As a huge fan of The Evil Dead, I was pretty trepidatious when I heard there was a remake planned. Even the blessing of Bruce Campbell and Ram Raimi wasn’t enough to calm my anxiety. But, now, I’ve seen the trailer and I’m not as worried. In fact, I feel pretty good about it.
Directed and written by Fede Alvarez, with rewrites by Diablo Cody, Evil Dead seems to hew pretty closely to the Raimi original. The trailer features most of the Evil Dead greatest hits: an abandoned cabin, a trap door to the basement, a demonic book, a guy dumb enough to recite from the demonic book, a lopped-off arm and, of course, tree rape. The main differences seem to be a female lead, played by Jane Levy, and a more extreme tone. But, you know, that’s what the kids like these days.
This is feeling somewhat like the 2003 Texas Chainsaw Massacre reimagining that kicked off the current horror remake craze. That flick turned out better than I expected, yet it was far from great — probably because the filmmakers tried too hard to be faithful to the spirit of the 1974 classic. With Evil Dead, Alvarez and company seem to have kept what works and then gone their own way, which is usually the best way to approach these things.
One thing is sure: We don’t need another Evil Dead like the original. Because no matter how good Alvarez is, nobody can out-Raimi Raimi.