of remaking a film like ED. The gore in films like the original ED and DEAD ALIVE really stood out when they were released because there wasn’t the amount of gore and violence in television and mainstream media at that time, but in a world where you can see blood and guts on network TV during primetime it is that much harder to push the envelope and shock audiences. For example I am not sure ED 2013 has more gore and bloodshed then PHIRANNA 3D (another horror remake that didn’t waste time trying to constantly recreate moments or scenes from the original film). You could argue that there is more craft in the execution of the gore effects in ED 2013, but PHIRANNA 3D has at least as much gore and bloodshed if not more.

  95. renfield; I am absolutely NOT calling you or anyone else an apologist. I think you honestly enjoyed the movie and I don’t fault you for that at all. It has a bunch of good parts to go with its bad parts and I can see how the math would add up differently for others. Who knows, maybe if I’d seen it in a theater full of hooting yahoos getting their asses handed to them instead of at a nearly empty matinee, I might have had more fun. But that’s really all I’m getting at, despite the thousands of words I’ve spent on this topic: I didn’t have very much fun. All of my complaints about the plot holes, the callbacks, the inherent problems with remaking a well-known film, etc., none of that would have mattered to me in the slightest (I liked DIE HARD 5! I am history’s greatest hypocrite!) if I’d just enjoyed myself. To me, it failed first as a fun time at the cinema and second as a remake of THE EVIL DEAD.

  96. Paul- I remember when details about AGDTDH came through last year I was sceptical. John Moore? Skip Woods? February release date? Sounded dodgy. Then the first trailer came out and I was converted. I certainly never thought it would rival the original, but a thoroughly enjoyable action film seemed likely, and a step up from LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD didn’t seem out of the question. Unfortunately the film turned out to be far less entertaining than I ever expected it would be at any stage of production. Still, it was nice to get genuinely excited about it for a while.

  97. Paul:
    Your admirable rant about responsible consumerism makes more sense with Die Hard 5 than with Evil Dead 13 in my estimation (although I wouldn’t fault fellow Outlaws for wanting to be involved in the discussion). The horror genre is to such a great extent the shitheel of the film market, I think it matters less whether you support on- or off-brand films compared to if you’re letting Hollywood know you are willing to shell out for Hard-R Horror in the first place. If you’re seeing EVIL DEAD ’13 at the expense of seeing THE INNKEEPERS maybe you have a point, but it’s not like there’s any non-franchise horror to see right now.


  98. I always found this director’s back story a bit fishy. As I understand it, he made a short film… basically an FX demo reel without any story for only $300. in Uruguay. Raimi sees it and offers him the EVIL DEAD remake. Turns out it actually cost more than $300 bucks but by that point the media narrative was set in stone. There’s a ton of absolutely awesome short films being made today. What was it about his short that impressed Raimi so much?

    Well anyway, good for him. I’m guessing he’ll do a big budget sci-fi film next.

  99. The original Paul

    April 15th, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Wes – if this is good, I hope he DOES get to do a bigger budget production. Look, I’m not judging the director or the producers of this thing, they’re an inevitable product of the flawed system that they have to work with.

    I personally would’ve LOVED to have seen “The Innkeepers” or “Saturday Morning Massacre” or “The Pact” or any of the other fantastically-reviewed films at the cinema, but tough cheddar. At least I got “Mama”, which I thought was good…

  100. The original Paul

    April 15th, 2013 at 11:44 am

    And there’s PLENTY of non-franchise horror out there. It’s just not being marketed.

    “SMM” isn’t even out on region-2 DVD, what the FUCK?!

  101. The original Paul

    April 16th, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Chopper – didn’t see this.

    “And I’d love to see Anonymous Action Thriller #132, because I love to see action thrillers.”

    Well maybe, but if you’re making that point on behalf of the community at large, then NO. That’s exactly my point. When Vern (correctly) accused me of posting off-topic discussion in the “China O’ Brien 2” thread, my response was, fair dos regarding off-topic comments, but it’s a bit difficult to accuse me of derailing discussion when I was still the only person apart from Vern himself to actually comment ON THE FILM. The threads that get loads of comments are ones like Die Hard 5, Prometheus, Expendables, Transformers, Star Wars, and the unmentionable B-word film from last year. And, y’know, I’ve seen and regretted those films just as much as everybody else (well, not DH5. Avoided that one.) And I’m not complaining about that so much – these are big blockbusters, you’d expect most people to have seen ’em.

