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Original Vs. Remake: The Evil Dead

Apr. 9, 2014by: Mike Catalano
We had a bunch of great comments and opinions on our last Original Vs. Remake. The Dawn of the Dead battle actually ended in a tie, yet many could see how that happened and weren't pissed off by it. Frankly, I was surprised, but pleased. Rock on!

Today, we have ourselves another big-time battle between two beloved films that dared to open the Book of the Dead! So, pour yourself (and your soul) a cold one and watch out for those horny branches because we are about to slice and dice our way through Sam Raimi's classic Evil Dead and Fede Alvarez's insane update!

Story
It's a simple, classic tale that really pioneered the whole "horror in the woods" sub-genre. Friends head out to an isolated cabin in the woods for some rest and relaxation only to discover an ancient book that unleashes Hell on Earth. The concept really is genius and doesn't surprise me that it was cooked up by a young Sam Raimi.
In terms of a remake/update, the 2013 version really is quite good. I love how it takes the original's premise and implies a healthy amount of difference to make the remake stand on its own. Having the group convene at the cabin as a means of an intervention for Jane Levy's character was a particular stroke of enlightenment.
Special Effects
Let's take into consideration the fact that the original Evil Dead was made in the very early 80's on a very low budget. Because of this, the amount of splattery carnage that gets thrown on the screen is a work of art. The possessed people effects are creepily on point and the rotting corpses are a brilliant exercise in stop-motion grossness. And when the blood flows, watch the f*ck out!
Clearly, the remake's filmmakers knew if their movie was going to have the slightest chance of being a success, they had to go all out in the effects department. Thankfully, they did. The characters in this flick get put through a lot of shit and their wounds definitely show it! From hacked open gushers to tiny needles stuck in skin, all the practical effects are top notch.
Acting
This is the movie that launched Bruce Campbell's career and he completely owns in it. There is so much crap that gets thrown at him and his reactions are priceless. The rest of the early 80's cast shines as well whether they are possessed or not. But it really is Campbell's show and it is certainly a gift to behold.
I was already a fan of Jane Levy's from the show Suburgatory and had a hunch she would kick ass in the remake. Suffice to say, I was right. Her work as the tortured "Mia" is fantastic. She does sufferer, tormentor, and hero! All the other cabin dwellers do a fine job reacting to the craziness around them.
Intensity
By the time that demon bitch gets thrown into the basement, the shit has bashed the fan to bits. Raimi definitely knows how to ramp up the tension and The Chin truly knows how to sell the "oh no!" factor! The "Evil" comes at people with such a fast, powerful force that you can't help jumping out of your seat.
Okay, I've gotta say that this friggin' remake had me on the edge of my seat. From the very first scene (a nice updated idea, by the way), I was glued without a chance of being subdued. Without being afraid to showcase the harshest of hardcore violence, you're constantly going "there's no f*cking way they're going to show that" and then, she's slicing her friggin' tongue down the center!
Hot Chicks
Okay, I will say that Ellen Sandweiss, Betsy Baker, and Theresa Tilly are a fairly fine trio of early 80's cuties. And Ms. Sandweiss does give us a couple of hints of boob when the trees are having their way with her. However, none of the actresses are anything to send a viewer into a tizzy of horniness.
It's hard not to be fond of Miss Jane Levy with that creamy pale skin and dark red locks. I certainly wouldn't mind if she tried to take over my body. She's even supported by the delicious duo of Jessica Lucas and Elizabeth Blackmore who both look quite tight when drenched in liquid (albeit blood).
Directing
This is Sam Raimi's first major studio directorial effort. And the damn thing is just loaded with brilliant visuals, actions, and reactions. The man took such a simple premise and loaded it with insane performances and circumstances that it became a complete classic. The POV shots of the "evil" would be imitated over and over for years to come, but never matched. This man really knew how to make the woods scary.
Fede Alvarez certainly has an eye for sick visuals and brisk scares. Honestly, I think he was without a doubt the perfect choice to helm this remake. The shocking ride that the movie takes you on would not be possible without him behind the wheel. He's got a knack for visuals, especially within the murky, branchy confines of the woods. And the final act is absolutely brimming with visceral excitement.
Evil Dead ('13)
Well, swallow my soul and call me a bitch! We have ourselves another Remake over an Original! I am so interested in hearing what you, our faithful readers think on this one! Which Evil Dead incarceration deserved the W? What are your reasons? Would things have been different if Evil Dead 2 was in the battle? Fire all them bullets below! And if you have any flicks you'd like to see in this column, give me a shout at mikecatalano@joblo.com.

