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Evil Dead (2013) review

posted Mar 29, 2013, 12:31 PM by Vu Nguyen   [ updated Mar 29, 2013, 12:56 PM ]
I have just seen an advance screening of the Evil Dead movie. The movie is officially release to the public next week, April 5, 2013. Although at the time of screening, the film has yet to get a rating from the MPA, but I can tell you it is a hard-R, for sure.

There's a lot of confusion about the film. I thought it was a remake of the original classic, but after seeing the film - I can tell you that it is not a remake. The setting and tone of the movie seems to be a distant sequel to the original The Evil Dead from 1981 and ignored anything from Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness. This is a new generation of kids going into a cabin in the woods. So read: No Ash. Nothing related to the original film, outside of Sam Raimi's car (this car is in all of Raimi's films, including The Quick and the Dead), the cabin, and the book of the dead. To me, this is Evil Dead 4.

If you keep that in mind, I think you're in for a great bloody ride.

The story is quite simple, with five kids going into the woods to help Mia kick her drug habit. They tried to over complicate the story by introducing the movie with the previous family's fight against the demon. It's better to keep the mystery of the dead animals and burnt offerings. We didn't need to know what happened at the cabin previously, and to be honest, I didn't think anyone in the audience cared for the intro… they should have just started the film with the kids' car driving on the road to the cabin.

I think maybe the film producer wanted to start the movie with something graphic and horrible to pace the film, because the first introduction to all the characters - it was just very slow. Dialogue wasn't that great, Diablo Cody was the person that wrote all the dialogue (because the director Fede Alvarez's first language was not English), so it does have that underlying (unintentional?) humor to them. For instance, when David was shot, Natalie offers to get tweezers from her purse.

I had other problems with the film. Duct tape apparently fixes everything. Characters are just stupid, yet some characters had amazing supernatural knowledge (David knew "who did it" when he finds "grandpaws", or Eric can read/understand/pronounce ancient alphabet unseen by the modern world since before time!). Teleporting baddies (remember when slow-moving Jason from Friday the 13th would magically appear in front of the girl, despite the fact that he barely walks at half an inch a minute?)

You know what? I don't think all that stuff really matter. This is a great film, honoring its gorey 70s/80s heritage, but keeping it modern with inventive usages of car batteries, nail guns, and meat carvers.

Everyone in the film is nicked in one way or another. How these characters keep going, despite various cuts, stabbing, shot, broken, bit, needled, etc., is just amazing.

If you enjoy this type of graphic horror, I think you'll enjoy the film for what it is. I like this stuff, but unfortunately I'm in a small niche, normal film goers will be shocked at how disgusting it is. It's not a film that kids should watch, particularly the infamous "tree raping" scene (which appeared in the original 1981 classic).

Since this is a music website, I wanted to quickly mention that the soundtrack by Roque Baños will be available April 9th (in two weeks) from La-La Land Records. The release is available digitally and also as a deluxe CD edition (however the physical disc won't be available to retailers until May 7th). I did note that the soundtrack is used a lot in the film, "sweeping" sound at the tender moments to operatic/gothic (similar to Hellraiser's soundtrack) at the closing of the picture.

Check out Evil Dead, opening in all major theaters next Friday.

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