Let me come out and make one thing clear right off the bat; I’m an undying and sometimes irrational horror fan with an appetite for little else. My family and friends have never masked disappointment or confusion when they hear that I almost walked out of Skyfall or came close to going solo to an opening night viewing of Mama because my fellow horror-loving friends were busy.
The horror genre — for reasons truly unbeknownst to me — generally gets a terrible rap by the film community despite turning out some of the most independent and emotionally enticing cinema on the market. Can The Collector hold serve against The Avengers? Yes, absolutely, but that’s an uphill battle for another day. Today, I’m going to temper my radical movie opinions and attempt to tap into my extensive background on scary movies to breakdown an upcoming release that has the potential to give nightmares to even the most battle-scarred horror fan.
Evil Dead may sound familiar to horror veterans, as it is the remake of the 1981 cult thriller of the same name. The word “remake” is often the bane of well-produced movies, but one of the main reasons that the new installation has critics buzzing is the inclusion of staff from the first movie to help improve the transition to the second. Former stars Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell as well as original producer Rob Tapert were brought in to produce the remake and actually were allowed to hand-pick director Fede Alvarez, all but guaranteeing that the movie will at least live up to the hype for nostalgic fans. However, the original movie did receive a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so perhaps duplicating perfection is a bit optimistic.
The reasons for optimism far outweigh the negative possibilities when you take a closer look at how the movie seems to be shaping up heading into the April 5th release. The plot of the movie cuts out some annoying loopholes that can leave a good supernatural scream show bogged down in predictable cliché. The movie starts with five friends journeying out into the woods to escape the pressure of society and provide some informal therapy for one member of the group who is recovering from a heroin addiction. Thankfully, the story line veers off the main roads as well after the group inadvertently summons a group of demons from the surrounding woods that possess the physical beings of four friends and leave only one protagonist to fend for herself against the evil within her friends. Not having to spend time watching idiotic bravados and oblivious hope manifest itself in the form of useless side characters will take time from the usual “pick them off one by one” opening sequence and properly allocate it towards the bone-chilling reality of having to kill a group of your closest friends amped up on demonic energy to win the day. The tagline for the movie is simple; “The Most Terrifying Film You Will Ever Experience” Alvarez and the rest of the team are promising a well-rounded story infused with blood, gore, and terrifying realities ala The Exorcist. The team has emphasized that the movie will evade trying to jump out at audiences with a variety of standalone cheap scares; which ideally means that the tension won’t cease to build until the closing credits roll.
I’m definitely not enough of a movie snob to disregard the eye test, and the green band trailer released in January had me glued to the screen craving more information. The makeup and effects appear to be outstanding, which pales in importance to the necessity of a well contrived antagonist, which Evil Dead appears to have in spades. If you didn’t agree with that last statement, then please take a quick break and watch from 1:50 on again, and pay attention. Those three seconds already have me eagerly fearing the arrival of that pale, orange eyed monster child. Anyone who doesn’t agree simply cannot be on board with horror film industry of the 21st century.
There are tons of other smaller details that serve to bolster Evil Dead’s reputation, and I suppose that I’ll name a few for anyone who still might be on the fence about buying a ticket. The producers hold full ownership of the movie and therefore have full say in how the movie is developed. For those that enjoy blood and gore, over 50,000 gallons of fake blood were brought in for one scene alone where blood literally rains down from the sky. The release date of the movie was originally slated for April 12th but was moved up one week due to “popular demand”. The producers weren’t afraid to make the movie as hardcore as they could and ended up garnering an NC-17 initial rating, which of course will only force the most subtle of clean up efforts to slip into theaters. The point stands; if you love horror, Evil Dead looks like it could rank as one of the great ones. As this completely spontaneous movie saying goes; April blood showers bring great scares for hours.