    The plain fact is, it’s Vern who mostly looks through the DTV stuff. Not the commentors and certainly not me. This is why I come to this site in the first place – you think I’ve ever have known to look out for “Kill Zone” or “Universal Soldier: Regeneration” or “Blood and Bone” if I hadn’t have seen them recommended here? And that’s fine in itself. It’s when people who’ve been speculating on how bad “Die Hard 5” will be are then the first people to go donate money to the “Make one more pointless Die Hard sequel, who cares about the quality because the name will sell it anyway” fund that kinda gets on my tits.

    Anyways, apologies for the slightly off-topic rant, all. My complaints with “Evil Dead” are all to do with the marketing (I can’t exactly complain about the film, since I haven’t seen it and won’t, at least not while it still costs me money to do so). It’s beginning to feel like the ridiculous number of excellent, original films in cinemas last year is going to turn out to be something of a fluke, the way this year is going so far. My annoyance is that there ARE great films being reviewed right now. It’s just that none of them are coming to cinemas anywhere near me. Instead I’m getting “Dark Skies” and “The Host” for my “original” horror tastes – a found-footage alien abduction movie that’s been panned by most critics, and an adaptation of a Stephanie Meyer novel. Gee, thanks.

  102. I loved this remake. It did everything it needed to do.

    I honestly don’t understand how anyone here could’ve had a bad time with this movie.

    – Diego

  103. Am I the only person who thought the tree rape was the emptiest of all of the film’s nods to the original? It should resonate a hell of a lot more considering (and I’m 99% sure of this) that the necklace is made from the wood of a buckthorn tree which is the tree that rapes Mia shortly after she removes the necklace. The very symbol that was supposed to protect her and make her strong willed, attacked her when she rejected its help. It’s pretty loaded when you have all that information and yet the film treats it so meaninglessly. Even Jane Levy’s abject terror after the fact can’t do anything to give this moment the weight that it so desperately deserves. What a waste, this moment epitomizes the film’s complete lack of heart, grit, grime, piss and vinegar. It knows the words a little but fuck all about music.

  104. Stark movie like/dislike disagreements twixt Vern & me are blessedly rare, but… EVIL DEAD ’13 sucked ass. Utter nonsense start to finish. And boring, too. Tragically boring & empty.

    Mr. Majestyk warned me in an urgent, helpfully direct, explicit missive about this thing last month, but, like a fool helplessly beckoned by his own desire to incant the text laid out before him in a strange & strangely off-putting flesh-bound book, I eventually had to check it out for myself, not knowing what pathetic “horrors” awaited me. I should have instead read the warnings of Sweetooth0, Wes, and MDM above. Those guys get it.

    I can kinda appreciate how every character in this wretched movie seems to be leaking ooze or spraying blood at any given time, but other than that this is an embarrassing failure on all narrative-filmatistic fronts. It’s warm piss running down my leg, staining my socks after it’s done insulting my intelligence & making waste of the nutritious fluids & processed enzymes that make me a good human being, a human being who presumably would bleed to death within 3 minutes if I were to suffer a severed arm (or 2), no matter the tightness of the applied duct tape (?!?!!!!!) tourniquet.

    The Book of the Dead shit and the basement shit is so lazy & nonsensical to start with, and then it’s even worse when the movie doesn’t apply its guidance or the rules that should stem from its existence.

    Just, whatever. Mr. Maj & company have pretty well said in this talkback all the things that should be said in tearing down this horrible movie. I can’t wait to forget it, though I suspect the shallow, uninspired post-credits cookie will continue to baffle & enrage me for a while (not b/c I possess a fanboy-ish love for the original ED or anything, but b/c I am despondent & cynical about how shit like this makes money –- and Bruce Campbell’s Hollywood career is/was exactly how successful as it should be/have been. He’s wack. He’s not fucking “groovy.”)

    The only good thing about EVIL DEAD ’13 is that it accidentally caused me to remember the awesome, genuinely scary machete-through-the-wall/crawlspace scene in THE RAID.

    And maybe the chainsaw-“motherfucker” synergy at the very end.

