With the release date for the Evil Dead remake drawing closer, we at ShockTillYouDrop.com have taken it upon ourselves to reflect on Sam Raimi’s controversial decision to redo one of the most notorious horror films of all time. Head inside for our thoughts on the remake, insight from the set, and more.
Sam Raimi has been a long time proponent of remaking Evil Dead. In fact, Raimi’s initial desire to reboot the film dates all the way back to 2004. The news of Raimi’s intent to re-imagine Evil Dead was originally announced then, but it has been a nine year journey to get the film made and into theaters.
At one point, Stoker director Park Chan-wook was reportedly approached to direct. That ultimately didn’t pan out and up-and-comer Fede Alvarez was tapped to direct the redux. Alvarez first garnered media attention with his short film Panic Attack!
The film caught Sam Raimi’s attention and led to Alvarez being selected to direct another project for Raimi. Tha project fell through, however. Raimi had faith in Alvarez as a director, though, and wanted to give him a shot. When given the opportunity to write a draft of Evil Dead, Alvarez even won over Bruce Campbell, who was skeptical about the remake. Fede Alvarez’s decision to leave the “Ash” character out of his draft altogether is what got Campbell on board for the project.
Sam Raimi told Bloody Disgusting in 2005 that his production company Ghost House Pictures was designed to bring new directors to Hollywood and give them a chance to make a good horror film. And that’s exactly what he has done for director Fede Alvarez. With several trailers released, the general consensus is that Raimi made the right choice. Even the staunchest of naysayers began to reconsider their stance when the first trailer for the film hit the Internet.
It’s been speculated that the Evil Dead reboot will stand with films like Dawn of the Dead, The Ring and a small handful of other remakes as one that actually worked. Having been on set for the 2013 reimagining, I was really impressed with Alvarez’s directorial prowess. He doesn’t seem like someone who is doing this for the first time. He has a clear vision of where he wants to take the film and from everything I saw, his instincts seem to be spot on. Probably the single biggest reason that fans are on board for the remake is that it separates itself from the original film by telling its own story. We aren’t getting a blow-by-blow remake. We’re getting a companion piece that pays homage to the 1981 original film, but doesn’t plagiarize it.
For me, one of the smartest decisions the team behind the Evil Dead remake made was casting the film with up and comers, thus making the movie more about the events that transpire after the group discovers The Book of the Dead, rather than making it all about the names attached.
Evil Dead hits theaters nationwide on April 5th so make sure to check it out then.
Fred Topel from Crave attended the world premiere at SXSW – read his review here.