Monday, September 23, 2013

The Evil Dead (2013)

** spoilers **

Mia is a heroin addict dealing with the aftermath of her mother's death. She goes to an old cabin her family owns with her friends and her brother to get her through withdrawal and get clean, but the place has been broken into and defaced. They clean up as best they can and find a weird book wrapped in a trash bag and barbed wire. Eric decides to disregard every single warning, open it, and read it out loud. Of course it releases demons that possess them to torment and eventually kill them. Can they band together to defeat the evil or will all their souls burn in hell?

I usually hate remakes with the fire of a thousand suns. The filmmakers usually dumb down what made the film great in the first place. I actually enjoyed Evil Dead much more than the original. I understand why the original is so well liked, but it's so boring and badly acted. The remake breathes new life into the story, giving a well fleshed out plot and characters with actual personalities and relationships. The relationships are what kept them there in the cabin even after dead cats and evil books are discovered when any sane person would have left. They all want Mia to get clean and want to stay at any cost because her life is at risk if she stays on drugs. The sibling relationship comes into play when David can easily end the whole thing by simply killing Mia. He opts to kill her and then bring her back, risking and eventually sacrificing his own life so she can live. It also makes it all the more meaningful when the demon chooses to appear as whoever they are possessing, in pain and bewildered at their mutilations, to manipulate their loved ones.

Evil Dead is a fun, scary film. There are a few jump scares at the beginning to set the mood, but the real suspense is built later. One of my favorite scenes is where Olivia is possessed and mutilating herself behind a shower curtain. You know exactly what she's doing, but as Eric draws nearer and nearer, you dread actually seeing it and being confronted by the Deadite. The humor isn't the same as the previous films. It's dark and not as overt, but it still had a me laughing out loud quite a few times. I also love this scene because at the midnight showing I went to, the guy next to me said it was the grossest thing he'd ever seen. I liked that the infamous tree rape scene was kept, but made into something actually horrifying and disgusting. The original scene is downright comical and the new one is extremely uncomfortable to watch. Possession is basically a type of rape where an entity enters the body and controls it against the person's will.

The film is an allegory for addiction. Mia and her friends come together for her to conquer her addiction. At first, they force her to stay when she clearly can't handle the withdrawals. Then she is possessed after being raped by her evil doppelganger and turns unrecognizable. Addiction causes people to turn into monsters and hurt the people around them. The possession in the film is communicable and is passed through bites, vomit, and injuries. It shows how toxic addiction can be to loved ones. After her brother kills and revives her, she is left alone to confront her evil doppelganger. Mia is the only one that can conquer her addiction. Her friends and family can do as much as they can, but it won't do any good if Mia isn't willing to change and really work to get better.

Evil Dead is a blast to watch. I love the mixture of dark humor, gross gore, and suspense. The only scene I thought was too over the top was when it started raining blood. After a while, everything is oversaturated with it and it ceases to mean anything. Other than that, it was an enjoyable, well balanced film.

My rating: 9/10 fishmuffins

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