  105. This was the first moviegoing-expericence-type-thing where I came out of the theatre smiling in a long time.
    I really liked EVIL DEAD 2013. Basically mostly because of the choices that plays with your expectations, especially at the end.

    But also because the premise is not quite as flimsy as the original. Instead of having a bunch of generic teens partying out in the woods, there is an actual believable reason for them to be there. I appreciated that.
    It made them much less douchbags than in most 80´s slasher/horrormovies
    where you can´t wait for those annoying pricks to die. I never felt that about these bunch. Granted,
    the actors are not good and some performances made me cringe but not a dealbreaker for me.

    It´s a bit less atmospheric than the original despite some nice cinematography in places and perhaps not as kinetic as Raimi´s original with the cameramovements.

    Also, who the hell name their dog Grandpa?

  106. Seems like a sequel is heading our way. But it maybe more complicated than that. I like how openminded they seem to be about branching franchises.Most hypothetical, but I like it. Groovy!


  107. I had the chance to see this in a theater this weekend, and I am happy to report that it ruined my wife. I’ve never seen someone try to push themselves so far back into a seat that it looked like they were trying to pass through the thing like Kitty Pride.

  108. Just rented this, so a little late to the party. I haven’t seen the original (cue tomatoes), which means I didn’t have a lot of expectations or baggage. The production values were good, and the gore was intense. I also liked some of possessed Mia’s trash talk. Still, I thought it was just so-so. I never got particularly invested in the characters, including Mia, whom we’re supposed to embrace as our final girl, despite her being a demonic creature for the majority of the film before being implausibly revived at the end. As cabin films go, I thought Cabin Fever and Cabin in the Woods were both more inventive and involving. This one was so ck-looking, had some good gory set pieces, but didn’t do much else.

  109. Slick-looking, that is.

  110. The original EVIL DEAD is worth seeing, a spirited ambitious little crazy shit. The remake is a fan letter with impressive gore FX that got through the MPAA. But a fan letter none the less and really nothing to hang on as a film on its own merit.

  111. I saw this a few days ago as well. I liked it and kind of regret seeing it at home instead of at the cinema, but I can’t see myself digging it out for a rewatch every year or so like I do with the original. It’s well done for what it is, but it’s very slight.

  112. I see that Netflix instant was the original, so I should probly check er out.

  113. “has” — Dang it, this nexus tablet keyboard is going to be death of me. Either that or I’ll be bisected by a chainsaw.

  114. Let’s kick off MAJESTYK MAKES AMENDS 2014 with this, my most hated movie of 2013. You need only do a quick search of my name to find out how badly I despised this one. Phrases like “relentless downer,” “incompetent storytelling,” and “stunning dearth of inspiration” sum up my feelings pretty well, with a lengthy tangent on our culture’s fascination with remakes, reboots, and homages thrown in for some larger context. However, I also said “I’m like 90% certain I’ll watch it again in three or four years and just not pay attention during the boring parts and the parts that made no sense and think, “Hey, that’s a decent crowbarring. Two and a half stars.” Turns out I’m way ahead of schedule, because here I am, not even a year later, deciding it’s actually kind of okay sometimes.

    Clearly, my main beef with the film is not that it’s not all that great (that’s never stopped me from enjoying a horror movie before) but that it dares to be not all that great while being called EVIL DEAD. I still hate all the callbacks, which are just distracting to any kind of consistent tone the film is trying to build up, but taken as its own thing, it’s a decent little splatter flick. The deadite attacks are brutal and gruesome and full of painful little details like the guy pulling the needle out of his face or the weird black beads that squeeze out of the infected hand. And the crowbarring is indeed pretty solid. That guy’s hand coming apart was very well done.

    I still don’t buy pretty much any of this story, which is only a problem because the tone and the score and the style of acting keeps telling me that I should take it seriously. I have a beef with the whole “five souls” thing, because it seems like they keep saving people’s souls and yet the Abomination arrives anyway. Not that he’s much of a threat, since a 110-lb. girl takes him out literally one-handed. But most horror movies don’t stick the landing, and most of them don’t inspire me to drop 1000-word screeds about the sad state of the American motion picture industry.

    No, the fault is mine. I get too caught up in my idealistic belief that the only reason to remake THE EVIL DEAD is if you’re gonna completely blow it out of the water in every way, and couldn’t see that sometimes a few good gore gags and some atmospheric photography is enough to get by. It’s no classic, nor even particularly scary or interesting, but it’s not bad.

