It’s Coming: ‘Evil Dead’ (2013).

6 Apr

Tampering with the classics is always risky business, and the genre of horror is particularly fertile land for sowing the seeds of the remake. Perhaps because the genre is often so formulaic that virtually every ‘new’ horror flick is just a retreading of old ground with new faces, or maybe it’s all down to horror films in general being rejected as merely ‘lowbrow’ cinema, so remaking is inconsequential. Either way, I don’t think anyone was calling for a remake of 1981’s cult The Evil Dead, though as last year’s 21 Jump Street proved, just because the people aren’t calling out for a film doesn’t mean it won’t work.

You know the story already – a few teenagers go into an, ahem, shack in the forest to spend a few days. Unfortunately, some dude decides to read from a CLEARLY DEMONIC book. I say “clearly demonic” because not only does it contain many pentagrams, goats and warnings of doom, it is also bound in human flesh. Why someone would even want to touch that stuff is beyond me, but regardless they read some badass-sounding incantation, and then shit instantly goes down. Possessions abound as the characters are pitted against one another, for no other reason than seeming morbid entertainment for Satan, or whoever’s pulling the strings.

The main question I had before watching this trailer was: does a woman still get sexually assaulted by a tree? I can safely determine that yes, a root is still the root of this particular problem, as the molestation seemingly plants the seed for the upcoming mayhem, which is as disturbing a concept now as it was back in 1981. Several new features are apparent in that there are syringes, fire plays a part, someone drives into a lake and there is at least one shower scene. It looks as if director Alvarez is incorporating modern elements of films such as Cabin Fever, though hopefully (crossing my fingers as we speak) avoiding the clichés of contemporary torture porn movies like Saw and Hostel.

It’s directed by Fede Alvarez and produced by Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Robert G. Tapert – the writer/director, lead actor, and producer of the original trilogy respectively (which, may I add, is an insanely cool touch). As Alvarez’s first English-language film, I’m not expecting any Shakespearean soliloquies, though in fairness I never fault a horror film for wobbly dialogue, as it’s beside the point. I’m sort of excited for this, but not really; I remain sketchy about remakes in general. That said, it couldn’t possibly be worse than those awful Last House on the Left and I Spit On Your Grave rehashes.

‘Evil Dead’ opening April 8th in the USA, and is hitting Irish and British screens eleven days later.

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