Brutally Honest Review #5: The Evil Dead remake is too extreme
Someone cautioned me about looking back at Evil Dead (2013) as just another pointless remake, but I say screw that, this movie sucks. Bruce Campbell is the man. I am biased, let me just say that right out. However, I think I’ve been pretty fair to all the movies I’ve reviewed in the past, and I think Evil Dead (2013) deserves some criticism. It deserves to be critiqued and remembered as crap not just because it lacks Bruce Campbell, but because it is simply a gore movie, with no camp, no creativity, and no haunting flavor. NEXT PLEASE.
I don’t know how the producers and the director got this movie past the censors, but the ratings people are just sleeping on the job these days. There is more blood in this movie than in The Exorcist and Texas Chainsaw Massacre combined. Maybe in all of the Texas Chainsaw sequels too. Does that make it bad? Not necessarily, but that’s all there is. It’s gore porn. Or something. WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?
The self-inflicted injuries are just too much for me to watch. It’s like a sadomasochist’s dream. It’s extreme. It’s excessive. It’s stupid. Okay, so the original Evil Dead wasn’t exactly Shakespeare in the park, but it at least had flair and creativity. The remake just repeats what was done before, dulls it down and throws in more red stuff. When they needed something scary, the remake just piled on the gross gore. I had to turn away at one point. It was really gross. It was even more gross than The Thing (1982), which is the epitome of a gore-fest.
The difference between this movie and The Thing (1982), is that the gore is the only thing the movie has going for it. In the Evil Dead, the characters are covered in blood, the floor has blood all over it, and nobody escapes being victimized. It rains blood for God’s sake. It’s as if all the generic characters are just there to set up more gore scenes, not to build an atmosphere. At least The Thing has some depth with its gore.
Richard Roeper had this to say in a 2013 review:
This isn’t a strict remake of Sam Raimi‘s hugely influential 1981 horror classic, but it does include the basic framework and some visual nods to the original. On its own, it’s an irredeemable, sadistic torture chamber reveling in the bloody, cringe-inducing deaths of some of the stupidest people ever to spend a rainy night in a remote cabin in the woods.
I guess it comes down to your definition of horror. What is scary? What is horror? You want a gore-fest like The Thing or more atmosphere like The Exorcist? Some horror films don’t even have gore and they’re ten, twenty times more scary than Evil Dead (2013). The Ring (2002) has a few mangled faces, but it is the horrific images that get me. And the build is great. The Others, Misery, Blair Witch, and others are just fine with a minimalistic approach.
I guess Sam Raimi isn’t the creative mind I thought he was. The Evil Dead remake takes out everything I liked in the original. Every single thing. The camp, the dark humor, the low-budget vibe and spirit, and the over-the-top acting–yes, I liked all those things because they were fun. There is no low-budget vibe or spirit in the remake, and all of the kids are cookie-cutter kids like in any other horror movie. The humor in the remake doesn’t work or has been cut for more blood. And the only thing over-the-top about Evil Dead the Remake is the gore, which goes to extreme lengths to make ME traumatized too, when I should be enjoying myself, laughing at the fun.
The only thing I can conclude is that Sam Raimi never wanted me to have fun. He wanted to traumatize me. It’s his remake after all. It’s his movie. His tone. His changes. It’s not right. I guess I had the wrong opinion of Sam Raimi.