    ORIGINAL RATING: zero stars for general moral indignation
    REVISED RATING: ** 1/2 for excellent bludgeoning and limb-severing

    (Also, did anyone notice the weird sexism of the deadites? When they attack a woman, they convert her, but when they attack a man, they just straight up try to murder him. What’s up with that? We also only get about 30 seconds of male deadeye action in the whole movie. All the others are women. I know this is how the original played out, as well, but you throw in the new character of the girl who’s burned at the stake at the beginning and the gender disparity gets wider, to the point where you’d almost think the movie has some kind of feminist subtext. Which is absurd, because the last thing an EVIL DEAD movie needs is subtext.)

  115. My heart remains hard & bitter. I need at least those 3-4 years to reconsider my hatred.
    EVIL DEAD ’13 is still dead to me. And evil, I guess.

  116. EVIL DEAD 2013 has my alltime favourite tongue kiss in a movie. Not only that,the premise is less hokey and the acting is overall less cringe-worthy compared to the original. It´s not a great movie. It has less personality and it suffers from what most remakes does; the necessary intertextuality instead of being its own thing.

  117. Also,i could see myself revisiting EVIL DEAD 2013. Which is more than I can say about ROBOCOP 2014.

  118. What does it take to change the essence of a criticism? Time. I needed time to change, and, well, now I’m a hypocrite because I rewatched ED13 and kinda enjoyed some of it.

    As a comedic gorefest, at least. I like all the funny voices. Everything is so serious & dark and then suddenly you hear a line delivered from a cackling, sinister autotuned G.I. Joe cartoon villain.

    I never had an issue with the performances or some of the visual choices, and I think the small screen is kind to the experience; it mitigates the overbearing start-to-finish miserableness of the staggeringly stupid, cheating narrative & repetitive mini-narratives.

    (There’s still not much to distinguish deadite #1 from deadite #2 from zombie #whatever; same can be said for the blandly attractive 20somethings. I guess one of them is a nurse, so that’s a semi-interesting character trait that also plays into the plot, but the guy who *isn’t* a nurse is the character who gets to perform the most interesting bit of medical first aid. Maybe Final Girl should have had a drug trip to mix things up, make it interesting — she could have had a secret little stash, like, behind the stationwagon’s glovebox and she could have shot up or snorted after she makes her desperate speedy getaway and right before the car wreck & tree rape. This would have added visual-narrative flair to the film, not to mention highlighting/foregrounding the [temporary?] possibility that she really is hallucinating everything. Plus it would make her less sympathetic, more conflicted, and more interesting. And later on maybe there could be a scene where a deadite tastes her heroin-laced blood and makes a joke about getting a contact-transfusion high.)

    Original Rating: -2 stars for ungrooviness
    New Rating: +2 stars for competent ultra-gore that entertains more than it disturbs or makes me question my own sick sensibilities for having enjoyed it, and for fostering top notch Mr. Majestyk rants, which I’ve enjoyed re-reading

    This has been MOUTH MAKES AMENDS 2014.

  119. Does this mean an amended Mouth opinion is on the way for ZD30?

  120. IM3 maybe yes.

    0DARK30 no.

    The hate candle burns bright on both ends on that one.

  121. Dang! Time may tell. Or not, by the sound of it.

  122. The Original Paul

    March 24th, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Mouth – as someone who’s recently given a few previously-despised movies a second chance, I feel ya. Kinda. I’ve had to upgrade “X3” on my mental list from “piece of shit” to “kinda ok”, so… there ya go.

    I will say this… as somebody who agreed with just about every criticism you had of “Zero Dark Thirty”… I still think it’s a good film. I don’t think it’s a great one, I don’t think it has enough believability or credibility to be; and I think it absolutely fails at its stated goal, as laid out at the start of the movie. But that doesn’t mean it’s worthless by all other standards. At the very end of it, the movie perfectly conveyed to me the feeling of being “present” at a momentous occasion – and that’s coming from somebody who wasn’t personally affected by 9/11 at all.

    Anyway, all of that was completely off-topic, and I have nothing to say about “Evil Dead 2013” beyond that I haven’t and will never watch it, so… see ya.

