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Cine-Men: ‘Evil Dead’ is so terrible, it’s scary

Welcome back, Cine-men readers! For the first article of the semester, we’re bringing it back to a series we explored in 2018: “Evil Dead.” This time, we’re talking about the 2013 remake.

As this is a remake, or sometimes called a reimagination, this film follows the rough outline of the first “Evil Dead” film. A group of college students go into the woods to stay in an isolated cabin.

Naturally, they find a cursed book that summons an ancient evil that slowly hunts them all. As said earlier, it’s an “Evil Dead” film, but with a fresh coat of modern-age, blood red paint.

My Take:

There is one large and glaring flaw in the movie: It didn’t scare me. Considering it is a horror movie, that is a big problem. I don’t know if it’s my rampant cynical criticism when I partake in any piece of media that affected this, but the film certainly was not of the scary nature. I believe this problem can be divided into to three categories.

First, the art of horror is the unknown. The more you don’t understand the monstrosity before you, the scarier it is. As with any “Evil Dead” movie, the students find a cursed book that kickstarts the paranormal processes.

In the other movies, the book was written in some dead language and the characters had to rely on other, more knowledgeable parties for assistance. Such things included a tape recorder, professors, etc. Contrastingly, this film shuns all of that by blatantly telling you what the book says in English.
Getting rid of all the unknown eldritch horror in favor of making sure no one is left behind when figuring out what the problem is, what is going to happen next, and how to fix it.

Except, while the audience now knows those facts, none of the characters act on this knowledge. And this brings me to my second point. All the characters in this film are trope-filled idiots.

Their actions go against all reason and common sense to the point where it feels like they are purposefully putting themselves in danger. They ignore blatantly dangerous and creepy things that would make a normal person flee and never return.

All that what we are left with to call scary is the gore. And gore can come across as creepy and even terrifying if film makers use it correctly, which as you can guess, they do not. Characters are shot, stabbed, impaled, cut, bludgeoned, to the utter point of absurdity. It feels like that Black Knight skit from “Monty Python.”

And that brings me to my final point. All of the “Evil Dead” movies had one thing in common. They had comedy. Whether the humor was blatant or subtle, the films were   funny, pulpy, one-liner-filled horror/comedies.

This film plays itself off with a straight face to its own detriment. Without this comedic element, it just comes off as another basic horror movie that isn’t even scary. 2/10. Just go watch “Cabin in the Woods” instead.


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