‘Evil Dead’ Trailer Impressions
An ‘Evil Dead’ fan’s thoughts on the new ‘Evil Dead’
Published: Monday, October 29, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 29, 2012 13:10
Evil Dead is a franchise that is near and dear to just about every horror fan in the world. The two latter films, “Evil Dead 2” and “Army of Darkness” in particular have garnered massive cult followings for more or less inventing the horror-comedy genre.
Now, Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell, the men behind those first three films are producing that most hated of follow-ups to any beloved series, a remake.
Raimi (the director of the original films) and Campbell (the franchise's iconic star) have assured us again and again that this will be something new and worthwhile. To that end, the film will rely on the same premise as the first two films -- a group of college students finding themselves trapped in a cabin in the woods, under siege by demonic, possessive spirits -- but that the similarities will end there. The film won't feature Campbell's character Ash, and will feature a tone more in line with the less famous, more serious first “Evil Dead” instead of the quasi-comedic “Evil Dead 2” and “Army of Darkness.”
The first red band trailer for the film is finally up and now available for all the public to see. So what does an Evil Dead fan think of what we’ve seen so far?
From the very outset, it’s clear that this will very much be a modern film. The original trilogy was a low production value affair even for its time, and the actual quality of the film the movies were shot on was quite poor. Of course, you’d expect this new movie to look much better, but after decades of film grain and video flaws it’s still quite jarring to see the deadites (the franchise’s monsters) in full high definition.
One thing that hasn’t changed, it seems, is the level of blood and violence. The new trailer quite handily earns its red band status with the kinds of awful wounds and limb dismemberments you’d expect from any “Evil Dead” film. The trailer also features one act of deadite self-mutilation towards the end in particular that, while much more subdued than something like the blood flood of the second film, is perhaps one of the most unsettling things to be in the franchise. Yes, this does seem to be a more serious take on the universe.
Perhaps what’s most worrying about the trailer is how faithful it actually seems it may be to the original films. There is no Ash, of course, but the trailer still hits many of the most memorable talking points from the original film. You’ve got your possessed, evil hand (being chopped off, of course), you’ve got your chainsaws and your undead college girl peeking out from under the trapdoor. And yes, you’ve even got... the tree scene.
What I’m worried about is that the producers are trying too hard to stick to the original formula. The most exciting thing about the film is that it’s trying for a darker, more self-serious take on the franchise. No one will ever be able to recapture the magic of “Evil Dead 2” and “Army of Darkness” the same way that the production team did back in the days before movies like that existed. Replicating the most iconic scenes with a new cast of characters is likely to give fans no reason to love them. They will only be copycats playing an old tune that we’ve all already seen before.
The film is slated for a release sometime in 2013. We’ll know then if it manages to find its own way, or if it’s just trying to recreate the past.