When it was announced that there would be an Evil Dead reboot I lost my mind. There’s no franchise as timeless and perfect as the Evil Dead Trilogy. I was so upset I refused to even read anything about the pre-production, production, or release. I completely missed that Sam Raimi had come onboard as producer along with Bruce Campbell. I assumed that the film would be a crappy Platinum Dunes-esque reboot with Michael Bay’s finger prints all over it.
Flash forward to a week before the release of the film, Wondercon attendees were buzzing about a potential Evil Dead/Army of Darkness crossover film. I was completely thrown off.
Was this ‘Evil Dead’ film in continuity with The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness?
Turns out: Yes.
After I learned this tidbit I become a little more forgiving and even considered seeing the film.
Then, after talking with a friend about it, I learned one more tidbit that completely one me over. I went out and watched the film that night.
Tonally speaking Evil Dead couldn’t be more dissimilar from its predecessors. The film centers around a group of friends who are all attempting to assist a heroin addict in kicking her addiction. This is a beautifully simplistic explanation for why our groups of heroes are in the cabin in the middle of nowhere and why they are initially reticent to abandon it.
The scenes where the female lead is consumed by demonic possession and all of her friends thinks she’s just going through withdraws are the most successful of the film.
The film also places a massive amount of emphasis on gore. Not horror, not atmosphere, but gore. It’s completely about the torture porn aspect of seeing a human being undergo tremendous amounts of trauma. That, usually doesn’t do anything whatsoever for me. But this time I could see it’s value, due to the amazing implementation of practical effects.
In one of the scenes someone licks a razorblade, splitting her tongue in half. I honestly couldn’t tell you how that effect was achieved. I have no clue. None. Zip. Zilch.
Evil Dead has some serious flaws. They set up multiple elements that are never dealt with again. Almost distractingly so. The film’s characters are borderline brain-dead, and there’s just plain old too much torture.
That all being said, I liked it. I went into this thing with rock bottom expectations, and a serious distaste for the psudeo-reboot, and left mildly surprised and kinda pleased.
The tidbit that my fellow film-goer clued me into really was the crowning jewel of the film. Without it I’m not sure I’d be writing this review in the way that it am. The post credit sequence that I’m referring to makes the entire film worthwhile, for me. Some might disagree. But I really loved it.