Five friends head to a secluded cabin in the woods to help kick a drug habit. They find a strange book in the cellar. Once they read from this book an evil spirit in awakened and comes to claim their souls one by one.
The EVIL DEAD has a cult following, this much is known. I didn’t see the first one until only a couple years ago, and like most oldies, this flick needed to be enjoyed in it’s time to be treasured now. However, EVIL DEAD 2 is another story. I did see that as a kid and to this day I have no love for cellars, or the stairs leading down to them. ARMY OF DARKNESS is where Sam Raimi’s trilogy began to shine its brightest, but by then, you could hardly call it horror with a straight face. Like so many horror classics, this didn’t need to be remade, but that’s Hollywood’s thing nowadays so rather than whine about it (like so many fans did), I simply didn’t care. The hype leading up to this movie was huge, the posters hitting us with gems like “The most terrifying film you will ever experience.” Change that to, “The most uninspiring ninety minutes you’ll ever sit through,” and I’d agree, but this is so terrifyingly bad, I can’t simply leave it at that.
I know this might sound like bullying, but this is 2013 people. Campy old ghost stories could get away with the “creepy cabin in the woods” premise twenty years ago because nobody knew any better—the brilliant tale CABIN IN THE WOODS being exempt from this rule simply because it broke all the rules. But these days nobody in their right mind would set foot in a place like that for any reason. Okay, so we’re all feeling brave, let’s go in and check it out. A blood soaked cellar door? No worries, let’s head down there anyway. What do you mean the cellar looks like Freddy, Jason, Pinhead, Michael Myers and the Blair Witch summoned about a hundred demons from hell and had an all-night orgy that ended with burning some chick alive? I’m sure it’s fine. Wait, what about the book made of human flesh, full of satanic rites, and wrapped in barbwire that says, “DO NOT READ FROM THIS BOOK”? Oh, I’m sure it’s fine, let’s just read from it anyway and see what happens.
This movie will make you angry. Clearly what I’ve illustrated above is frustrating, but combine nonsense like that with terrible dialogue (this wreaks of Diablo Cody. I know she originally had something to do with this film, but I’m not sure how much of her draft carried over), useless acting and dull characters. Seriously, why bother bringing your girlfriend at all, David? She barely spoke. Now besides the fact that it took these fools three quarters of the movie to understand something was wrong, John Lennon, the genius who read from the book in the first place, finally tells David there’s only three ways to kill these things; bury them alive, full body dismemberment and fire. Got it. So why did Olivia and Natalie die? One was hit over the head and the other lost an arm (and a half), yet they were left for dead and forgotten about by the story. Sigh.
EVIL DEAD is a cliché ridden, lazy, unintelligent series of events that defy not only common logic, but the rules and reality in which they’re based. Pro tip: A plastic canister of gasoline will not explode if shot, no more than a car’s gas tank would. Furthermore, a person’s arm is not made of silly putty. If you get your hand pinned under a car, pulling it will not cause it to stretch like toffee, break and then suddenly have no bones to show for it. Hollywood needs to wake up and realize that rehashing old ideas is a worn out business that deprives movie goers of the fun loving movie experience they deserve. Stop destroying horror. If you can’t come up with an original idea (or take on an old premise like CABIN IN THE WOODS), stop, and wait until a better idea comes to mind. Every now and again a remake is fun, but this doesn’t even begin to justify the eight or nine out of ten that aren’t. Irony alert: Shiloh Fernandez (David) is in a flick called DEADGIRL, which more than qualifies as being the most terrifying film you’ll watch this year.