In 1981 first time director Sam Raimi made a low-budget horror film called “The Evil Dead.” The inventive and shocking film became a genre classic as well as a massive financial success. And like all old, successful horror properties a remake was inevitable, its new red band trailer available at left. Produced and co-written by Raimi, the new “Evil Dead” is helmed by first time feature director Fede Alvarez focuses on a group of four vacationing young people who unwittingly unleash an ancient horror unto our world. As with most horror remakes the film looks quite atrocious.
In addition to being an unnecessary remake of a classic film, this new film is made even more superfluous because Raimi already made a remake with 1987’s excellent “Evil Dead II.” But setting aside the dubious prospect of rehashing a film that was successful largely because of its novelty, this new “Evil Dead” looks thoroughly generic and uninspiring, like a moderately proficient pop punk band doing a London Calling tribute album. All the familiar notes are there – gallons of blood, saw aided self-mutilation and tree violation – but with an unwelcome modern sheen. The original film used its low-budget to its advantage by giving its stop motion horrors an unsettling reality. The remake looks like standard issue splatterpunk Netflix filler with a slightly higher budget.
If Raimi was producing an original from Alvarez, or directing a new throwback horror film himself a la 2009’s ‘Drag Me to Hell” or if the scorched earth deconstruction horror film “The Cabin in the Woods” wasn’t a big hit last year, then this film would stir up some interest. As it as, the release of this a new “Evil Dead” movie makes me want to turn log off Twitter and watch a Raimi marathon.
“Evil Dead”, starring Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, and Lou Taylor Pucci, comes to Cleveland area theaters on April 12, 2013.
Mario McKellop has written about film on Examiner for the last three years and can be reached directly at email@example.com