  123. Paul – “the movie perfectly conveyed to me the feeling of being ‘present’ at a momentous occasion”

    Well said Paul, I had the same feeling from the film. And I respect Mouth’s stand on the film as an insider, and believe all the arguments are relevant and intimately important to the individual(s) expressing them. And front-liners in my opinion are the real-deal guys(and girls).

    But on the level you talked about, it was effective for me too. That’s why I love movies man, good and not so good. I can catch a glimpse into things I know nothing of or never experienced. And if I keep an open mind I can learn something new, not just from the movie, but from others’ opinions and viewpoints.

    9/11 messed with me pretty bad, even though I, like you, wasn’t “personally” affected. But a lot of Aussies feel that America is a close friend, even if we’re sometimes too proud of our independence to admit it. And those Towers going down that day…fuck man…the motherfucker became personal. My 3 kids were all aged under 10 in 2001. The shadow of that Beast is what this generation has grown up with.

    So yeah, I was feeling it, when that compound was raided and the axe fell on the motherfucker. Whether it was a ‘good’ movie, or not.

  124. Paul, I read your comments on why you are adverse to seeing EVIL DEAD 2013 – THE NIGHT OF THE CROWBAR, and…..THEY MAKE NO FUCKING SENSE. The existence of this movie will not diminish because you ignore it. The Hollywood machine will continue to remake, upgrade, reboot and regurgitate until the cows come home and take a big shit and your front lawn, and there’s nothing you or I can do to stop it.

    In the case of EVIL DEAD 2013 – I FEEL SO BROKE UP, I WANNA GO HOME, the cow didn’t take a shit, it laid a golden egg. How often do you see a cow passing a golden egg through its intestinal passage and out the back door? That’s right my friend, only about twice a year in my experience of cows.

    You said you are partial to body-horror, that its one of your favourite genres, well, guess what? There’s more fucked up horror inflicted on bodies than anything ive seen since Daniel Craig had his balls smashed in CASINO ROYALE. And that’s pretty hard to top in my opinion as a man with balls. That would fuck me up.

    C’mon man, if Majestyk and Mouth can MAKE AMENDS, surely you can un-rob yourself by giving this 90 minutes of your time.

  125. The Original Paul

    March 26th, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Darren – bodySHOCK horror. Different genre entirely. The one and only time I’ve broken my rule in the last four or five years has been for the “The Thing” prequel. And that’s basically because I can enjoy a bodysnatchers film pretty much regardless of how good it is. Hell, I liked “The Puppet Masters”. And that’s way, way worse than “The Thing” prequel.

    (Evil Dead 2 does actually have elements of bodyshock horror in it, by the way – or at least the possession movie, which is a slightly different category. The whole idea of bodyshock horror is that something is apparently human, but actually not. The possession movie is more about total loss of humanity. I mention this because I absolutely love “Evil Dead 2”.)

    But y’know what? I don’t care about Evil Dead 2013. There are more worthwhile ways for me to spend my time and money, in my opinion. I won’t begrudge you guys from seeing this or enjoying it, but honestly… I didn’t even see the American remake of “The Ring” (I liked the original), and most people said that was good.

  126. Groovy! Not quite the Evil Dead 4 that many had been hoping for, but it could turn out even better:


  127. First the resurrection of TWIN PEAKS. And now this? I feel like I´ve along the way accidentally entered an alternate timeline that I don´t belong in. Cause none of these things could happen in the world I´m used to.

  128. To me the most interesting thing is that, unless there’s a typo in the IMDb news report I read, they announced 10 half hour episodes. It’s not at all the obvious format, which makes me think they’ve put some thought into it.

    I wonder, when they say Raimi is directing does it just mean the pilot? Because five, five and a half hours doesn’t seem impossible. I hope he does the whole thing.

  129. Apparently last week they showed on UK Television an extended cut of the movie, featuring scenes like (Mild spoilers) one possessed character walking around in flames after the cabin explodes and the final girl getting picked up by an S-Mart worker (Not Ash) in the end.

    The funny thing is that the channel admitted that it was an accident. The distributor sent them the wrong tape (or DVD or data file or whatever they use these days) and iby now they sent back to them. No word on an official home video release of this version yet.

  130. It shows pretty much nothing:


    But hey, the show now actually exists. Groovy.

