I try not to post this news-y shit anymore around here. Between Dread Central, Shock Til You Drop and all those other horror news sites (do we really need THAT many?) there’s really no point. I suppose I could just copy and paste the press releases I get just like they do, but I’m all about the opinion, yo. I couldn’t really resist with this one, though. Evil Dead and me go back a ways. A pivotal moment in the evolution of my horror fandom came when one night my friend Mike and I rented Evil Deads 1 and 2 (also Day of the Dead) and this represented one of the first times I’d ever seen gore on a scale such as those pictures present. I’m having feelings, you see. This remake, because it’s another motherfucking remake, really gets under my skin even though I’m on the record having surrendered to the inevitability of remakes. So here. I’ll just post the shit and then down below I’ll drop science. Get it quick, this is not likely to be around for much longer.
I need to keep reminding myself that I can’t go too hard on this flick because of the two Evil Deads I greatly prefer the sequel and what’s ironic about that is that it’s a fucking remake. Yes. I prefer a remake. I also prefer the remake of The Thing. No, not that recent one which isn’t really a remake even though the trailer makes it look like one, I mean the Carpenter version which is a remake of the Howard Hawks movie, The Thing From Another World. So I’m not going to shit on this because it’s a remake. That would be fatuous. I’m going to take it at face value and shit on it because it’s shitty and deserves the scorn that I’m about to heap upon it.
See, even though the first Evil Dead is actually peddled as a straight-faced horror flick, it’s still pretty fun thanks to Sam Raimi’s developing film chops and his addiction to high-silliness. This is why its reputation endures. The sequel goes bonkers and this is why the perception is that the entire Evil Dead franchise is the Bruce Campbell show – being on a spectrum of over-the-top – but this trailer seems to shake all of that off. It has all the elements. The cabin. The book. Those low-angle running through the woods shots. The witch in the basement. The car. It has the evil spirits possessing people and it looks really gory, which is what they’ve been tantalizing nervous fans with all along. It has the endorsement of both Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi, which to me says nothing. I’ve read stuff that Stephen King has praised in pull quotes and still didn’t care for it. What about this trailer that gets under my skin is the tone of it all. This movie looks mean. The violence appears to be without irony, without that Raimi smirk. Yes, I realize that it’s not a Sam Raimi movie but you absolutely cannot take an icon of horror like Evil Dead and turn it into this gut churning festival of evisceration without winking at the audience. If what you wanted to make was a contemporary gore-filled horror flick, that’s fine, I’m sure you can go through the motions and drench your cast in blood among that typical body count movie with all the trimmings that horror fans have come to expect but when you take the premise and familiarity of Evil Dead and remove all the likable stuff, leaving only cruelty and violence, what you have is just another formulaic modern theatrical horror movie with a familiar name.
One final note, the script has a credit for Diablo Cody who tops my list of most hated writers in Hollywood. I loathe Juno and my review of Jennifer’s Body is most unkind to Ms. Cody. Even if this trailer appealed to me and didn’t set off all these alarms I’d still be extremely suspicious.
I know I probably stand alone on this. Horror fans, as a community, have become a desensitized lot these days. Those of us on the older end of the fan spectrum are viewed with contempt and are widely regarded as grumpy old motherfuckers. Meanwhile, the younger fans are paying for this shit and reveling in it because they don’t know any better since they’ve grown up with this bullshit. So hate away. Even people I know who should know better are all over Facebook with OMG! OMG! I CANT WAIT!!!!
I am disappoint.