Horror movie remakes tend to arrive in one of two forms: 1) A drastic departure from its predecessor that reflects the vision of an auteur (see: John Carpenter’s The Thing, David Cronenberg’s The Fly), or 2) A flashier rehash lacking either the kitsch charm and/or unmitigated scariness of the original (see: pretty much every remake from Platinum Dunes). Which of those two categories the upcoming Evil Dead and Carrie remakes will fall into, remains to be determined.
Marketing for both films was initiated earlier this month, with their presentation at the 2012 New York Comic-Con. Today, we have new imagery from the Evil Dead reboot (revealing the film’s Necronomicon), along with information about the just-initiated viral marketing campaign for the Carrie re-adaptation.
Evil Dead is a retooling of the 1981 cult classic about an unwitting group of young people who unleash flesh-possessing demons on a cabin trip (after one of them opens the Book of the Dead). A young Sam Raimi (in)famously made that film on a shoestring budget and put his cast (including, Bruce Campbell) through hell, in order to assemble a Lovecraftean tale of supernatural horror that mixes intentional (and un-intentional) camp with macabre happenings. Raimi also co-wrote and produced the remake, wherein the hellish events that transpire become a literal metaphor for protagonist Mia’s (Jane Levy) struggle with her drug addiction.
Here’s a first look at the Book of the Dead (a.k.a. the Necronomicon) from the Evil Dead remake (via Facebook):
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The red-band teaser for the Evil Dead remake suggest that director Fede Alvarez is going to give Raimi’s original a run for its money; at the least, in terms of sheer unadulterated grotesqueness. Still, many of the film’s tropes (carried over from the original) were subverted to a comical extreme in Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon’s Cabin in the Woods just this year, which makes it all the more difficult for me to imagine that Alvarez’ remake could have a similar sustaining cultural impact as its predecessor.
Can this film indeed overcome its remake stigma, even with Raimi and Campbell in its corner? We will find out when Evil Dead opens in theaters on April 12th, 2013.
A social media campaign has gotten underway for the Carrie remake. You can now follow the film’s official Twitter account to receive future messages concerning the titular troubled teen (brought to life in the remake by Kick-Ass and Let Me In star Chloë Grace Moretz)
Carrie is described as foremost a re-adaptation, with writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Big Love, Glee) and director Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry, Stop-Loss) putting their own spin on Stephen King’s source material – rather than ‘updating’ Brian De Palma’s 1976 adaptation or its subsequent sequels/spinoffs.
However, even following on the heels of an effective teaser trailer (on its own terms, that is) the project still faces questions similar to those hounding Evil Dead. Namely, can it resonate with the masses now that the iconography carried over from the original (ex. a bloodied Carrie on a vengeful rampage) is no longer as shocking? And can Peirce properly execute her plans to make the story all the more relevant - so that it better reflects the nature of the contemporary teen experience?
You can find out the answers for yourself when Carrie opens in theaters on October 18, 2013 [Updated].