Hollywood remakes are something of a phenomenon that have lived within the industry since before most of us were even alive. I get it. I understand a director’s desire to better his work or put his unique interpretation on what may be an outdated film. I also understand a production company’s desire to remake a popular franchise and further fatten their pockets. The entire do-over process makes sense to any reasonable person.
Having said that, the truest fans of these franchises tend to not be reasonable and Hollywood is slowly crushing their very souls with these constant “quick buck” duds being shelled out to our local theaters. This new found Lucas-ing of our favorite classic films adds little to nothing to the film community as a whole and almost never improves upon the original product in the eyes of the fan. In all honesty, I find it depressing.
The most recent cult classic that has made headlines for getting the remake treatment is none other than my most-favorite: Evil Dead. Although it is still very early in pre-production, this remake has already started making it’s waves throughout the Internet community when they announced that they would be altering the gender of the lead character of the film.
Ew. Girls are gross.
That right there is Lily Collins. She is in talks to play the part of the main character in the Evil Dead remake. “What’s that!?” you say. “They’re turning Ash into a lady? How will she ooze bravado?” Well don’t worry my darlings, I am here to put your minds at ease. Lily will not be playing the role of Ash because Ash won’t be appearing in the film. They’ve written him out.
Did… did that not put your mind at ease?
While many believe this is a most grievous error, I’m willing to give the whole thing the benefit of the doubt. Fanboyish hearsay aside, let’s talk about what we do know. Yes the lead role will be played by a female, but I am completely content with that. After watching Alison Lohman get tortured for an hour and a half in Drag Me To Hell, I am downright excited to watch another female lead get run through the Raimi horror machine. According to other reputable websites such as Bloody Disgusting, Collins will play Mia, a young lady battling drug addiction who has been taken to the ominous cabin in the woods for some friendly detox.
The film us being directed by Fede Álvarez who wowed a majority of the Internet back in 2009 with his $300 sci-fi short Panic Attack. He’s a bit of a CGI savant. Outside of his famous short film that depicted giant killer robots and flying saucers destroying the majority of a crowded city, Fede hasn’t really done much of anything. Perhaps the studios were waiting for the perfect film to come along to unleash him upon our world and perhaps Evil Dead is just that film.
Álvarez also wrote the new Evil Dead script along with Rodo Sayayues (with plenty of input by Mr. Raimi I assume). The script was then turned over to one Diablo Cody of Juno and Jennifer’s Body fame. Juno was a warm and lovable film and Jennifer’s Body will forever live on my guilty pleasures list. Was it great? Nope, it certainly wasn’t. But it shows that Cody has a decent grasp on the concept of horror writing and will most likely be smoothing out the script as is. I don’t expect witty cultural references to be overflowing from the new Evil Dead, but I honestly can’t be sure.
So what do we have so far? We have a very good writer with a limited horror background and a director that made a YouTube video and got a job in Hollywood the very next day. Things don’t necessary seem bleak, but there isn’t much to look forward to. That is of course, until you factor in the the top three producers of the film are Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Robert Tapert, the founding fathers of the Evil Dead franchise. If that isn’t a shining beacon of hope I don’t know what is.
Basically, I believe that remake movies fail because the creators can never truly connect with what the fans want. In this case, three of the people overseeing and having direct influence on the film are three people who hold it even closer to their hearts than we. The movie has a fighting chance.
What do I want to see in the remake? I can boil it down to three things. I want to see puppetry and special effects MAKEUP. I do not want a movie smothered in half-decent CG because that’s the new thing. Evil Dead worked so well because the ridiculous imagery was all quite physically real. Second, I want non-gore. That doesn’t mean I want a PG-13 movie about people screaming and hugging each other. It means I want less Saw and more… well, more Evil Dead. I want gallons of blood pouring out of the walls and I want eyeballs comically getting popped out of demons heads. And lastly, and I think we can all agree on this, I want to see Lily Collins with a chainsaw for a hand saying “groovy.” I don’t feel like that is much to ask.
I’ve read a few things saying that Raimi and Co are looking to bring this movie back to it’s roots of traditional horror (so nothing like Army of Darkness). My understanding of that is they want to make Evil Dead only have it not look like the ridiculous low budget indie it was. I can’t fully agree since the main reason I enjoy Evil Dead 2 (My favorite of the trilogy) is the humorous slap stick elements. Basically, if they come out with a film somewhere between The original Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2, I’ll be content. Although, I suppose I could always just go watch Drag Me To Hell again.
Sam, Bruce, you aren’t going to read this. But if for some reason you are, I am begging you: Please don’t make another boring Hollywood “Bigger and CG’d is better” horror remake. Remember why Evil Dead was amazing and why the fans love these films. They aren’t looking to be scared, they’re looking for a good time.