The Evil Dead movies are some of my all-time favorites. I love them the way you can only really love something you first saw in your teens: with nostalgia, delight, and fierce ardor.
|Just looking at this makes me incoherent with happiness. ;aksdjf.|
So I have a lot of complicated feelings about the forthcoming remake. On the one hand, precedent suggests that any remake of a classic horror film has a high likelihood of being terrible (see: Psycho, The Wicker Man, The Omen, etc.), and what's an Evil Dead movie without Bruce Campbell anyway? On the other hand, The Bruce is onboard as a producer, as is original director Sam Raimi; and, now that the new red band trailer is out, I am starting to get excited.
00:09 – Look at the cabin! It's so perfectly Evil Dead, just looking at it makes me happy.
00:18 – Aah! Creepy basement of taxidermy.
00:24 – DON'T SAY IT DON'T WRITE IT DON'T HEAR IT! Oh you dumb kids. You never do what you're told.
(Actually I'm pretty interested to see how the movie will deal with the problem of self-awareness. Will they just be dumb horror-movie kids who ignore all warnings, or will there be some nice meta Cabin in the Woods-style explanations for their behavior? Is it going to pretend the last 30 years of film never happened, or is it going to acknowledge them?)
00:27 – Shakycam through the woods. Nostalgia is threatening to overwhelm me. Maybe I should just go marathon the originals.
00:31 – Well that's new! A creepy girl rising from a lake. I can get behind that.
00:39 – “We're all going to die tonight.”
00:41 – FROM THE CREATORS OF THE HORROR CLASSIC. Comforting words.
00:50 – I'm not quite sure what's happening here. A red-clad figure appears to be catching a red ball. Somehow this is the creepiest image in the trailer to me.
00:51 – Although the long-haired girl crawling along the ground, The Ring-style, comes close.
00:54 – Lightbulb! Nostalgia again. The bloody lightbulb is one of my favorite little moments from the first Evil Dead.
|Somehow simultaneously silly and creepy, which is the Evil Dead franchise in a nutshell.|
00:57 – Another creepy girl standing there. There are an awful lot of creepy girls in this trailer, which seems to be the biggest influence of the past few years of horror. Someone really needs to write a Men, Women, and Chain Saws-type analysis of all these J-horror silent creepy girls in contemporary horror.
1:05 – Chainsaw! This can only end well.
1:06 – Possessed arm! This is definitely going to end well.
1:07 – Chainsaw, meet possessed arm.
1:08 – A girl in KISS makeup appears to be getting stabby on another girl.
1:10 – Lamp getting spattered with blood. An even better lightbulb moment.
1:12 – Explosion!
1:14 – Oh no. The tree-rape. Um. Of all the scenes in the original, is that one we really need to see again?
|This sad puppy has just seen moment 1:14 in the new Evil Dead trailer, and now is very very sad.|
1:20 – She just sliced her own tongue in two with a box cutter! Okay, the gorehound in me must admit that's kind of awesome.
Honestly, overall I have mixed feelings about this trailer. It looks like a mash-up of some great horror tropes of the past few years all in a classic Evil Dead setting, and there look to be at least a couple quite inventive horror set-pieces. As a straight horror film, there's plenty to like here.
However, I'm both intrigued and concerned as to the new film's approach to gender. One of the most striking points about the remake is the fact that the Bruce Campbell character has been gender-flipped. Of course, as Bruce himself observes in this video, it was already a gender-flip in the original. Ash was the Final Girl, and I'm awfully worried that, in making the Ash character female this time, the film-makers are going to wind up watering down everything that made Ash a memorable character and falling back on traditional Final Girl tropes.
The trailer does little to allay my fears on this front. The female protagonist gets to do a lot of standard Final Girl screaming and hiding, and most of the talking and action is done by the nerdy guy in flannel. (When my brother watched the trailer, not knowing in advance about the gender-flipped Ash, he assumed this guy was the new Ash.)
I want to see a female Ash. I want to see a woman in a movie who is as goofy and prone to slapstick as Bruce Campbell in the original Evil Dead films. I want to see a woman in a movie who follows Ash's character arc, from cowardly dweeb to loudmouthed braggart with a chainsaw for an arm.
I want to see this, and I am not sure that the Evil Dead remake will give it to me. But I'll certainly be there in 2013 to find out.