Evil Dead and the Original: A Look Back by Michael Allen
“The most terrifying film you will ever experience”
That is the tagline which launched the fourth installment of the Evil Dead franchise. It serves as both a reboot and a loose continuation of the series. The film has received some mixed reviews, yet it did rake in $26 million in its opening weekend. The film seems to be very ambiguous in nature, staying very similar to the original in some places, yet changing itself completely in others.
The plot does stay the same as the 1981 original, where a group of young people go out to stay in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, come across an ancient book and identically unleash some demons, and then watch their friends become possessed and murderous. Yet, the opening sequence is an entirely different take on the material from the original. Then the characters are introduced and not only are all of them different to the original, they are up to something different.
Although many clear “evil deadisms” are evident in the 2013 film: a work shed, a chainsaw, a possessed hand, a severed hand, a trap door leading to the basement, a broken stair, a lullaby sung by one of the characters, a few of those “within-the-woods POV shots” and even what seems to be the franchise’s original car that everybody sits on behind the cabin, it is clear that the film was not meant to be a complete makeover of the original.
The major story change in Evil Dead would have to be the reason behind the visit to the cabin. Instead of a group of young people heading out on vacation, the characters are a group of friends taking Mia – the lead character – to the isolated cabin to help her go cold turkey because of her drug problem. And trouble starts when Mia starts seeing some evil deadliness but her friends chalk it up to the effects of her withdrawal.
There is not much time spent on the characters before they go all “Evil Dead,” the relationships and back stories that are built on – and pay off in the end – seem like the director and writer's ways of trying to subtly fit a little characterisation into the cracks of what seems like non-stop mayhem.
This and other cool things can be found at the 28 Days Later Analysis website here!