Source: The People's Movies

Source: The People’s Movies

Source: Forces of Geek
Source: Forces of Geek

Evil Dead has come a long way since Sam Raimi’s 1981 cult classic.

The premise is the same: five twenty-somethings travel to a cabin in the woods and unknowingly release an ancient evil. But I’d say that’s about where the similarities stop.

I may offend some people outright by not automatically expressing my allegiance for the original. But in truth, I’d say these two versions are a bit of a toss-up.  There are elements of both that I really enjoyed, and I would say that neither is better than the other. In fact, I think a hybrid of the two would have been best. Here’s what I think horror fans who have seen the original will appreciate versus maybe not appreciate so much.

Evil Dead (2013), Directed by Fede Alvarez

Why you’ll like this one

  • It’s got gore, gore, and more gore. I’ve seen a lot of horror movies and I’d say this is one of the bloodiest, nastiest ones I’ve seen. I think true horror lovers will find it to be a welcome improvement on the original, which had its moments but its special effects certainly couldn’t be called realistic. Alvarez’s rendition, riddled with self-mutilation and oceans of blood, is not for the feint of heart.
  • These demons are pretty freaking scary. Unlike the characters who were possessed in the 1981 classic and were almost comical, these demons are a bit terrifying. They don’t really taunt (except for Mia, on occasion), they attack their targets with a cold, dead persistence, more like a zombie. The suspense factor is elevated in the remake. And on a side note, I have to give props for the casting of Mia. Jane Levy is perfect for this role, which was originally given to Lily Collins. I like Lily and all, but I think casting her in this role would have been a big mistake.
  • There’s a little more to the story line. In the original, the group of friends heads to the cabin for a fun weekend in the woods. In the remake, the motivation for the trip is to rid Mia of her drug habit and support her through her difficult withdrawal. This addition adds to the film.  It gives others reason to doubt Mia’s crazy rants about seeing a girl in the woods and being attacked by trees. They don’t run when they hear this, they simply think the withdrawal is causing her to lose it and she’s looking for any reason to leave.

Why you may not like this one

  • It doesn’t have Bruce Campbell in it. I mean come on– Bruce Campbell is pretty much synonymous with the Evil Dead franchise. It’s hard to envision the movie without him. Shiloh Fernandez, the lead male character in the 2013 version is cute and all, but he doesn’t have the presence that Campbell does. In fact, he’s pretty boring.
  • The “summoning” scene is totally lame. Now, I know this is a matter of opinion, but I think the original did a much better job with the incantation of the demons. The premise of the original is that some friends drive to a remote cabin whose previous owner was a professor, and stumble upon the Necromicon (Book of the Dead) and the professor’s recordings. On the recordings it becomes clear that the professor was working to translate passages from the book, and in speaking the translated words, he unwittingly released total evil. In the remake, Eric, who finds the book, reads the words out loud even though it’s completely obvious that he should not! I think the original definitely gets kudos for creativity, and the remake falls short here.
  • The movie oversells itself. Case in point: the tagline. Here are both below:

             1981 tagline: They got up on the wrongs side of the grave.

             2013 tagline: The most terrifying film you will ever experience.

I don’t think anyone who sees the remake will agree with the preview tagline–this is NOT the most terrifying film you will ever experience. Putting it out there like that so confidently gave me high expectations and I wouldn’t call this movie “scary” at all. Gross? Yes. Suspenseful? Yes. Freaky? Yes. Scary, no.

Anyway, that’s my two cents. Both movies are awesome in their own right and up there on my list of favorites. Which one did YOU prefer? Let us know!

R

Interesting Facts

  • In the 2013 remake, the first letters of the five characters’ names (David, Eric, Mia, Olivia, and Natalie) spell out DEMON.
  • The original budget was an estimated $375,000, while the remake budget was an estimated $17,000,000. Slight difference, huh?

 

 

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