I'm a big fan of horror movies. The cheesier the better. Needless to say, the original Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2 are some of my very favorites. When I saw that there was going to be a remake of the original I was torn. I was elated to see a re-imaging of this cult classic and really concerned that it would be terrible. Whenever someone tries to redo a classic they tend to stray to far from the things I liked about the original.
The original Evil Dead was made in 1981, and the production value was really bad. This was the movie where the great director Sam Rami and B movie actor Bruce Campbell started. The premise is five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods for a fun weekend. While there they stumble across the Book of the Dead. This book is bound in human flesh and inked in blood. The passages unleash the dead from their eternal prison.
Slowly the dead begin to posses each person driving them all crazy in the secluded cabin in the woods. What is not to like about this movie? The story is good, but the special effects are so cheesy they are funny. At one point there is a claymation scene where the bodies wither to nothing.
It is a lot of fun to watch this and try to spot the filming mistakes. You can see the wires used to move things every now and then and other little errors. Still it is one of my favorite movies.
Sam Rami and Bruce Campbell sort of did a re-make of their own with Evil Dead 2. That movie started with Ash taking his girlfriend to a remote cabin in the woods instead of five friends going. He finds the Book of the Dead and it all starts. This movie was more silly movie and the amount of fake blood was over the top. Their tag line for Evil Dead 2 was 'The Gorier the Merrier.' Both movies had little bits in the 2013 version.
The new Evil Dead starts out with five friends going to a remote cabin in the woods, but it is to help the main character detox from a drug addiction. While there, they find The Book of the Dead wrapped in trash bags and razor wire . One genius character takes it upon himself to translate the book. What else do you do in a remote cabin with no television? You unleash terror. There were a lot of things that were similar, but of course bigger budgets and modernization made them seem more realistic.
Here is the difference between the Book of the Dead for both movies. The old one is on the left, and the new on the right. Also check out how similar this scene is, but also how far special effects have come since the first movie.
This movie is darker and has more realistic gore to it. I felt that this was also really creepy, and even though it didn't scare me or keep me up at night, I was totally engaged in this movie. I loved spotting the parts that were right out of the original movie. I got such a thrill to see the house look exactly like the original from the outside, and I loved that the main character Mia is sitting on the car Ash drove in the original movies. The car is rusted and in disrepair, but I really loved those bits put in the movie for fans like me. Another link was the sweatshirt. Mia was wearing a Michigan state sweatshirt which is the same one worn by the main character in the original.
I loved this movie and thought it was close enough to the original to do it justice, but also it was different enough to be it's own film. This makes sense to me, but I'm not sure it comes across well in print, so sorry if you have no idea what I mean. I will say this, my wife who is a fan of the original was not such a fan of this. She felt that they all got what they deserved because they were stupid enough to read a book that says 'Don't Read!!!!' all over the pages. She made me laugh so hard while watching this. I know I liked it way more than she did, but I still loved her reaction.
Again, Evil Dead 1981 is on the left and 2013 is on the right if you couldn't tell.