Hi, Bryan Here….
My name is Bryan Kluger and I’m an ‘Evil Dead-aholic’. One of my life defining moments in film was the very first time I saw ‘Army of Darkness‘. It was on VHS right when it was released on home video in the early 90s. It blew my fragile mind. I never knew a film could exist that had everything I ever wanted in a movie in the span of 90 minutes. It had thrills, monsters, demons, romance, comedy, action, a boomstick and a chainsaw. What else could someone want? I had to find out everything I could about this movie and soon figured out there were two film that proceeded it. Those films were ‘The Evil Dead‘ and ‘The Evil Dead II‘.
Seeing a college filmmaker, Sam Raimi, make an intense horror film with his friends inspired me to goto school for film. And when he even got the chance to remake his own movie that put his name on the radar, he didn’t let anyone down. In fact a lot of people would argue that ‘Evil Dead II‘ is better than the first one, a very rare occurrence in the world of cinema. Needless to say that over the years, Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, and the ‘Evil Dead‘ films became household names and were talked about on a daily basis with friends and family. My house still to this day is covered in posters, books, statues, comics, and props from the ‘Evil Dead‘ franchise of films.
Over the years, I have had the opportunity to meet Bruce Campbell on several occasions and have talked with him a great deal on his life and career. No matter what he said, Campbell always re-assured me and everyone else that there will not be another ‘Evil Dead‘ film, so don’t even ask. This has been the case since the mid 90s, that is until the past couple of years, where us unique group of ‘Evil Dead‘ fans had are wishes come true, and everything seemed to burn a little brighter and I know we all in unison said ‘Groovy’ when we heard that Raimi, Campbell, and Rob Tapert would be remaking the ultimate horror film that started their careers.
Much like the rest of you, I followed along and reported the up-to-news as I got it in on everything having to do with this remake, and I have to say, that I was apprehensive to a lot of it. Having newcomer director Fede Alvarez fill the might shoes of Raimi, and not having Bruce Campbell reprise his role of Ash, or even having an Ash character had me scared and annoyed that this glorious remake that I have wanted for so long was going down the tubes. And the fact that Campbell, Raimi, and Tapert were only producing the flick had me even more worried as they might not be on set every day to make sure things were running smoothly. Luckily, after a little production time had passed, we reported that the trio was very hands on in every aspect of production. Then came that infamous scary trailer and after viewing, my mind was at ease as all my worries disappeared and I knew we were going to get the ‘Evil Dead‘ we deserved, even if it didn’t have Bruce Campbell as Ash.
‘Evil Dead‘ is scary as hell.
Alvarez with the help of Raimi conjured up a spectacular remake that would make the original proud. There are tons of homages and throwbacks to the original two movies and enough of the same story line to know what is to happen next, however, this remake has a few curve balls that it will throw in your direction, along with enough blood and guts to make Peter Jackson squirm.
As in the original film, we focus on a group of 20 somethings who journey off to a remote cabin in the woods. However this time, it’s not for a fun vacation. Instead, the group of friends are here for a girl named Mia (Jane Levy) who has a serious drug habit who they are planning a detox and intervention. Her group of friends have even enlisted the help of her brother David (Shiloh Fernandez), who has been off for the past few years doing his own thing and not once thought to call his sister or his friends. Something doesn’t smell right though, and soon enough someone finds the book of the dead and even though the book is wrapped in plastic with barbed wire, and in the pages it says DO NOT READ, the passages are read and all hell breaks loose and there is sure to be some swallowed souls.
Fede Alvarez will be a household name soon. He packed enough confidence in taking the reins of this iconic fan favorite and made it his own. In return, we get a no-holds barred gore fest that has great acting, plenty of genuine scares, and a treasure trove of scenes that will have you covering your eyes in horror. Alvarez keeps the tone close to the first film in that it is serious with no silly gags that will make you laugh. If you indeed do laugh during this remake, it will only be the nervous kind of laughter, not because something was funny.
There is no CG blood in this remake. Raimi, Tapert, and Campbell made sure to secure a generous budget and decent shooting schedule to create the perfect atmosphere for real effects using gallons upon gallons of real-fake blood. The result is very satisfying as us as an audience can always tell the CG blood from the real blood, and somehow I always feel slighted and taken away from the film because of this. As if it didn’t happen and the actors didn’t get dirty or hurt in any way. That’s not the case here. There are plenty of flesh cutting scenes that involve tongues, eyes, and other various limbs that will make you scream out in the theater for it to stop.
The acting was surprisingly very good this time around. Yes, I know, Bruce ‘man-god’ Campbell is the greatest thing in the world, but he wasn’t the best actor back in the 80s. Here, we have relatively new actors who all turn in very solid performances and are very believable as each one of them meets a gruesome and violent death. The cream of the crop here is Jane Levy, who seriously terrified me to no end. She plays a cool enough girl who has some problems, but is always very charmin. However, when things take a turn for the worst for her and she turns into a deadite, her voice and body language will haunt my nightmares for quite some time.
From cutting off your own hand, to a nail gun, to it literally raining blood from the sky, ‘Evil Dead‘ is a very satisfying and fun experience at the theater. An experience you don’t want to be alone at, but rather view the film with friends. I’m sure you will all pick up on all the ‘head nods’ to the original film throughout the entire film. And when you’re not on the edge of your seat and covering your eyes from the pure and unadulterated horror that is on the screen, you will find yourself clapping at moments when someone sees a chainsaw or reloads a boomstick.
‘Evil Dead‘ is some of the most fun I have had at the theater in a long time and I can’t wait to see it again. And don’t forget to stay in your seat till after the final credits roll, as you will be treated to something very special.
– Bryan Kluger