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April 05 2013

(SPOILER) Evil Dead (remake) review references The Cabin in the Woods. io9's review of Evil Dead (Remake) questions how effective the film is in a post-Cabin world. Related to a story posted earlier this month.

So, I've been seeing various references to the original EVIL DEAD movie being a spoof / send-up of horror movies. Admittedly, it's been a long time since I've seen it, but I don't recall it that way. EVIL DEAD 2, yes. ARMY OF DARKNESS, absolutely. But the original? I always thought that was a straight up horror movie, even "torture porn" (to use the contemporary term). Am I just remembering it wrong?
Evil Dead (the original) is funny. Its more serious than the sequels, its humor far more subtle and less cartoony; truth is tough i cant vouch for Raimis intentions, but even back then the excess of blood and carnage were impossible to take anyway other than with laughter. Its too over the top to be straight horror, even the infamous tree-rape is very much tongue in cheek... Still, im not an expert on the movie. Maybe it just came out that way and they really wanted to scare us. But to me it has an air of levity and pure joyous fun that while it has some creepiness and scares in it, while not exactly a comedy, its plenty humorous.
Ya, I remember my friends and I laughing at it "back in the day," but I didn't recall that being the intended effect. Hmm, maybe it's time to see it again ...
Also, I'm a bit perplexed by various articles referring to the "post-Cabin" era of horror movies. Don't get me wrong - I very much enjoyed CABIN, but I'm not aware that it effected some paradigm shift in movie making ...
The original Evil Dead film was straight-up horror to me. Granted, I first saw it at age 11, at a slumber party no less. I vaguely remember Raimi being quoted as saying that they made the first film to be scary, the second to be scary AND funny, and the third was flat-out comedy.
Having had the chance to see the original in a cinema last year, the humour comes from the dated special-effects, obvious continuity errors, and yes, the over-the-topness of the violence!

But initially-it terrified me!
I was interested in seeing this until I read the review on Jezebel that describes it as way too torturey for me. Using torture just for the sake of torture is not my cup of tea. I like movies that scare me, not ones that make me feel like I need to take several showers afterward.
I'd like to see "Cabin in the Woods" as "the horror movie to end all horror movies" like for example "Once Upon A Time in The West" was the western to end all westerns. But there were good western movies after that one (only recently James Mangold's version of '3:10 to Yuma'), and so there might be good horror movies possible after "Cabin."
I saw this movie in theaters opening day and while it is extremely graphic, I wouldn't clump it into a group with movies such as Hostel or others where the whole point of the films is to watch people get tortured for no reason.

The gore and 'torture' in this movie reminded me immensely of the original. In the 1981 movie, the only way to kill the Evil Dead was through bodily dismemberment. That holds true in this remake. That being the case, I don't know what this particular reviewer was expecting. There were definitely brutal scenes in Cabin in the Woods, but I never saw anybody taking issue with the dismemberment there. Chopping somebody up in a serious horror film is absolutely no different than chopping somebody up in a more comedic one.

I for one enjoyed the new Evil Dead! It was intense. And I find myself wanting to pop in a copy of Cabin in the Woods again, just for fun.
questions how effective the film is in a post-Cabin world


The problem with that is that they questioned the same thing before it came out. As a viewer, I'd question if they didn't already have the review in mind they wanted before they watched it.

And yes, the original was straight up horror. The comedy, was if you were film aware and you found the degree of grotesqueness and creativity funny. It wasn't scripted comedy.

Whedon didn't really break the genre. It speaks to the point when people outgrow being scared in that way and they tend to see the strings. It's a different thing.
I've always thought that the description of "Cabin" as "the horror movie to end all horror movies" was a reference to, er, events in the film - which would indeed end horror movies (and some other things). To my mind, the new "Evil Dead" is a very respectable remake that comes up with a very clever reason as to why the folks at the cabin initially mistake the beginnings of demonic possession for something else entirely. The place where "Cabin" most comes to mind is the reading of the book, and - apart from the Whedon/Goddard explanation of "It's stupidity gas being pumped at the characters!" - I'm not sure there *is* a plausible explanation for that one.

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