July 21, 2013

First Thoughts After Seeing The Evil Dead Remake

[Posted by Ted H]

So...I finally got around to seeing The Evil Dead remake.

...spoilers galore...

When it was first announced that Sam Raimi was only producing and instead it would be directed by: not-Sam-Raimi, I didn't know what to think. On one hand, Raimi was involved, surely he wouldn't let a remake of his greatest series get out of hand, right? On the other hand, someone else would be calling the shots.

What we got was a mixed bag.

2013-Evil Dead clearly made a volley to stand alone from it's predecessor, which is not a bad thing. But it made way too many references to the original series that it came across more as a bastardization...or fan-fiction, which is worse.

Going to the cabin:
Original: Why the fuck not?
Remake: Mia needs to cold-turkey some drugs.

Releasing the demon:
Original: "Hey guys, let's play this tape we found in the basement next to this book."
Remake: Scotty (whatever his name is, besides Mia, I didn't bother to remember their names) fucking around with shit he's not suppose to.

Stopping the demons:
Original: Chop those fuckers up!
Remake: Chop em, burn em or...bury them? Dafaq?
Stopping ALL the demons:
Original: Burn the book.
Remake: ...404 file not found...

That scene in particular where Scotty is TRYING to burn the book and can't should have been the last call back to the original movies. "Look, he's trying right now the same thing Ash did in the original, but it isn't working. That means we have a clean slate now." Lol...nope.

This version could have done way better if it weren't constantly trying to reference shit from the original or even ED2. Cutting off a hand, singing "We're gonna get you" (in the trailer), the image of the "abomination", "I'll feast/swallow your soul" and "Feast on/swallow this.", "We just killed our girlfriend/your girlfriend just cut off her arm...does that sound fine?" and the chainsaw arm bit. And that's all shit off the top of my head. Maybe one or two would work (except anything from ED2 cuz that's such a radical departure form strait horror) but when you try to shoehorn as much as you can from the original source material into a remake, and still try to stand alone as your own movie, then everything starts to crumble.

And why do I take such offense to the chainsaw bit from this movie when I absolutely loved it when done in Evil Dead 2? Because ED2 wasn't trying to be a strait faced horror like the original. The scene where he reworks the chainsaw to fit his stump, cuts off the barrel of his shogun and says "Groovy" fits perfectly with the theme that movie maintained prior. Had Ash done all that in the climax of ED1, it would have been jarring and stupid. This movie was a strait faced horror all the way until Mia decided "I know, lemme shove my stump into the handle of this chainsaw then fire off a one liner."

That whole climax seemed forced. Like at the end of a video game where some random bloke shows up as the final boss. Who the fuck is this and why do I have to deal with it? And the concept of Mia even coming back to normal is rubbish. Possessed-Mia was the single biggest threat in the entire movie, but once that was no longer an option the people in charge were like "We want Mia to be the hero at the end, but we also want possessed-Mia to be the monster at the end." and then that little Mexican child walks into the office and says "Why not both?" Isn't the whole concept of possession that the possessor needs your body, otherwise it's not a problem? I guess we're hand-waving that. And while we're hand-waving shit, how about how Mia got unpinned from the overturned Jeep. It's not like there are and bones or muscles keeping your hand attached to your arm, just rip that shit right off like it's nothing. Also how there was no way in hell that Mia got enough gas into the chainsaw for it to start, let alone run for as long as it did at the ending.

...and my personal pet peeve: improbable nail guns. There was no compression hose, or any sign on a portable air compressor on that nail gun...so how could it work? Even if you hand-wave that, what about the safety feature of every nail gun that prevents you from just randomly firing nails like a gun? I mean you can easily bypass that by...oh wait, you need two hands for that, and possessed-Linda didn't have 2 hands...

Now don't get me wrong, 2013-Evil Dead was a great movie. I just cant get over the schizophrenic tone of it all. They wanted to be their own movie, but kept constantly elbowing you over "Hey, remember this from the original?" And then it all fell apart at the end with their surprise monster.
...and wasn't it mentioned earlier that the only way the Abomination would be able to cross over is if 5 souls were claimed...so did "saving" Mia's soul not count?...and when Ash died from the explosion and not from a demon possession. Seriously? More hand-waving?

...and now for a quick round of Challenge Pissing...
A better ending would be:
After "saving" Mia, Ash heads back inside to get his keys when possessed-Scotty shows up and attacks. Oh shit! Ash limps for the door to find Mia and OH SHIT! She's possessed again because the concept of saving her was fucking stupid. Ash is trapped and pretty much getting raped by two demons. He then realizes he still has his lighter and there's gasoline all over the place still. He then lures both possessed to the cellar and lights shit up. Everybody dies and everybody loses, just like in the original...or he shotguns the gas can and blows the house with everyone still inside. Either way is better than what we got.

Or better yet: fire wont kill the book? How about a shotgun blast?

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