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8:17AM on 04/11/2014
I enjoyed the remake. But the main girl ( I forget her name) acted like she was possessed by the Devil Exorcist style, not Evil Dead Deadyte style. That was sort of the killer for me. But I still liked as a stand alone movie.
I enjoyed the remake. But the main girl ( I forget her name) acted like she was possessed by the Devil Exorcist style, not Evil Dead Deadyte style. That was sort of the killer for me. But I still liked as a stand alone movie.
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11:49AM on 04/10/2014
The original for me because of its sheer rawness of the movie. I practically screamed out loud at the climax when everything starts to Rot. However, the new Evil Dead really surprised me. It held its ground very well and possibly one of the better horror remakes out there.
The original for me because of its sheer rawness of the movie. I practically screamed out loud at the climax when everything starts to Rot. However, the new Evil Dead really surprised me. It held its ground very well and possibly one of the better horror remakes out there.
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11:13AM on 04/10/2014

Why Bother

I didn't even read the article, whats the point, there is only one factor that needs to be considered.
Ash vs No Ash....nuff said.
There will never be a movie to top any in the Evil Dead Series other than a new Evil Dead with B.C. as Ash period.
I didn't even read the article, whats the point, there is only one factor that needs to be considered.
Ash vs No Ash....nuff said.
There will never be a movie to top any in the Evil Dead Series other than a new Evil Dead with B.C. as Ash period.
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10:34AM on 04/10/2014

Agree

The original was meant to be a horror film first and foremost, not a comedy like we got in the follow-up. The remake does what the original could not both graphically and actors who aren't completely amateur. I look forward to the sequel especially with the idea of Bruce Campbell coming into the mix.
The original was meant to be a horror film first and foremost, not a comedy like we got in the follow-up. The remake does what the original could not both graphically and actors who aren't completely amateur. I look forward to the sequel especially with the idea of Bruce Campbell coming into the mix.
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9:56AM on 04/10/2014

Slayer

I gotta say seeing that 3rd act... our final girl destroying a demon with a chainsaw to the face while its raining blood was so metal my head almost exploded.
I gotta say seeing that 3rd act... our final girl destroying a demon with a chainsaw to the face while its raining blood was so metal my head almost exploded.
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11:21PM on 04/09/2014
Sorry dude, but April Fools day was 8 days ago.
Sorry dude, but April Fools day was 8 days ago.
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10:26PM on 04/09/2014
nope.

when you just make shit up to get a reaction it will work a couple times, but I lose interest over the long haul so choose wisely jbbbbbbbbb
nope.

when you just make shit up to get a reaction it will work a couple times, but I lose interest over the long haul so choose wisely jbbbbbbbbb
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10:03PM on 04/09/2014
Was this for shock value to get attention? Cause it worked. The original is far superior to the remake in every single way.
Was this for shock value to get attention? Cause it worked. The original is far superior to the remake in every single way.
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7:49PM on 04/09/2014
They're actually about equal for me :)
They're actually about equal for me :)
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7:35PM on 04/09/2014

Terrible Verdict

The original one is better....hands down.
The original one is better....hands down.
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5:35PM on 04/09/2014
Both were awful films.
Both were awful films.
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8:05PM on 04/09/2014
Just kidding ?
Just kidding ?
4:36PM on 04/09/2014

Evil Dead 2 kicks both of these films in the nuts!!

The original is a rough-edged innovator that hasn't aged the best and the remake just didn't do it for me whatsoever. Don't understand the love for it, maybe i missed something but yeah couldn't stand it. The best will always be ED2 followed by AOD in my book.
The original is a rough-edged innovator that hasn't aged the best and the remake just didn't do it for me whatsoever. Don't understand the love for it, maybe i missed something but yeah couldn't stand it. The best will always be ED2 followed by AOD in my book.
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4:30PM on 04/09/2014

Tough choice but......

The original was good for its time and just like a bottle of wine got better with age for obvious reasons. The remake on the other hand was a very solid horror movie and will hold up in time as well I believe. I like the remake more just because it didn't apologize, found its own voice, stayed true when it neede to be, and was just a good old fashioned bloody good time! The chainsaw in the mouth of the demon was epic! Raining blood awesome! The main girl getting all frickin weird locked in the
The original was good for its time and just like a bottle of wine got better with age for obvious reasons. The remake on the other hand was a very solid horror movie and will hold up in time as well I believe. I like the remake more just because it didn't apologize, found its own voice, stayed true when it neede to be, and was just a good old fashioned bloody good time! The chainsaw in the mouth of the demon was epic! Raining blood awesome! The main girl getting all frickin weird locked in the basement, loved it. I will say towards the end where he brought her back to life was a little gay but I can look past it.
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3:12PM on 04/09/2014

No possible way

You have to be a 10 year old kid to think the remake was any amount of good. Cabin in the Woods was 10x better than the remake of Evil Dead and somehow was more true to Evil Dead than the remake. The remake was pure balls.
You have to be a 10 year old kid to think the remake was any amount of good. Cabin in the Woods was 10x better than the remake of Evil Dead and somehow was more true to Evil Dead than the remake. The remake was pure balls.
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1:45PM on 04/09/2014

