Modern horror suffers from a lack of innovation. Too much computer graphic coat the screen and place the actors so far out of harms way you might as well be watching cartoons. Enter the remake of the Sam Raimi classic Evil Dead. While this movie fails at giving the audience anything new or a compelling story, it succeeds at bringing beautiful special effects and haunting tension to the screen.
We go to the cabin in the woods with estranged siblings David and Mia as well as their three friends. The five seclude themselves so that Mia can get off the drugs. Not too soon after, the friend stuck in the 70s reads from the book of evil and all hell breaks loose. The rest of the movie crosses between possession and torture porn, violently hacking away at the cast until only few remain.
Despite a great range of comedy and horror in this franchise, this movie sticks pretty close to the original as a horror film much to its detriment. Originality is thrown out the window with one big exception and we are taken on a ride that is so old and tired the tracks are starting to wear thin. The evil taunts the scared people and they freak out and yell at each other and then die. One by one the wander off and are turned, coming back to the group to give terrible dialogue a shot.
I do not fault the cast for this lackluster attempt at “story,” either. Each of them acts their hearts out and give believable performances despite the stilted dialog and forgettable character building. In fact, I would say that body language alone is how one interprets most of the actions in this movie.
That being said, when the characters do go off on their own for whatever dumbass reason and the door closes behind them... The special effects people were let off the chain on this one. In every way over the top and subtle, the effect in this movie are awesome. Except the CGI fire. But the make up, the practical effects, the sound... oh god the sound had me cringing more often than the visuals. Who ever did the sounds for that bathroom scene.... Somebody deserves a steak for that one because when that guy goes in and you just hear the sound that is happening and you know that that is exactly what that would sound like... I am shuddering now, two hours later. Bravo to the foley and sound design especially, but the practical guys, too. I felt like a kid again hiding behind the couch watching some of this.
Coupled with the effects, I have to give mention to the pacing. When the action ramps up and the creepy needs to slow down to get creepy, there are some haunting scenes here (I call back the bathroom scene again). Chases, hiding, and brutal fights punctuate this rather bland story with wonderful ease. The editor of this movie should also be dining on a steak.
I might have been nicer to this movie if Cabin in the Woods had not shown me a much better plot and characters last year. But I cannot fault the filmmakers for this. They were not out to make a horror classic; they were out to make money. And that is okay. But here’s the thing... nobody told the people who actually made this movie that. Everyone who worked on it seems to have taken what they were given and had a blast with it and for that I salute them.But this is still a mediocre movie. Go see it at a matinee or wait for it to be streaming and watch it with a group of like-minded friends who like to hoot and holler at the screen. You will have more fun that way.