  131. Sternshein makes amends 2019

    I just finished watching this today. I was really disappointed back in 2013 because I was very much Evil Dead 2 and Bruce Campbell are the only way to do this movie. The plot of the reason for being in the cabin really doesn’t pay off, the characters are not interesting, etc. However, watching it again after having seen the original Evil Dead last week and time healing all wounds and shit, I like this one a lot better.

    I think a lot of my enjoyment too is because of what horror in the mainstream has become since then. In 2013 we saw The Conjouring come out which, obviously, started the Conjuring universe. Then 2014 we saw the release of It Follows and The Babadook. So we stopped really getting these type of horror movies in the theater and we started seeing the rise of A24 films, which, imo, is the single worst thing to happen to mainstream horror. So waching Evil Dead now, with its short run time and extreme gore, just feels so wonderfully fresh. That finale was insane. The characters are still rather one note and not nearly as interesting as the original characters (mostly because not a single person in this film not Jane Levey shows any charisma what so ever). I want to see more movies like this. Thank you.

  132. I’m really glad to see you revisited this, Sternshein. I decided to do a marathon of all 4 EVIL DEAD movies today. For this one I was thinking at first how I could sort of see why everybody around here hated it so much – I don’t agree, but the serious tone comes off so grim when you don’t have the home-made looking makeup and props and the characters have more backstory to them than in the original and seem, if not real, at least more real than the characters in the original. But by the end I was just flabbergasted that so many people I know hated this thing. The nail gun! The chain saw to the face! The hand under the car! It is, at minimum, 25 times more insane and relentless than any CONJURING type movie. I don’t believe in extra periods, but it must be said that It. Is. Not. Fucking. Around.

    I also watched the director’s cut, which maybe gives more of an arc to the brother and sister relationship, or maybe I just forgot about that stuff. It was probly more meaningful to me now than it was back then. This is a fine start to the trilogy of Fede Alvarez movies I would’ve been excited for a sequel to.

  133. Yes, I feel bad horror fans did not stand behind it, like I didn’t, so we would have a sequel. Maybe we would have less A24 films lol

  134. Look, man, I admit that it’s a decently bloody little spam-in-a-cabin flick when completely removed from everything that makes THE EVIL DEAD THE EVIL DEAD but that doesn’t mean I want to encourage this kind of thing. We don’t need any more remakes of horror classics and we certainly don’t need any more sequels to remakes of horror classics. Nine out of ten of these A24 movies can suck my balls but at least they’re original ideas. That’s healthier for the genre and society in the long run than reliving all the same old nightmares again and again with fancier dressing. This emo phase the genre is going through right now is not for me but I’m hoping it’s setting the scene for a new era of wild and audacious original horror. You know, like the real EVIL DEAD.

  135. Well technically Evil Dead is a sequel.

  136. I’m not even going to ask what you think that means.

  137. I mean if we wanna go to Movie Court about it and get super pedantic, the original EVIL DEAD is a sequel/remake of a short called WITHIN THE WOODS (which I’ve never seen, but read about somewhere- maybe Bruce’s autobiography? Don’t remember). Raimi basically remade the same movie three times, with sequentially increasing budget and filmatic knowledge

  138. I have seen WITHIN THE WOODS. It is just a proof-of-concept short filmed to show to potential investors what the finished precut might eventually look like. It is not canon nor was it meant to be taken as a film unto itself. It’s like a demo tape: a dry run. A dress rehearsal. You wouldn’t call a band’s first album a remake of or sequel to their demo, would you?

    I suspect Sternshein was actually referring to the embarrassing Bruce Campbell cameo at the end of the remake, which some claim means the remake is actually a sequel. I call bullshit. It’s a pandering fan-service post-credits cameo, not an actual story element. Claiming that makes the remake a sequel is like claiming that the post-credits scene in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY makes that movie a sequel to HOWARD THE DUCK. No. “Sequel” means “continuation of a story,” and the story of the film HOWARD THE DUCK is not continued in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY any more than the story of THE EVIL DEAD is continued in the remake or the story of WITHIN THE WOODS is continued in THE EVIL DEAD.

    I know I’m gonna get accused of being angry again, but specific words have specific meanings. We can’t just throw them around willy nilly or we’re all just grunting apes.

  139. * “precut” should be “product”

  140. Agreed on both points. That wasn’t Ash in the EVIL DEAD stinger, it was Bruce Campbell-Spokesman for the Evil Dead brand.

