Disclaimer - Mood I was in: Great mood, just woke up and had four shots of espresso in my blood. Saw with some folks I hadn't seen in a long time at the AMC early 6 buck show. Everyone else was at Iron Man 3. Empty theater. All good.
1. I love that they added real life horrors in the mix. Insanity. Drug Addiction. Hopelessness in overwhelming odds. The breakdown of rationality. Infection. Sickness. On and on. These are the things that keep me up. Demon possession? Not so much.
2. This movie stands on its own. Is it as good as the original? Well no, but we are talking apples and oranges. As a slick Hollywood Horror film, this really stands out as something special. As an Evil Dead remake, that is holy ground and you are asking the wrong guy to be objective. As a direct sequel to the first one, bypassing the wacky fun of the sequels, this works for me.
3. It doesn't work when it tries to pull a Raimi. Raimi's movies operate in their own universe. By adding the real horrors to this movie, it grounds it in the real world and the tonal shift from Exorcist style supernatural drama to comic book shenanigans is bracing. I understand fan pandering, and some of it is subtle and appreciated. But otherwise, the movie is it's best when it does its own thing.
4. Lots of good ideas in this. The whole premise of them being in the cabin, having a nurse there, the family dynamics. All this felt fresh. I loved it. This was not Ash and the gang redone. It was a nice added touch of realism.
5. The exposition was clunky. One of the folks I saw this with groaned in pain. But that's okay. Exposition is tough. I was here to be scared anyway.
6. Ya know what? Maybe the burbs have made soft. Domestic life made me weak. But halfway through this I said to myself, "I am so scared right now". That never happens. The movie if nothing else works for me on that level. I wasn't just grossed out, more on that, I felt fear for the characters. My minds said to me, "I don't see how they are going to make the night". So I am a weenie. Fine. This movie made me feel dread, while most make me feel boredom. Thank you movie.
7. Something about grossness. Oh yeah. Thank you for showing me some state of the art grossness. The makeup looked gooood. Maybe perfect. And the ideas behind them. So good. I was in heaven. I wasn't repelled. I'm one of those wierdos that finds this stuff beautiful. The art and science of pulling off these effects. The lighting, the buildup, empathizing with the characters enough to feel it as it is happening. That is art dude. This was like a high art gallery show of grotesqueries.
8. The design of the book was top notch. I am so glad they didn't find it on a kindle or had their computer read a pdf file with it. It was a little stretch how they did read the evil spell that starts the terror, but it was alright. I went with it. I wouldn't know how else to do it. The tape player in the original was great. I like that in this one people have been scrawling notes in it over time.
9. The ending, people have been complaining, I was cool with it. I was mad for a second when the evil is revealed, but you know what, they redeemed themselves. Allegory city dude. At least they tried.
10. Lots of pain in here. Especially sensitive beard man. He gets put through the Campbell ringer.
Showstopper One! The talk out by the grave between the brother and sister. So good and the heart of the movie.
Showstopper Two!! Electric knife! That is the Evil Dead difference. You see the impact. You feel it. When you see it, you feel it. It ups the stakes. On a cutaway, you are not feeling what the characters are going through. I don't know. Maybe I'm a psycho.
What about that stinger: Unnecessary, see #2, but appreciated.
How are the end credits? Like an Olive Garden commercial directed by Hershel Gordon Lewis.
Pairs Well With: The Exorcist or Requiem for a Dream.