Evil Dead (2013) – A competent horror flick, a bit less successful as a remake

Remakes of cult classics are always received very skeptically but this one was reviewed mixed but liked by some critics whose opinion I value. Skeptics will have a point in saying it doesn’t meet the tone of the original trilogy as it is definitely more serious and gritty; however, duplicating the experience of the trashy movies, which were ludicrous to varying degrees, is impossible in my opinion.

The film starts off with the typical cabin horror opening. A group of teenagers/young adults stays a weekend in a cabin. This time, they are not here to party but to help Mia (Jane Levy, Suburgatory, I did not recognize her) overcome her drug habit. Given the fact that the disbelief of her friends will be crucial to building up tension, this was a clever trick to achieve this tension. Mia will talk about crazy shit that really happened but the others will write that off as hallucinations in her withdrawal. As another essential element of the original trilogy, the Necronomicon, of course cannot miss and obviously someone speaks the incantations aloud, unleashing the demonic action.

re-evil2
Copyright: TriStar Pictures

The infamous tree rape scene is imitated in this movie but all the remaining scenes including the Evil Force or demons are more serious and scary than in its predecessors. Evil Dead II was way more comedic and even The Evil Dead was slightly ludicrous but here the demons don’t giggle but rather do some straight talking [which is a weird sentence to write].

re-evil
Copyright: TriStar Pictures / Evil Dead LLC

The Necronomicon is featured more prominently, showing some illustrations, which the movie mostly benefits from but is occasionally a little too on-the-nose with its parallels between the book pages and the reality in the movie. Director Fede Alvarez stages some visually interesting shots and aptly creates a creepy atmosphere. Obligatorily, there are some nice nods to the original movies.

Just when I thought the film is about to end, a second climax is added, which I liked a great deal. The movie is permanently gripping and with its more serious tone, it is a competent no-bullshit horror movie. Even if it does not fully capture the original spirit, I would argue it’s also a competent remake as it takes known elements and gives a new twist to them. If you want the spirit of the old movies, just watch the old movies, they’re still good. 😀

4v5


shorter German version:

Das Remake hat mir persönlich als Horrorfilm etwas mehr zugesagt als Teil 2 und ähnlich gut gefallen wie Teil 1, weil er mich weniger geekelt hat. Der gesamte Grund-Tonus ist etwas anders; die Dämonen wirken auf mich hier dringlicher, böser, weil sie sich nicht wie in Teil 1&2 hysterisch kaputt lachen (was dort zwar auch eine unheimliche Stimmung aufbaut), aber hier reden die Dämonen Tacheles (ich dachte niemals, dass ich jemals so einen Satz schreibe 😀 ). Die Einbettung in eine Entzugsstory finde ich clever, weil das die Realisationen der Irrationalität der Situation etwas herauszögert. Bis alle Charaktere auf dem gleichen Wissensstand sind, gibt es eine gewisse Grundspannung.
Das Necronomicon ex Mortis ist hier etwas ausführlicher zu sehen, manchmal etwas zu sehr on-the-nose bezüglich der Parallelen zwischen Buch und Realität, aber insgesamt doch gewinnbringend eingesetzt. Visuell liefert Fede Alvarez einige gute Shots und baut eine schön unheimliche Atmosphäre auf. Wie es sich für ein Remake gehört, gibt es einige nette Verneigungen vor den Originalteilen.
Ich fand den Film durchgehend aufregend. Als man glaubt, der Film geht gleich zu Ende, kommt noch eine Art zweites Finale, das mir gut gefallen hat. Evil Dead (2013) ist ein sehr kompetentes Remake, das allerdings mehr auf die ernste Schiene setzt und den Ulk fast völlig außen vor lässt. Aber da Remakes ja auch nicht alles imitieren sollen, fand ich Evil Dead als Horrorfilm ziemlich gut.


Images taken from imdb.com, © by TriStar Pictures

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