It's been a week since me and Jenn went to see the new Evil Dead, and I held off posting my reactions so that I had time to let the film sink in. The biggest concern was all of the hype surrounding it. In today's social media-driven geek culture, you're not only caught up in your own excitement of a much-anticipated movie, but that of everyone else, and it can be easy to get caught up in all the reactions to it, be it positive or negative. There's a danger in getting pumped up for a film when friends who have seen it before you say it's great, because you could very well not like it and feel totally gypped. Also, negative reactions- if you let them- can have you second-guessing your initial thoughts after you've seen it. In addition, I have had instances where I've walked out after a film- of any genre- wanting to love it, because of certain aspects, but the underwhelmed feeling I got with the whole experience becomes harder and harder to ignore, and I begin to think less and less of the movie.
Sounds like a lot of work just to come to a conclusion about a film, doesn't it? Eh, such as the times we live in. However, this week I learned the best thing to do is let your gut reaction take the lead and stick with where it takes you. Besides, no one should ever have to "defend" a movie. It makes you sound like you're apologizing for liking something, and that's fucking ridiculous. It's hard enough with society giving us grief for liking horror movies so much. Why should we have to put up with that from our own?
Did I like Evil Dead? Yes, quite bit. Can you handle that? Right, like I'm going to judge if you hated it? I won't give a formal review of the film, because I'm done doing that. I'm not a professional critic, nor did I major in journalism. It was interesting activity, but I'm not going to bullshit you or myself. I can't look at films as objectively as I thought I could. All I can do is share, and that enough satisfaction for me.
Overall, I had a really good time watching Evil Dead. From where I stand, it was a fun picture. Now, I've read a few people lament that it wasn't, or that that element was "sorely missed" from this version. I'll admit I was a little put off by the demons being more Exorcist than Evil Dead. Instead of being mischievous, they were downright vicious. However, the delighted feeling I got with the whole experience became harder and harder to ignore, and I started to like the movie more and more.
Let's be honest, if you went into the remake expecting a movie in line with Evil Dead 2 or Army of Darkness, well then of course you're going to be disappointed. Remember, 1981's The Evil Dead was intended to be a "serious" horror film, and I suppose- I can only guess, because I was too young to know- that's how audiences saw it back then. It's only after the sequels and the passage of time that we view the original film having a certain amount of glee along with all the gore. Evil Dead 2013 goes back to the basics of that original movie: five kids go up to a cabin in the woods, the book is read, gross shit goes down. The remake may not have the humor found Raimi's film, but it doesn't have the oppressive anguish commonplace in today's scary movies, either. Instead, director Fede Alvarez simply kept the pace brisk and concentrated on being outrageously gory, utilizing a more thought-out set-up than a bunch of douches and bimbos looking to get loaded and laid.
I know that's not going to be enough for those that hate it. "The set-up was stupid." "There's no logic to the characters." C'mon, it's Evil Dead! What were you expecting, The Seventh Seal?! The characters were underwritten? And the characters in the '81 film weren't? Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead is awesome, because he used his visual ingenuity to create a sense of terror. Alvarez used his own know-how to attempt the same thing, and it worked for me, too.
Hey, at least I didn't measure the remake's worth by comparing its box-office gross to the trilogy's.