Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Evil Dead

Jane Levy in Evil Dead, the remake of The Evil Dead

**1/2 out of ****

My recommendation for the new Evil Dead is only marginal and aimed only at fans of gory horror. The movie certainly delivers in that department. For everyone jaded by obvious CGI spatter effects in current day horror films, you can delightfully prepare yourself for a movie filled with good ol' messy prosthetic and makeup work that will make you cringe! 

Where this movie falls flat for me, is in its great amount of missed opportunities to make real horror through characters for whom we can fear. But, like in so much gore porn, we only have a superficial understanding of this group of fresh meat and we are unfairly teased with a fantastic concept of a possessed girl who is going through heroin withdrawl and all the interesting thematic directions such an idea could take.

Don't get me wrong, these aren't terrible characters. The actors aren't so bad either, except for Shiloh Fernandez, the possible hero of the story, who plays his role like a male model with uninspired boring banality. Jane Levy, Jessica Lucas and Lou Taylor Pucci all do decent jobs with the kind of characters who are only developed enough for horror fans who expect them to be ready for potential slaughter. That's not good enough for me. Even the most savage of horror movies play it safe by keeping an emotional distance from the terrorized characters. I find it much more disturbing when very humanized characters are in danger.

While this tangent may seem as though I don't get the point of Evil Dead, I will remind you that I'm not referring to the campy low budget nature of the 1981 original. This movie doesn't aim for that kind of fun (although there are plenty of fan-service references provided). It's taking a more serious angle through a more serious production -and as long as that is the approach of this film, I will judge it on those grounds.

In general, this was a watchable horror movie, and I was amused by the quality in the technique of its visuals, but it was too self-conscious as a horror movie for me to really feel involved.

Here's the Half in the Bag review. 

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