100% accurate

There's no arguing that the original is infinitely more important to the genre, but if I wanted to scare a friend that hadn't seen either, I'd show them the new one. The pre-title sequence in the new one had the audience I saw it with gasping and applauding. And the theater was riveted by the rest of the movie. The suspense/payoff in the bathroom face-removal scene alone puts the new Evil Dead ahead of the original for me. And I thought it was GENIUS that they subverted the Cabin In The Woods
There's no arguing that the original is infinitely more important to the genre, but if I wanted to scare a friend that hadn't seen either, I'd show them the new one. The pre-title sequence in the new one had the audience I saw it with gasping and applauding. And the theater was riveted by the rest of the movie. The suspense/payoff in the bathroom face-removal scene alone puts the new Evil Dead ahead of the original for me. And I thought it was GENIUS that they subverted the Cabin In The Woods critiques by finding a logical reason for a bunch of teens to travel to a secluded location, and a plausible reason for them to not pack up and leave right away when someone said "there's something in the woods trying to kill us." Making all the characters rational, intelligent people grounded the movie in reality for me, and invested me more in the characters. I could absolutely see myself refusing to leave that cabin, and that scared me. And the "Mia is no Ash" argument doesn't hold water, because ASH isn't Ash in the original Evil Dead. He's not even close to being the character that we all loved in the sequels. I would have hated seeing a new Ash doing a hacky Bruce Campbell impression. Not having an Ash was the only way to go, other than not making the movie, and I'm really glad we got to see this. It's one of my favorite horror movies.
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-11
1:30PM on 04/09/2014

Original - 7/10; remake - 5/10

There's a debate over whether the original was a comedy or not. If it wasn't, then all the laughs were unintentional. So remaking it to be the serious movie it tried to be is a good idea. Remember: remakes are supposed to bring something new or even fix something bad. This one easily could've been better than the original because it has better production values, and mainly, a photography that creates a lot of tension. But it's all ruined by the excessive gore. Also, making this after THE CABIN
There's a debate over whether the original was a comedy or not. If it wasn't, then all the laughs were unintentional. So remaking it to be the serious movie it tried to be is a good idea. Remember: remakes are supposed to bring something new or even fix something bad. This one easily could've been better than the original because it has better production values, and mainly, a photography that creates a lot of tension. But it's all ruined by the excessive gore. Also, making this after THE CABIN IN THE WOODS really hurts. That movie didn't just make fun of the original EVIL DEAD (and THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE). It made fun of all the movies that have tried to copy them over the years, and the many cliches that have resulted from that. So bringing a new version of what started it all to this generation feels kinda pointless. Jane Levy is great. She makes both a creepy possessed girl and a relatable heroine. And Shiloh Fernandez is also good.
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-7
12:57PM on 04/09/2014
Your out of your mind. There's no fucking ASH in the remake. Give me a break. Not to mention, Cabin in the Woods completely deflated the remake. Not that it needed any help.
Your out of your mind. There's no fucking ASH in the remake. Give me a break. Not to mention, Cabin in the Woods completely deflated the remake. Not that it needed any help.
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12:29PM on 04/09/2014

Hell no

Completely agree with Mister Negative. The remake was completely cookie-cutter, it had gore but zero suspense and was severely lacking in the demon taunting which my fav part of the original. Raimi and Campbell all the way!
Completely agree with Mister Negative. The remake was completely cookie-cutter, it had gore but zero suspense and was severely lacking in the demon taunting which my fav part of the original. Raimi and Campbell all the way!
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12:17PM on 04/09/2014
I dig the original more due to its down and dirty rawness; but I can see how somebody would like the remake more.
I dig the original more due to its down and dirty rawness; but I can see how somebody would like the remake more.
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12:03PM on 04/09/2014

Evil dead

Deadites will swallow your soul!
Deadites will swallow your soul!
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11:53AM on 04/09/2014
I'm going to be honest and say I agree with the verdict. I like The Evil Dead but the remake was a much more polished and intense film and while Mia was no Ash she was incredible as her own character. So yeah, count me up as one who like the 2013 version more than the original.

However in the whole Evil Dead franchise, Dead By Dawn is the daddy of them all.
I'm going to be honest and say I agree with the verdict. I like The Evil Dead but the remake was a much more polished and intense film and while Mia was no Ash she was incredible as her own character. So yeah, count me up as one who like the 2013 version more than the original.

However in the whole Evil Dead franchise, Dead By Dawn is the daddy of them all.
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11:32AM on 04/09/2014

Unbelievable.

I just can't even begin to rant. The original, while cheesy-looking/acted by today's standards was a hugely groundbreaking and influential film that became legendary for it's outrageous gore and grinding tone. It was banned in many countries and imitated by the hundreds. Not to mention it birthed the careers of Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and a Coen Brother and spawned two excellent sequels (and a sub-par remake) , comic books and a million pieces of merchandise. If the remake even gets a VOD
I just can't even begin to rant. The original, while cheesy-looking/acted by today's standards was a hugely groundbreaking and influential film that became legendary for it's outrageous gore and grinding tone. It was banned in many countries and imitated by the hundreds. Not to mention it birthed the careers of Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and a Coen Brother and spawned two excellent sequels (and a sub-par remake) , comic books and a million pieces of merchandise. If the remake even gets a VOD sequel I'll be shocked. Shame on you, sir!
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