Here at Behind the Thrills, we love us some Theme Parks. No doubt about it. However, there is a great big world out there, and sometimes we need to take a step out of the parks and look at something else. Join us as we take a look outside of the world of theme parks and into the world of movies, music, television, hotels…pretty much anything else we happen to stumble across.
However whatever we look at will have some relation to the theme park world, granted not directly…but in a round about sort of way.
So join us now as we lift up the harnesses, put down our cup of Butterbeer and take a walk…Offsite.
This week’s Offsite Adventure-Evil Dead 2013
Remakes. Who needs them, right? They usually don’t get the original film right, and it’s nothing but a cash grab designed to pull in people who are nostalgic with the name. Usually when a studio remakes a film, they start from scratch with the same characters, same location and same everything. They always amp up whatever it was that made the film popular, and they never rely on old style effects to push the film over the top.
The new Evil Dead takes that theory, and those laws of remakes and pukes buckets of chunky blood filled vomit all over it. First of all, the film isn’t a remake…well it is…but…it’s not….
Before I go any further…keep in mind that this film is very hard core R. This write up will dive into some of that and use language that you may not like. If that makes your blood boil…then stop reading now. There will also be some spoilers. I will try to skip on those as much as possible…but again…kind of hard..so leave now.
The film opens with some pretty horrific stuff. We see some backwoods hillbilly type people tying a girl up, and doing very bad things to her. Her dad then comes in and burns her alive, all according to a book. The girl starts talking in different voices and is clearly very messed up. Fans of the original film may recognize this as the doctor and family from the first film. At least I’m pretty sure it is.
The film fast forwards a little while and we meet Mia, a heroin addict. She is here with friends, and brother. The cabin in which some pretty nasty things happened is their summer home. If they only knew. Mia is trying to kick the heroin, and her brother is there to help. The family has seen their fair share of bad…their mom went crazy, and dad is nowhere to be found. Brother David decided things were too tough, and bailed on Mia leaving her to deal with their mother’s death. It’s a kind of slow start.
Things happen as Mia is going through withdrawals and they discover the book. Of course they break the rules and read from the book…and the demons in the woods target Mia.
That’s where, as they say, shit gets real. Dismemberment, disfiguration of faces and body parts, and all matters of broken bones are done with practical effects. If you’re not sure what a practical effect is, that means that they don’t use computers to make all those gory effects come to life. If someone is slowly ripping an arm off, it’s being done for real…sort of. They are really ripping apart an arm…it’s fake, but it’s really being ripped off! The demons are after souls, and they use every trick in the book to get them.
Now, where does this leave the whole matter of “is this a remake, reboot, sequel”? Well..it’s kind of all of it. The filmmakers leave little bits and pieces of the original film in this one. Ash’s car is featured quite a lot. There’s the chainsaw, shotgun and the professor. The film features a different story with the same result, people go into the cabin-find the book-and die. It takes the same story, and puts new characters and reasoning in it-that makes it a sequel. It takes the same story and elements (even tree rape!) and updates them-that makes it a remake. It takes the new story and sort of meshes it with the old one-that makes it a reboot.
Bottom line is, it’s good. You have to first realize it’s not Evil Dead 4. There is no Ash…well almost…and there is no Army of Darkness. It’s not a comedy, it’s a hardcore horror. It has lots of blood, and I mean a lot of blood. On the other hand, it breaks all the “rules” of modern horror by having the characters do everything they aren’t supposed to do. They stay in the house where the nasty smell is coming from. They go down into the basement, and even stick around when they find some evil shit has taken place. They read from the book..I mean if you find a book wrapped in barbed wire, would you open it? The characters are sheep..that’s all they are, sheep readied for the slaughter. Get past that though, and you have a great work of horror.
There are some decent jump scares and some really uncomfortable moments of terror. It’s a fucked up demented story, and it really takes things to a new level for horror by dialing it back to the old school films. Practical effects are the way to do horror. CGI blood never looks good, and it takes the audience out of the world.
Oh, be sure to stay until the very last credit rolls…you’ll get a bit of tease and a cameo. Could it be for the sequel? Maybe…I don’t know for sure, but it is a fun tease. I won’t say exactly what it is, but I will say it’s…Groovy.
Now what about the after effects? The film is already greenlit for a sequel. Hopefully they do something unique with it, and they don’t go the route of Evil Dead 2 and completely remake it in a campy gut filled hullabaloo. Hopefully they hash out a very hardcore sequel that’s as serious as the first without going back to the cabin in a step for step rehash. How about finding Mia in the outside world, following the footsteps of her mother?
There are also talks of Army of Darkness 2…to that I say “Bring it”.
Now what about haunt season? Last year Knott’s Berry Farm Haunt did The Evil Dead as a boat ride. Okay…it plays. But no one really said how good or bad it was. Could Universal do an Evil Dead house at Halloween Horror Nights? That’s the issue…you get a really good horror film, and everyone wants it as a house. Somethings may not work too well…and this may be one of them. There would just be too much missing that makes the movie work…though I’m sure the gang at Universal Orlando could wrangle it together. The biggest problem becomes Six Flags…they seem to have a partnership with Sony Pictures, so it’s likely they could get the rights to an Evil Dead house..in which case they will screw it all up. Still, with a DVD release looming, it would make a great marketing tool for Universal or even Knott’s.
The film is now playing in theaters, and I highly recommend rushing out and seeing it…or I’ll swallow your soul!