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‘Evil Dead:’ SO GROSS!

The two words that best describe Evil Dead, the not remake but reboot of The Evil Dead (you can tell it is not a remake because there’s no “The” at the front, so it’s clearly much different) are:

  1. SO

And

  1. GROSS.

And that combination is the best thing it could be.

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Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell produced and OK-ed, Fede Alvarez directed, Alvarez, Diablo Cody, and Rodo Sayagues written, Evil Dead is four amazing and rare things:

  • A rated R horror movie!!!!!
  • That is in theaters!!!!
  • That is also SO INCREDIBLY GROSS!!!!!
  • And they say really bad words in it!!!!!

FINALLY. I’ve been waiting a long time for one of these.

This Evil Dead takes a more straightforward horror movie approach than the 1981 original. It is not as campy or cheesy or funny as THE Evil Dead, which I usually gripe about, but in this case, it mostly worked. With the status the franchise has gained, it was due for a Hollywood makeover. But the filmmakers took care not to gussy it up too much for the new millennium. The effects are all practical – no CGI was used, and it is just infinitely better that way. Evil Dead is the goriest, bloodiest, most disgusting movie that has been in theaters in a long time.

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Yes, there is an unnecessary plot line. Instead of a group of college kids on vaca (which is silly, I admit, but not as silly as…), a group of friends meet at that ol’ isolated cabin in the woods for one of those classic, “get your friend to quit drugs” getaways. Mia (Jane Levy, or as I recognized her, “the girl from Suburgatory”), is like, so gonna quit this time, so she, her registered nurse best friend, Olivia (the pretty annoying Jessica Lucas), their nerdy asshole teacher friend, Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci), Mia’s darling skeptic of a brother, David (Shiloh Fernandez), and his blander than bland girlfriend, Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore), head to the woods for the greatest, most awesomest intervention of their lives! Little do they know that the basement is filled with dead cats and a book that raises demons.

It takes its sweet time getting to the good stuff. There’s all this hazy exposition, replete with eye-roll worthy lines like, “Remember that lullaby mom used to sing us?” and, “You should have been there,” and, “She’s not going to survive another OD.” After about half an hour of that crap, the fun begins, with a reboot of that famous tree violation scene. And then shit gets cray.

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There are some over-the-top silly instances that don’t seem to fit in with the straight gory goal of the film. And though I definitely jumped once or twice, there are several odd camera choices that seem to me to lessen the fright factor at certain moments. But once the blood bath begins, it doesn’t let up until the end. For every weird camera shot that cuts the creepiness a bit, there are about three shots of relentless, gratuitous gore from which the camera won’t turn away. You see it all. The gore is top-notch; it even made me, whom they call* “Old Iron Stomach,” a teensy bit queasy.

I want to refrain from comparing Evil Dead to the original too much because the filmmakers and producers have been adamant about maintaining that this is not a remake or another sequel, but rather a parallel story. After a sequel to this new one and a little film called Army of Darkness 2 (which will star Bruce Campbell), this new plot will merge with the original storyline into one, big super sequel. This reboot is the most brilliant way they could have gone about updating the audience and gathering new fans before re-subjecting the world to the ultra-campiness of the original. At least I hope it’s the plan to return to the feeling of the first one. You can’t really put Bruce Campbell on screen and expect anything less.

The impressive effects and gallons upon gallons of blood successfully drown out the silly stuff and make Evil Dead totally worth it for a fan of real gore. Take it from Old Iron Stomach.

Grade: B+

*I don’t know who “they” are…I made them up. No one calls me that. Except me.

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