(A FEW MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD)
I have no problems with horror remakes. Sure it’s annoying about the lack of originality, and yeah they’ve been really mining it over the last few years, from the terrible The Omen remake to the forgettable Friday the 13th (I mean literally forgettable, I’ve seen it but I can’t remember a thing about it. Maybe something about Jason Vorhees being a dope dealer. Really? That doesn’t make any sense, I must be thinking of something else). But there’s been a few good ones too, The Hills Have Eyes was arguably better than the original, and we’ve got the Suspiria remake to look forward too. I am kiddding! A remake of Suspiria by the maker of Your Highness? Just don’t.
So here we are with the Evil Dead in 2013. I love the 1981 version as much as the next man but it’s really rough and ready, and other than Ash, the characters are pretty flat. However it has a hell of a lot of energy with an attitude and ambition that defies it’s meagre budget. It’s not the comedy horror the later films became, it has a really nasty, hard edge and it’s this mood that the remake captures.
Keeping CG gore to a minimum we chug through the characters as they rip, cut and tear themselves and each other into possessed pieces. There is a huge amount of gore on show here, a friend who I saw it with pretty much watched the cinema floor after about half an hour in, I think I heard her weeping occasionally. It is incredibly violent, and by the time we get the heroine tearing off her own hand while blood rain pours down on her, you have to admit that the film makers really went for it, capturing that grim excitement that made the original so much fun.
Also like the original however, the characters are mostly a bit dull. The main man, the kind of but not really new Ash, is pretty bland, and his best mate has such an unconvincing beard that every time he’s on screen i found myself looking for the hair glue. The one saving grace from this lot though is Jane Levy as Mia, who gives the kind of ballsy, I’ll-do-anything-to-humiliate-myself-for-the-sake-of-the-character performance I can get behind. She has the most, well maybe not character development, but the most to do and she totally pulls it off. And her hand…
Evid Dead in the twenty tens ultimately has a lovely old school, gore soaked feel. Like the orignal it’s not perfect, but also like the original it has a sense of fun in amoungst all the severings and beheadings, something missing in a lot of the remakes recently. Like the Nightmare on Elm Street remake. Have you seen that? Flippin’ heck, let’s not even go there.