Alright, we can whine and gripe about remakes and reboots in horror all we want, (rightfully) blaming them for a lack of original content the genre so desperately needs – but they aren’t going away. Studios are more focused on the big bucks, and revamping a familiar face is an exponentially safer bet than throwing big budget values at an ambitious director willing to try something new and unique. Not only does this put a chokehold on content, but it forces these talented newcomers to go the independent route and produce their idea for much less money, cutting back on the quality that could have been in terms of locations, special effects, costumes, CGI – the list goes on.
But while most recycled franchises are immediately met with rolling eyes, one upcoming reboot has shocked doubters (me included) time and time again with a devilishly tantalizing marketing campaign, building blind faith in me to the point that I’m actually excited for it’s April release. How? Why? It’s a remake – just see the last Friday The 13th, A Nightmare On Elm Street, The Fog, etcetera. Can I really be THAT excited for yet another director bringing his ideas to an already established franchise?
Yes, yes I f#cking can be at this point.
The movie in question is Fede Alvarez’s “remake” of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead, already my most anticipated horror film of the year. Yes, not just most anticipated remake, but most anticipated genre movie of the entire year. So why do I think Alvarez is holding the golden ticket to remake heaven on this one? How is Evil Dead trumping films like Insidious Chapter 2, The Conjuring, and You’re Next in terms if 2013 hype? I’ve seen all I need to see, and it’s time I impart my wisdom to the masses.Next
Bruce Campbell And Sam Raimi Are Stoked
It’s so important with these projects to retain some type of connection with the visionary genius behind the original, and having the two masterminds that built Evil Dead keeping watchful eyes as producers instantaneously adds a level of comfort. The last thing these two want is a dud of a remake that soils the name of their original brainchild, and so far the duo have been nothing short of adoring of the material they’ve seen.
Now take that with a grain of salt though, because what are they supposed to say? Tobe Hooper called Texas Chainsaw 3D the perfect follow up to his original film, raving about Leatherface’s rebirth, but the 2013 sequel turned out to be an early contender for worst horror film of the year. What’s to say Raimi and Campbell aren’t blowing the same smoke up people’s asses?
Simple - Evil Dead made these two. The cult following is huge behind their Dead franchise, and these two know how fans would react if given a tarnished entry. Plus if done right, a whole new generation of viewers can be introduced to their original films, getting younger viewers hooked if Fede Alvarez really lives up to their hype. There’s too much on the line for these two, but like I said, there has been nothing but unmitigated excitement spilling out of the previous creators when asked for production updates on Alvarez’s Evil Dead. I trust the insane judgement of these two, so specifically twisted and tied to obscurity, which only means they’ll be the hardest judges of all. So far, so good Fede.
Here’s just an example of what Bruce has to say about the film during an interview with Digital Spy:
We’re really excited and really behind it, [but] it’s going to take a bit to get the Evil Dead fans behind it,” he said. “We know we’ve pissed a lot of them off. We appreciate that and we appreciate their anger and their zeal, but the only thing we want to impress upon them is that we didn’t screw it up. This is going to be just as memorable as [the original] Evil Dead without being the same movie.
Bloody Disgusting Visited The Set, And Their Reports Are Inspiring
I’m an avid reader of the horror site Bloody Disgusting, and their own Evan Dickson got to spend two days on set in New Zealand last summer taking in every blood-soaked moment. A true treat for Dickson himself no doubt, but his articles describing his visit so far have done nothing but create more excitement.
From his 10 Facts About The New Evil Dead article to his two set visit reports (one and two), Evan Dickson has been steadfastly assuring us we still don’t know jack shit about Fede Alvarez’s film. I myself questioned whether unleashing the floodgates of marketing would spoil too many wonderful surprises about the film, be it the most violent Red Band trailer I’ve ever seen or the chilling theatrical trailer, but Dickson’s most import fact reads as so:
There’s still so much you haven’t seen. I’m truly excited to see how it plays out onscreen myself.
Echoing the same message in both press releases, I believe that Evil Dead still has an abundance of aces up its sleeve, but hearing Dickson hammer this point home over and over again feels oh so good. Sure, there are other moments that make us horror fans feel warm and fuzzy like FilmDistrict asking for the “hardest R-rating” possible from production and the apparent use of almost no CGI (which I’ll tackle shortly), but Dickson’s first hand accounts hold much more weight than a studio trying to keep people happy with quick answers.