  141. Not that. The car being there. Don’t blame the messenger here ok.lol

  142. Nobody’s blaming anyone here, Stern. We’re just talking. But while we’re talking, I have to point out that the car being there is just more dumb fan service bullshit as it had been pulled back in time to circa 1300 a.d. at the end of EVIL DEAD II. I like the remake (except for the idiot that opens the book using the word ‘witchcraft’ over and OVER-I was so glad he was the most brutalized), but the fan service inserts are easily the worst, most off-putting parts of it.

  143. The car is also in every SPIDER-MAN. It’s in DARKMAN. CRIMEWAVE. DRAG ME TO HELL. Its parts were broken down and used as set dressing in QUICK AND THE DEAD and OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL It is in literally every Sam Raimi movie except for FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME, and that’s only because its scene got deleted. Is A SIMPLE PLAN an EVIL DEAD sequel too?

  144. Yeah but this time the car is the car for the original 1981 Evil Dead. It was put there for a specific reason of this being a sequel. Thought I don’t expect you to believe Fede Alverez on this one. I haven’t seen Mr. Majestyk but is he this much of an asshole in the movie? lol

  145. There’s no reason for you to believe this, but I’m not trying to be an asshole. I’m sorry if my tone comes off that way. This isn’t personal. You and Fede Alvarez can define the film however you want. I just disagree and am presenting as much evidence as I can to support my point, and I have a lot at my disposal because I know and love EVIL DEAD lore. For me, the presence of the Classic is just another Easter egg and not proof of a continued storyline. It doesn’t matter what the director insists. Directors insist a lot of things but if it’s not on the screen, it’s not in the story.

  146. I know. I put the LOL at the end there to indicate that I was joking but, just like in real life, nobody knows when I’m actually joking.

  147. Saw the above comment on the main page and thought it was a response to me, since Stern used an lol in his comment that I replied to. Haha, what was I thinking?

  148. grimgrinningchris

    January 7th, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    I am only just seeing that this discussion was revived this past fall since I just wrapped my second year in a row of producing and directing Evil Dead: The Musical here in my hometown.

    Couple of points… and forgive me for not specifying who said what over the past season.

    1) Putting the Delta in the movie is “dumb fan service”????
    In what world? Has Raimi having put that car in almost every movie he has ever made “dumb fan service”? Yes, it is FOR THE FANS, but it is also a tradition. And one that was not focused on, commented on or distracting for anyone EXCEPT fans who knew enough to say “hey, they are sitting on “The Classic”… I know what dumb fan service is and that ain’t it…

    2) Anyone previously bitching about weak character development or lack of empathy or any of that is just grasping for straws on reasons to not like this movie. Someone above pointed out, very truly, that NONE of the characters in the original movie are even vaguely fleshed out, sympathetic or well rounded… not even Ash… poor Cheryl probably comes the closest, but even still…

    Now all of that said. I love this movie. If they had tried to do a more ED2/Three Stooges version and winked and winked and nudged and nudged and had an obvious Ash standin, I prolly would have hated it… even taking its clear technical merits into account. ED2 is my favorite horror movie ever… but also lightning in a bottle and neck and neck with American Werewolf… on skirting the line between comedy and horror while not sacrificing either… But in a remake of the original Evil Dead, I dunno that any of us could have hoped for a better, more well executed, MEANER (while, as Vern says… not rubbing your nose in it Rob Zombie style) hard R horror movie.

    Mileage varies, of course. Just my own thoughts.

    And as a reference point, as personal friends of mine… Betsy Baker (original Linda) LOVES this movie… Ellen Sandwiess (original Cheryl/cellar dwellar) DESPISES this movie and “Theresa Tilly” (original Shelly) still hasn’t seen this version… “I only watched the original one once at the premiere in Detroit… my boobs looked good in it, but it scared me too much to ever watch it again.”
    So yeah, mileage varies.

  149. Thoughts on the EVIL DEAD RISING trailer? Looks like it’s a stealth sequel to the remake, which is a bit disappointing to me. I don’t hate it like many other people do, but it felt a bit monotonous to me, so I hope this is just a marketing bit and the finished movie has at least some of the wicked fun that even Raimi’s more grim OG EVIL DEAD had.

    On the plus side: Maybe we get a surprise last act appearance of Jane Levy.

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