Five twenty-something friends become holed up in a remote cabin. When they discover a Book of the Dead, they unwittingly summon up dormant demons living in the nearby woods, which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left intact to fight for survival.Written by
Sony Pictures Entertainment
In a post-credits scene, a silhouetted Ash Williams says "Groovy" and looks at the camera before it cuts to black. See more »
While the theatrical release was uncut, the German DVD release was cut by ca. 1 minute to to keep its "Not under 18" rating from the FSK. The uncut version was released with a SPIO/JK approval (resulting in various sale restrictions). See more »
"The Evil Dead" suffers from the same malaise as many of the modern remakes of grindhouse/B Horror classics("I Spit On Your Grave", "Black Christmas" etc.). Rather than use the extra budget to fully realize the ideas and quirks that made the originals awesome......those buckets of cash are dumped into bloated, overlong run times and buckets of CGI blood sloshed about with a few surround sound sheer volume "jump" moments.
Unfortunately a lot of makes B horror classics special is the inventiveness forced by their sheer lack of budget.Concise runtimes born of necessity often kept things moving at a brisk pace, with out fluff or an excess of pointless padding.
Think about "The Beyond" and its glorious dime store surrealism, "Dead & Buried"'s layers of moody atmosphere, the weird quirk that managed to make people root for "The Human Centipede" to escape its scenery chewing creator....or in the case of "The Evil Dead" the fact that it was a horror film, but had a very good balance of black comedy, and Bruce Campbell had an excellent knack for knowing when to toss in a bit of a wink and a nudge.
Granted, the original "Evil Dead" isn't nearly as camp/slapstick as its sequels...but it did have a sense of spiteful fun amongst all of the gore.
The remake plays dead straight for so long, when it finally attempts a few brief moments of the original's laughs, they fall as flat as the actors' bland performances.
It plods through the original plot pretty faithfully, and completely ignores the fact that the plot wasn't what made the original great. Demonic possession, the haunted cabin in the woods.....those were genre clichés in 1981, and they are more so 30 years later.
Without the spirited ability to make fun of itself......."The Evil Dead" becomes a shadow of its former self, and the few spots where the remake changes essential plot elements only serve to make this ever more of a wad of ABC gum, with about as much flavor.
The protagonists die in the exact order you'd expect them to, and it all comes across as oddly perfunctory, with buckets of bile and a demon with a voice stolen straight from "The Exorcist" part of just another day at the office.
Additionally, for a $14,000,000 film, it's appallingly sloppy in a way that could easily been avoided with that much production budget. I can forgive a $1.50 and a shoestring film for plot holes, continuity errors and characters that are lifeless long before their on screen deaths. When it's a glossy Hollywood production the fact that all of the above happen often isn't homage.....it's just careless and lazy.
The few traditional special effects are ridiculously cheap and poorly done, and were clearly afterthoughts tossed in after the CGI budget line item ran out. Objects are broken, tossed aside or set on fire....only to necromance back to their original state a few frames later.
The modern "Evil Dead" committed the cardinal sin of a horror film. It was utterly boring.
No one at my screening squealed, laughed or got grossed out by the added ultra violence.....we all just munched on our popcorn and let out a collective "meh" as the end credits rolled.
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