For the record, I believe what Dickson is saying and in no way think he’s just pushing an agenda, so I encourage haters to check out any of the articles above. I dare you to not be more excited about the project after reading even one.Previous Next
No CGI Usage
Well, OK, we’ll be realistic and say minimal CGI usage, but still, that a pretty f*cking awesome move by director Fede Alvarez. When done right, CGI can look stunning, but turning to practical effects in horror is always the way to go. I mean just look at the picture above! Alvarez and his team of deviants wanted to bring the most realistic gore and carnage to their re-imagining, and with so many reports gushing over how disturbing this Evil Dead remake will be, I can’t wait to see how all these tricks turn out. In the trailer alone we have talking severed heads, splitting tongues, blood vomit, limb removal, mutilation – and apparently we haven’t even seen the half of it?
When speaking to his decision of minimal CGI, Alvarez confessed to reading up on as much magic as he could in order to pull some shots off. Yes, I’m not kidding, magic. Pure, gross, disgusting, vile, Hollywood magic. Why does this make me excited? Think back to your childhood innocence, watching some man make a dove disappear or pull a rabbit out of his ass – now imagine having that feeling during a horror movie. I’m salivating at the unadulterated wonderment possible when watching the horror unfold on screen, knowing that smoke and mirrors somehow created what I just saw – not some dude sitting in front of a computer clicking buttons.
This decision is nothing but good old-fashioned throwback horror, depicting flamboyantly fun over-the-top gore. Think back to the 80s, one of the best ages in horror – wouldn’t it be nice to return there for a few hours?Previous Next
It’s A Re-Imaging, Not A Remake
This is the most important part for me actually. All the pro Evil Dead talk and prospects of insanity are great, but it’s the best knowing so much of the original has been altered in some way to bring a completely different film experience together – not just a flashier updated version of the original. From little things like changing the name and look of the Necronomicon to not even having a main character named Ash, Fede Alvarez is working tremendously hard to bring audiences a completely new experience while still staying spiritually connected to the original Evil Dead.
Raimi himself has admitted his film is an absolute cult classic (a full fledged horror classic in my eyes), but theatrically it lacks certain professionalism found in bigger budget horror movies. Sam himself wanted to see this remake done to create something bigger, better, faster, and stronger with the latest Hollywood advances the original film’s budget just wouldn’t allow. Raimi created something darkly comedic and gleefully over-the-top, and it works well with the smaller budget, but Alvarez is taking his Evil Dead scarier and more seedy places, again focusing on a brand new experience. Take a look at any of the new material and you’ll know exactly what I’m saying – and I love every freaking second of it. In the trailer alone, I totally dig the brilliantly creep-tacilar moment of watching one of the converted Deadites pop her head out of the locked basement hatch door to expose the visual make-up work which paints an undeniably more horrific type of Deadite than Raimi opted for.
When you remake something like Friday the 13th, directors never care to change the established atmosphere. Kudos to Fede Alvarez for paying homage to Sam Raimi by doing his own creative take on the established material – not just shooting a scene by scene rehash.Previous Next
Did I Mention The Gore? AND A NC-17 RATING?!
I know I mentioned Fede Alvarez wants to boast a gorier film this time around, and if any reports and trailers are to be believed – we’re in for a disgustingly blood-drenched treat.
Before I get to any stats which promote this logic, let me just ask – have you seen the Red Band trailer yet? Aren’t your own eyes trustworthy enough sources to convince you Alvarez isn’t f*cking around?! I’ve already stated this, but the Red Band trailer for Evil Dead is hands down the most graphic display of brutality and bodily fluids I’ve ever seen used as marketing material – and there’s more where that came from apparently. Are you kidding? I’m terrified to imagine just what the hell is really awaiting us.
But if you’re still wishy washy on this note, how about this fun fact – Fede Alvarez used 50,000 gallons of blood in one day. Yes, in a film that only has 5 real main characters, 50,000 gallons of blood were squirted out in one day. Are. You. Kidding? Piranha 3D, praised for their abundant use of fake blood, used 80,000 gallons to color Lake Victoria and received a lot of credit for the lavish act.
