Film Review : Evil Dead (2013)

IMDB Score – 6.5
Rotten Tomato Score – 62%

Directed By – Fede Alvarez
Starring – Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, and Elizabeth Blackmore

Five friends head to a remote cabin, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads them to unwittingly summon up demons living in the nearby woods. The evil presence possesses them until only one is left to fight for survival.

As I am making my way through the 2013 films I neglected to see in theaters, I am being reminded why I chose not to see them in the first place. I usually hate remakes. The reason I do is not because it “ruins” the original because that statement doesn’t make any damn sense. Remakes don’t cease to make the originals exist. You like the original “Total Recall” better than remake? Great! Keep watching the original. Don’t see the new one. Easy. The originals will always be there for us. No, the reason I hate remakes is simply because I’ve seen it before. I know the story. I know what is going to happen and am forced to put all my faith into the remakes ability to do something different which always seems to fall flat. Horror films are the usual culprit in this regard in where they take an original piece of work and try to either make the same exact thing over again or try to out do it. We saw it with Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, and The Thing. I know what you’re saying about that last one. BUT JOHN CARPENTER REMADE THE THING AND IT WAS GREAT! John Carpenter did something completely different with his remake and it worked perfectly mostly due to the fact that the special effects were state of the art at the time and still may be the best special effects film ever made (take that James Cameron). Great remakes are few and far between but they’re going to keep happening whether we like it or not. I may not lighten up to the idea of paying for these remakes but if one comes along with a good review I might take a chance on one of them.

I should have taken a chance on Evil Dead.

Seeing this in a theater on a packed night would have been awesome. It is by far one of the most disgusting and gore filled mainstream release I think I’ve ever seen. I mean this thing was playing in theaters next to kids movies. That’s incredible. It took the shlocky B level violence in the original cult classic and turned it up to 11. The story pretty much remained the same (and only solidified how great a satire Cabin in the Woods was) but that isn’t the feature of this film. This was just good old fashioned horror fest. The effects were beyond impressive and just seemed light years ahead of anything Eli Roth has cooked up in recent times. This isn’t “torture porn”. It is well crafted blood art. I honestly don’t know why I liked it more than any other film that just tries to go for shock value instead of actually trying to tell a story. While not the most complex of narratives, the film stayed very close to the original plot line and didn’t try to go out of the box too much. Sometimes simplicity trumps creativity.

It was basically just a really fun and cringe inducing film that I can see being a great hit at parties for those who want to watch something entirely ridiculous yet entirely intense and fun. Just don’t eat before watching it. Oh and Bruce Campbell just can’t resist a chainsaw can he?


Film Review : The Amazing Spiderman (2012)

IMDB Score – 7.1
RT Score – 73%

Superhero movies. Honestly, I can’t grasp my head around them. Part of my brain says they’re horrible and will continue to be horrible if directors continue to please the executives instead of the fans. Part of me says that in the right hands these films can produce great results. One Batman film and one Marvel film comprises the top tier. The Dark Knight and The Avengers were really fantastic films that just happened to have superheroes as their subjects. The second tier comprises the first and two Nolan Batman films, the two Tim Burton Batman films, and that’s all. The rest vary from absolute crap to enjoyable but ultimately forgettable movies. It sucks that I can’t get into these films like others do and while I don’t particularly HATE superhero films I just can’t fathom how so much money and time is spent each year on producing sequels and beginning films for countless upon countless superhero films when the end results are usually poor. They’ll keep trying though. Maybe it’s not a bad thing. Maybe I’m one of the very few people that actually want them to give the superhero film a rest for a while but I’m not going to blindly hate a film just because it features a mask hero or somebody with mutant powers.

I didn’t hate this film.

I grew up watching the 90s animated Spiderman on television. To me, this is the definitive Spiderman on a screen. I’ve never been a big comic book fan but Batman movies and the Spiderman TV show are nostalgic pleasures on mine. I found the Sam Raimi films to be pretty enjoyable except the third one which was a pile of shit when Venom wasn’t on teh screen which was criminally too infrequent. I’m not a big Toby McGuire fan though so maybe I was a bit biased. Andrew Garfield takes the reigns here and did an okay job. I actually thought he acted decently, well, maybe for this one scene where…well, I have no idea what he was doing in this. Like, seriously, what is this?

That got a great laugh out of me. Just look at his face. It’s just so funny.

The film focused more on the relationship between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy which I believe holds to the comic way more than the Raimi films did as Gwen Stacy wasn’t really even in those films. Emma Stone was a miscast though. I think she’s a great actress but she is not a seventeen year old. She doesn’t look like she’s seventeen. The fact that was was seventeen in the movie is a farce because no seventeen year old talks, acts, dresses like that or works as an intern at a scientific research facility. It just doesn’t happen that way. The rest of the cast was filled with great actors in forgettable roles which best describes the film as a whole, forgettable but it was fun while it lasted. There were some pretty good set pieces, particularly any scene featuring Spidey and The Lizard. I’d say it’s pretty much on par with the first two Raimi films as it’s kind of the same movie for the first two thirds. Peter gets bullied, gets bit, beats up bullies, avenges Uncle Ben sort of, figures out “hey this is fun”, shit goes down, saves the day, sort of gets the girl sort of.

All for the price of millions and millions of dollars. I hope Marc Webb directs his sequel a little bit more differently for all the money that has been poured in it. That’s the only way I’ll say that I was generally impressed with a super hero film. You have to do something different.