It takes a lot of nerve to try and re-make Sam Raimi's "The Evil Dead". Made in 1979-1980, it was Raimi's feature length debut and was overflowing with creativity and passion, in spite of it's low budget. It attained a "cult status", becoming banned in several countries for it's brutality (but in reality, much of the horror came from the film-maker's technique, rather than cheap, exploitative shock). But Raimi is no longer a fresh-faced kid making exuberant movies just to satisfy some inner passion, he's an established hollywood producer, and making movies is a big time, money-making endeavor. Along with fellow producer Bruce Campbell (star of the original "Evil Dead" series), and a screenplay co-written by the director, Fede Alvarez and Diablo Cody (the ex-stripper best known for writing the oscar-winning screenplay for "Juno"), Raimi gives us a re-make that is tailor-made for today's horror movie box office. As released, it's one of the purest examples of torture porn I've seen in awhile, and I've seen Hostel, the Rob Zombie Halloween re-make, Chainsaw Massacre 3D, The Devil's Rejects, House of 1000 Corpses (Rob Zombie's films excel in this particular field), Cabin in the Woods (which this especially reminded me of), etc etc, the list goes on and on.
As the movie opens, five good-looking twenty-somethings go off to stay in some secluded cabin wayyy up in the woods somewhere. "Why?", you ask? It's not to party, but to help one of their friends recover from a drug addiction. While they sit around, comforting her, the dog uncovers a blood-stained trap door under the rug, that leads down into a pit filled with animal carcasses and an evil book. One of the particularly bright kids opens up the book, bleeds on it, and then recites the ancient resurrection passage that is clearly marked "do not read". Of course you know what happens after that. What you don't know is just how indifferent it all seems. As limbs are hacked off and eyeballs stabbed with needles, the characters seem less involved with what's going on up on the screen than the audience is expected to be. Look, I'm not making a value judgement: if you get off on seeing people sadistically murdered, or even if you're terrified by it, fine, but can't filmmakers just come up with new ideas instead of retreading the same waters over and over and over again? I didn't enjoy this re-make, and if it's not going to be better than the original, why bother with it at all?