Oct 25, 2017

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Fright Night Challenge 25: Evil Dead

This week in How To Remake a Cult Classic; all of the gore, none of the fun! In Evil Dead (2013), a group of twenty-somethings head to a remote cabin to help their friend and sister kick a drug habit. They find a whole heap of burned animals and a book, wrapped in a plastic bag and some heavy duty barbed wire. So, of course, one of the fucking idiots opens the package and finds a clearly evil book, bound in what looks like human skin, scrawled all over inside with warnings about how the book should not be read. And when the idiot in question finds a page with even more warnings and some text made completely illegible, the idiot then goes to great lengths to not only get the text legible but subsequently read the fucking thing aloud. How stupid can you get?!

Everything that happens next is gory to an almost – but not quite – comic degree. And more importantly, highly predictable. I was able to call the order of deaths, except for two which were reversed, accurately at the start of the movie and the manner of each death at the start of the corresponding scene. You can imagine how delighted my spouse was. We’ve gotten in the habit of telling each other guesses about what’s going to happen. Usually we’re not quite this accurate, nor this accurate so early on. We could have written a fairly accurate replication of the script after the first five or ten minutes. And I haven’t even seen the original, just one of the sequels.

All that said, this was still an effective movie. It used the visual language associated with the genre of gore horror to great effect. The characters are stupid beyond belief but somehow you still end up rooting for them, unlike some other horror movies I’ve seen (*cough*Prometheus*cough*). The most disappointing thing about this movie, though, is that it takes itself so frogdamned seriously. There’s literal raining blood at one point and the movie still keeps going as if that’s a serious thing that seriously might happen. Freaky weather aside, there was such joy in the ridiculous in Ash vs Evil Dead that I hoped to find some of it here as well, but nope. Which probably means that this is going to be one and done for me, even though the production values have got to be so much better in this one than the original.

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