Evil Dead was a big focus of New York Comic-Con 2012, with legions of fans coming out to see what director director Fede Alvarez has done with Sam Raimi's cult-classic horror/comedy. Needless to say, there was a general air of skepticism regarding the remake, but that skepticism changed once the audience got a look at the first trailer for the film.
Now, the Evil Dead trailer is arriving online and it will face a much wider berth of fan ire than it did in the halls of NYCC, where fan enthusiasm is already given (to a certain degree).
Evil Dead is something of a funny case. The word "remake" automatically generates a certain amount of negative stigma, and with a property like Evil Dead - which is still used for many a friendly, Friday night viewing party - the negativity of that stigma increases by exponential degrees. I say all that to say: the love of the Internet masses is going to be much harder to win. However, it's not impossible.
As stated in my breakdown of the Evil Dead NYCC panel, Alvarez has constructed a movie that at once looks very modern and polished - a la those Platinum Dunes horror remakes like Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Friday the 13th - but still manages to capture much of the gross-out, freakish fun of Raimi's original; albeit, with a slightly different sense of humor. From what I saw, the humor is more in step with the darker tone of the new version - rather than the campy humor (both intentional and unintentional) of Raimi's low-budget original.
As for the new lead: Yes it will be girl (an addict going to a remote cabin to get on good footing). No, there is no way to truly replace an icon like Bruce Campbell, who starred in Raimi's film (and its subsequent sequels) as the now-famous, chainsaw-wielding Ash. For all the complaints about the change in protagonists, there are three important things to remember, in general, about this particular remake:
- Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi don't just approve of it - they're actively involved with it. Campbell serves as a producer, while Raimi both produced and co-wrote the script.
- Director Fede Alvarez was handpicked by Raimi himself to helm the project. The footage in the trailer pretty much spells out why.
- Lead actress Jane Levy was endorsed as " the new Ash" by Campbell himself; and trust when I tell you - he made her earn every letter of that title.
So, unlike so many other remakes that are soullessly churned out by Hollywood studios - Michael Bay and Platinum Dunes, looking at you - the new Evil Dead has the very heart and soul of the people who crafted the original all over its DNA. Pretty ironic for a movie about soulless undead monsters.
Evil Dead will be in theaters on April 12, 2013.