One of our sparky pals, currently eyeballing a patch of workspace on Sam Raimi’s “Evil Dead” remake, tells us that it should all come together he’s “headed to New Zealand in March” where Ghost House Pictures have settled on a location for that… Cabin.
“You see Yogi Bear? Well, much of the same locations. Beautiful forest area”, he says.
Chappy don’t know whether the rangers station/cabin from “Yogi” was being used for the central location here (or if Yogi would cameo as a chainsaw-wielding hero type), only that “Evil Dead” will shoot in the same vicinity (though I can imagine that “Yogi” cabin working quite well, actually).
Raimi and gang are familiar with New Zealand’s locales (not to mention crews) having shot several productions there, including TV’s “Xena”.
Fede Alvarez directs the redo of the Raimi/Tapert/Campbell college project, with Diablo Cody, on rewrite duties. providing much of the zingy dialogue.
Anyway, what have I been told? Am I any more confident in this worrisome redo of one of my favourite slumber party flicks from my childhood? A bit.
The good news is, I guess, this sounds like a good horror movie. Is it the “Evil Dead” we know and love though? With the quick quips, camp humour and cool-as-ice hero? Nope. Not at all. In fact, from what our contact tells us it’s much more akin to “The Shining”. And after hearing the story and getting a good grasp on the tone they’re going for here, I’m convinced it’ll be a no-laugh zone this one.
The redo plays it a lot more serious. These aren’t cartoonish heroes like Bruce Campbell’s Ash was in the original films, these are real folks with real world problems. And by golly are they in for some scary- not at all amusing -shit.
Do I go into the story? Okay…
***Warning: There ARE SPOILERS BELOW THIS POINT. Do NOT continue reading if you wish to remain spoiler-free. You’ve been warned. Spoiler territory. Here goes….***
Mia and David, estranged siblings who have recently lost their mother (Mia’s taking it the hardest being that she’s the one who spent most days at the hospital watching her mother deteriorate) have reunited, along with some old friends and his David’s fiancee, for an intervention at THAT old cabin. As reported by Bloody Disgusting this week, It’s here that the near rehabilitated Mia (who has apparently already been cast) will also toss the last of her drugs down the well and finally go cold Turkey.
A big storm sets in. Everyone heads to the cabin. The book of the dead is found, and arrogant Eric (one of the friends along for the trip) takes the most interest in transcribing passages from it. Always the dicks that bring the trouble, right?
Meanwhile Mia struggles with her newly sober self — BIG TIME. She was going slightly loopy anyway from a recent overdose (one in which she technically died from but was brought back) so no surprise that Mia is the first and worst to go bananas. And no surprise either that nobody believes her crazy claims of coyote dogs and trees attacking her!
Convinced this is just a crazy druggo coming to grips with her new reality, the gang insist Mia stay put. As far as they’re concerned, she’ll do anything to get out of the cabin and back to the comfort of a bar.
The stuff Mia starts seeing (she sees in the mirror a bloody face with a cracked skull sticking out) and doing (vomiting blood and vile at her friends; getting trigger-happy with a rifle) is alarming; but again, David and co say she’s not leaving until she’s cold turkey. Bad idea obviously — the more time in the cabin, the further the demon that lives there can climb inside her body and take it over.
Covered in burns and blisters, and with bloodshot eyes, and complete with a new macabre grin, Mia goes all Jack Torrance on her mates. Even after she’s injected with tranquilizers, the wild young woman is still a menace. They have no choice but to lock her in.. well, “Evil Dead” fans will know what that’s about.
There’s some fun moments. With great effects, they could look a treat. For instance, when the gang do decide its time to get Mia to the hospital, David grabs the girl and they drive to the bridge they came in on… Only its gone now! Water has swallowed it whole.
With gory moments that remind one of “Hellraiser” or “Cabin Fever” more than anything, and with obvious “Shining” comparisons, “Evil Dead” sounds like it’s going to be a perfectly good horror movie…just not an “Evil Dead” movie.
Without the humor, without Ash… It’s not deserving of the title. It should be released as a stand-alone. I know that’s not how things work, brands equaling bucks, but it’s such a shame that a moderately decent horror movie spells doom for one of the most anticipated horror/comedy sequels of all time, “Evil Dead 4”.