Ha! It only took Evil Dead one day to blow past Piranha 3D‘s halfway point. Oh yeah, I cannot wait to see how this blood is put to good use.
Actress Jane Levy can attest to the gross-out tactics our new remake will have, having this to say about a particularly nasty scene she participates in:
At one point I vomit all over somebody. A lot of vomit. Like, a sh*t-ton of fluid. I had a tube practically down my throat, and I’m on top of this girl and vomiting all over her. When you actually do something like that – I don’t think I can actually describe the sensation – but I actually went to the corner and cried. I’m really sensitive. But I felt like I was really drowning my friend Jessica, it felt so bad. I was shaking.
Oh yeah, and Alvarez was given a NC-17 rating his first time with the ratings board:
@WoozyTribe Was proud of scoring a NC17 when submitted! But we had to cut stuff out to get an R and get the film into theaters.
— Fede Alvarez (@fedalvar) January 28, 2013
Bring it on, I only hope to somehow stomach it.Previous Next
Nostalgia For The Old-School Fans
Having a brand new vision and feel for a remake is great and all, but nothing gets a real fan excited like a clever reference to the source material without recreating scenes verbatim. Finding fun little Easter eggs creatively hidden throughout a film makes the whole experience more memorable for audience members fond of whatever original work is being re-done, and allows for a nostalgic trip back in time which could even solidify a connection that immediately cheers a viewer up if said person isn’t totally digging the new adaptation. I don’t mean that as in I predict Evil Dead will have to distract viewers with memories of better times, quite the opposite actually, but I’m just stressing how enjoyable these moments can be for audience members.
For example, notice the car in the above snapshot? That, my friends, is a perfect throwback to Evil Dead, finding a clever way to incorporate Sam Raimi’s trademark car cameo (his first car, a 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 dubbed “The Classic”) without doing something cheap like having a character just drive it on set. Could the dilapidated and weathered vehicle be a message to fans from Alvarez, saying he’s going to make Raimi’s film seem like a relic? Good luck kid, I hope you do deliver the goods and bring meaning to a shot that could be nothing but a blast from the past. Still cool none the less!
According to multiple sources, fans are going to love all the references and parts kept in – like the classic forest demon POV shots made famous by Evil Dead. Am I the only fan who believes this is going to be a best of both worlds (old/new) effort from Alvarez?Previous Next
Fede Alvarez, Please Don’t Break My Heart
Even with all the facts in front of me and my hype meter pushing dangerous levels, we simply won’t know until April 5th when Alvarez’s Evil Dead remake is widely released whether I’m on target or off-base. We’ll have a better idea of expectations after the South by Southwest festival, which will provide the film’s premiere, but I’m a moviegoer who refuses to judge a film until I’ve seen it with my own two eyes – so my excitement will not waver in the least until that glorious opening weekend.
With that said, I have a message for Fede Alvarez and everyone involved:
I’m in your corner 100% on this one. Everything I’ve seen so far in the way of promotion material has knocked me on my ass, and you’ve managed to get me excited for a remake I never would have asked for in the first place. Evil Dead has the potential to be something special, and honestly, the genre needs that right now. I’ve watched so many horror franchises go up in flames just trying to reach relevancy again, only to prove some classics are better left untouched.
This is your chance to be the hero Fede. This is your shot to prove remakes aren’t a kiss of death if handled right, and if any horror film deserves a proper revamp, it’s Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead. I have full faith you’re going to deliver something so insane and unique it will make even Sam Raimi blush, but please don’t prove me wrong. This is sort of the last straw on the camel’s back for the remake craze in my opinion, and if your abundantly promising film doesn’t live up to expectations, well, let’s just say I don’t think my fragile emotions can handle any more failed remakes. Don’t make me eat my words, I’m not the best at being made a fool.
In other words, “Save us Fede Alvarez, you’re our only hope.”
But you’re already going to do that, so hold on to your butts people.
What do you think, are my thoughts justified? Or are my high hopes just a recipe for disaster come April 5th. Feel free to voice your own opinion in the comments!Previous