The Ninjabot

Evil Dead- Changing Remakes Forever

Posted on April 8, 2013 at 6:36 pm by Jess Hicks

After months and months of anticipation Evil Dead has finally made its premiere for most eager fans. Raking in over 30 million dollars opening weekend and getting extremely positive reviews, it seems like a hit. But now that the popcorn has been eaten, the blood has been spilled and the seats emptied will anyone even care about Evil Dead anymore?

The answer should be a resounding YES but not for the reason you may think. Sure, it was a good time and probably scared the piss out of its audience but that isn’t why Evil Dead should, and hopefully will, be remembered. It should stay in the minds of all fans, future, and present filmmakers because it has virtually changed the world of the remake as we know it.

Evil Dead Book of the Dead

The word “remake” is usually followed by a collective groan from members of the film community. Horror remakes, in particular, are usually the worst of them all. They take a story we know and love dearly, throw in some pretty new faces, change the dialogue to be more “modern” and call it new and original. Over the years we have been subjected to train wreck after train wreck and all to make rich companies richer.

A friend of mine made a good point that remakes are so prevalent that they should be considered a sub-genre themselves. I completely agree with him, why shouldn’t they be considered and entity of their own? They are constantly popping up in theaters every year and often times they will introduce a new type of horror film to a larger audience. The best example of this I can think of is The Ring, a remake that spawned from a Japanese film of a similar title Ringu. This set into motion a long, and still occurring, trend of international remakes.

The Ring

But what does Evil Dead have to do with any of this? This remake has single handedly changed the way we as audience members should look at remakes. I will be the first to admit that when I hear something is being remade I immediately assume it will undoubtedly suck. Now that I have seen Evil Dead I will no longer feel that way. I have seen the light and boy was it covered in blood!

Let’s take a look at why Evil Dead has made such a drastic impression on the film world:

Shot for Shot No More!

  • What I mean by that is most of time a remake is quite literally the same exact thing as the original but with new actors. Usually these actors are just extremely good looking clichés and the story follows the same premise as the original. What’s wrong with that? Well, nothing really but it brings about the question: What was the point? If you want to put your own touch on a classic, do it. Don’t just plagiarize the entire movie and call it new, which just makes it clear you want our money. If you have seen the remake of Psycho with Vince Vaughn you will understand what I mean, it’s almost EXACTLY the same movie down to each shot.

Psycho-Remake

Practical Effects vs. CGI

  • In the year 2013 where everyone is carrying around some sort of computer with them on a daily basis it is no surprise that the film industry has all but moved completely to digital production. The most common, and rage inducing, aspect of this is the use of CGI blood. Horror movies fall victim to some of the worst special effects known to filmkind. They don’t have the budget or the crowd to warrant spending money on really awesome CG so we get stuck with splashes of CGI blood all the time. Back in its heyday practical effects were all the rage and rightly so. Nothing makes someone cringe more than a realistic disembowelment or decapitation. Evil Dead brought us buckets and buckets of “real” blood. They could have easily gone the other way and put it all in post-production but the use of practical effects left a deeper impression on its audience. The fact is practical effects just look more realistic and that is a great way to scare your audience!

Evil Dead

Bringing Back the “R” Rated Horror Flick

  • It’s no secret that the horror genre attracts a younger crowd, young people just enjoy being scared. Attribute that to innocence or what not but it’s a fact and unfortunately it leads to some really bad PG-13 horror flicks. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes on rare occasions when the moon lines up with Saturn and you see a shooting star, this can work. Most times it leads to a really paper thin story with virtually no scares or an over abundance of “jump scares” (I only use technical terms of course). Also, the audience that the PG-13 rating often brings can completely ruin your movie going experience. Evil Dead had no problem getting an “R” rating and it wasn’t afraid of losing profits. The reason being is that if your product is good enough you won’t lose money. Too many times horror films are turned into PG-13 just for the profits. The lesson being, don’t make a shitty movie and you won’t have to rely on teens to make your money.

Scared Kids

It’s Okay to Exclude Some Of The Original

  • This is something that for many years I have struggled with. Countless times I have watched remakes and come out completely pissed because they didn’t include my favorite part from the original. However, in order to make a good remake you need to put your own touches on it and sometimes that means leaving things out. Evil Dead has taught me a great lesson by not including the character of Ash in their film. This is good for two reasons: 1. No one can play Ash like Bruce Campbell and anyone placed with that much pressure was sure to disappoint fans. By not putting Ash in the film at all completely blocked the opportunity for it to get screwed up. 2.  It gives new characters and story plot points a chance to take on a life of their own. The filmmaker is not stuck in having to follow an old story.

Ash

Of course Evil Dead has not  ended the bad remake but it has definitely given filmmakers something to consider. The audiences have loved it and for the first time avid fans of the original have rejoiced. Why shouldn’t all remakes be treated this way? It’s time to step up and realize these things aren’t going away and we might as well make them worthy of watching!

 

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