Like most males of my generation, in my teen years I was pretty hype over Sam Raimi’s “Evil Dead” trilogy (“Evil Dead”, “Evil Dead 2″, “Army of Darkness”), starring the much-quotable Bruce Campbell as “Ash”, the everyman perpetually fending off ancient demons.
In a rare move for someone as immature as I am… I grew out of the movies. After the turn of the century, I’d occasionally look back at them, and just not feel the same rush of “This is awesome!” as I had just a few years prior.
That being said, when I did enjoy them, I considered “Evil Dead 2″ to be my favorite, if only because it was the most fun, the most well-done. “Army of Darkness” has its moments, but always felt a little over-produced, not as funny, and just generally lacking something.
Those aside, I considered the original, “Evil Dead”, to be the best of the three, story wise. Or rather, horror wise. It’s the only film in the trilogy that doesn’t opt for campy humor, and supremely-low budget gore effects notwithstanding, succeeds in rather exemplary moments of legit horror. Once the supernatural psychosis takes over, the film carries a tremendous sense of “anything can happen and be extremely disturbing in the process”. And lord knows things get randomly freaky.
In the subsequent 30 years after the release of 1981’s “Evil Dead”, speculation has run rampant as to whether or not Sam Raimi would himself, or allow someone else to, produce a remake of the film, with a far more substantial budget. A hair over three decades later, with Raimi and many original “Deadite” crew in co-productive tow instead of directorial, a new “Evil Dead” is on the way for next year.
And I don’t recall the last time I’ve been both excited and nauseated by a movie trailer.
The onset of the current red-band trailer gives an air of this being “just another haunted house movie” akin to the dozens we’ve seen in recent years. But instead of opting for found-footage and creepy-childrens-morphing-demonic-face mini-scares, 2013’s “Evil Dead” looks to opt for disturbing levels of possession and self-mutilating gore. More importantly, the film looks to keep to the original’s basic plot: Group of college-ish kids show up at a haunted cabin, one of them accidentally unleashes powerful demons, and things get progressively worse for everyone. No apologies, no beating around the bush, just HORROR in the purest and scariest sense of the word. Earlier I alluded to the appeal of remaking “Evil Dead” partially lying in the upping of its effects budget. To say the least, it appears they’ve taken that ball and ran with it… straight into the haunted woods. And I’m not far behind.
Some may lament the absence of a Bruce Campbell-feuled quote-machine of a black-humor hero. But before anybody starts whining over why Zack Galifianakis wasn’t cast as the new “Ash”, they should remember that it was the sequels to “Evil Dead” that went the comedic route. The original film was straight horror, and I couldn’t be more pleased to see that the remake is following suit.
Blood-soaked, demonic suit.