Evil Dead

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 Rate R       2  stars out of five

I did not want to see “Evil Dead” today.  Not because I was scared, really. I wanted to see either the new Robert Redford or Danny Boyle movies released today, but I can’t find them.  So, when two legendary Oscar winning directors can’t get wide releases for their movies, it must be time to enter into an evil dark realm and fight the devil who rules all things. That is not a shot at Harvey Weinstein, really.

I liked the original, “THE Evil Dead” with Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead – duh) as Ash. It was campy and quirky and a breath of fresh blood in its time. So was it a good idea to give first-time director/screenwriter Fede Alvarez $14 million, the title and concept? The short answer – no.

Poor little Mia (Jane Levy of Suburgatory) has a drug problem, and she tries to kick it by going to her mother’s remote cabin in the woods. Three friends and her brother, David (Shiloh Fernandez of Red Riding Hood), are committed to keeping her there until she is all better. This does start out as a good reason for them to be there together. It’s a nice, dusty old cabin that has not been used in years, but there is a great electric carving knife and a nail gun. How odd to highlight those out-of-place items early in the movie. I was sure that old chainsaw in the shed would never start. They are going to be just fine, even with that terrible smell they mention nine times, as long as nobody cuts the barbed wire from that old book and starts to read it. My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Nelson told me that reading a book would not kill me. She was so wrong.

Alvarez proves to be an effective director, and he may have improved on the screenplay. Still, it’s a cabin in the woods kids slasher movie. If this came out in 1981, then Alvarez would have directed “Spiderman.”

Wait – I just heard, if I can get to Utah, Robert Redford will screen his movie for me. What was my Expedia password…oh, “Evil Dead” – 2 stars, one step above ordinary hack horror. Bless you Sam Raimi for not re-making it, but damn you to hell for letting someone else do it. You should have just kept putting roman numerals after it like everybody else.

Tom Basham is an indie filmmaker.

Here is a link to his movie review site:


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