Bad Remake or Commendable Attempt at Metaphor

Hey! You’re from the ‘80s right? You must remember those cult flicks like: “Short Circuit”, “Teen Wolf” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. But do you remember the catalyst for the mainstream fascination with zombies, also known as “Evil Dead?” You know: bloody chainsaws, angst-filled 20-somethings going to the summer cabin, and zombies? While this triumvirate of clichés and zombie pop culture are both appealing and nauseating, “Evil Dead’s” much anticipated remake is anything but a shitty remake. Let me explain why:

Yes, it sucks. Let’s just get that out there for those of you who just couldn’t suspend your disbelief in, well, believing the B-list acting in this horror flick. This needs to be stated because this movie isn’t amazing because of its acting or seemingly simple plot, but in its attempt at something truly great and quite, “art-house.” Has anyone seen the original “Evil Dead?” It’s a cult classic. It also puts on a clinic for how not to act. The plot for the remake is as follows: Youth goes to cabin with leggy blonde to rekindle past super gnarly summer shenanigans with old high school chums. Most notable is his estranged sister, Emie, who is using the vacation to kick a nasty heroin habit. Double gnarly.

Throughout the flick, Emie battles her addiction in a rather realistic and gritty way. From here, the film follows the traditional horror movie journey, but I found the movie redeeming as a metaphor for kicking an addiction, represented by the revelations of a creepy old book of the dead that’s found in the basement. Anyone who has done this and/or has had a friend quit cold turkey, well, it’s very…fun, and actually quite reminiscent of being raped by a demon, becoming its bitch, hurting yourself, estranging yourself from those who care about you and ultimately attempting to destroy anything around you and only ceasing until everything is broken and you are slowly left to pick up the pieces to regain self. That escalated didn’t it?

The good news is that, like all inspiring addiction stories, the strength of the human will is really the only thing that can battle the lack thereof that addiction feeds on. Addictions, demons, get it? The strong willed, as much as they are given reasons to give up on someone, and even hate them, there is always one who sticks around. This can be a therapist, a doctor, or even just a damn good friend. Amidst all of the blood, sweat and tears, (literally in the case of this film) they often times sacrifice their own well being for someone else to recover.

All critical analysis aside, which is something you never want to read in a movie review, “Evil Dead,” taken literally, is actually a pretty fun date movie that is aware of the shoes it must fill and flirts with people’s expectations. The film also sets the bar quite high for mainstream gore, presenting obnoxiously realistic scenes of carnage. There are no quick cut-aways, but rather long shots that force the viewers to witness the process of dismemberment. This is a direct challenge for the guy who lethargically chews on Red Vines whilst guts are being tossed about in front of him. Think you’re up to it? Well then, off to your theater of choice at once!

 

Photo courtesy of Tristar.

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