The remake of Sam Raimi‘s first signature film is now open. After a long period of speculation about the possibility of a fourth Raimi Evil Dead film, or a remake by some other filmmaker, audiences have a chance to see what Fede Alvarez has done with Evil Dead. This remake has some ideas of its own, as it follows a group of young friends to a remote cabin where one plans to detox. But it also has a heavy reliance on Raimi’s set pieces, many of which are firmly entrenched as calling cards for his career.
Beginning with its premiere at SXSW there has been mixed reception to the remake — some love it for the over the top violence, while others (myself included) think that, yeah, the gore is good, but there’s not enough of a movie there. So weigh in on the conversation — let us know what you thought of Alvarez’s Evil Dead, and keep in mind that spoilers are fully encouraged in the comment thread below.
Before anything else, this film, like so many other horror remakes, begs the question of what audiences want out of remakes. While I’m not convinced that anyone really wants most of these films, once they’re heading toward screens an audience tends to appear. Do you want a faithful “beat by beat” remake, or one that uses the concept, but goes in a direction that is more inspired by the original than anything else? Or something in between?
Evil Dead is one of the “in between” movies. And that approach is part of why it faltered for me — while the versions of Raimi’s setpieces are well done from a technical standpoint, I could never see them as organic parts of their own movie. They only reminded me of Raimi. And while some of the original stuff is good, and definitely sets the movie out in the right direction at the start, there’s a lot of faltering steps in trying to fit the new ideas with the more faithful set piece visions.
Until the end of the movie, that is, when Evil Dead breaks out into something that is closer to an organic fusion of Raimi and Alvareaz’s ideas.
So what did you think? Is the gore all you need? Do you think Alvarez did a better job blending old and new ideas than I think he did?