Evil Dead

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Does the modern remake break new ground or does the original trilogy far outweigh it?

The Evil Dead franchise started out as a B Movie directed by Sam Raimi in 1981. This was an entirely low budget affair and was screened at Cannes resulting in a fantastic review by Stephen King. Despite that, the film took less than 3 million dollars but importantly grew a cult following which would see the series rise in gross up to its highest point in 1992 with Army of Darkness which took almost 11.5 million dollars, but even that was reasonably small scale. In the gap of 20 years the Evil Dead cult following had grown significantly which meant that the newest film, Evil Dead (2013), grossed over 54 million dollars, an impressive amount for the horror genre.

Interestingly the Evil Dead franchise has undergone more significant changes than most franchises starting with completely redoing the first film for the second. The amount of kills by Ash, the lead, is exactly the same in both at 3. Even the same amounts of weapons are used at 10. Noticeably the use of a chainsaw, which has become a famous Evil Dead symbol, appears for the first time in the second film and is used three times. The only other major difference is that Ash hesitates before using a weapon twice in the first film whereas that hesitation is dismissed completely in Evil Dead II bringing the confident violent Ash that fans now love to the screen.

The third film brings action, fantasy and medieval elements to the franchise and finally gives the audience a different story. The action elements are underlined by the first 10 uses of explosions in the franchise as well as Ash killing 10 people instead of the previous 3 per film. This is almost a complete departure from the horror genre as horror very rarely sees the protagonist in control of the situation, killing multiple opponents and also highly enjoying the whole experience.

The newest Evil Dead returns to the original story and treats the subject matter more like a traditional horror. As is expected with modern horror Evil Dead increases the amount of violence on screen; decapitations go from a franchise average of 1 per film to 5 in the newest outing. Always looking for more gruesome ways to kill people the amount of domestic objects used for violence also increases from an average of 1 per film to 13 in the 2013 remake.

The Evil Dead series is one of the most entertaining horror franchises offering gruesome bloody scenes which are so overplayed that they become light hearted. However the franchise does change, especially in Army of Darkness as an action movie and in the 2013 Evil Dead which is more of a conventional horror. Luckily none of the movies disappoint, they just lack cohesion.

What we learnt from...

Evil Dead

Don't read books
Don't listen to mysterious tape recordings
Don't go anywhere too remote
Don't trust trees
Always agree with a man with the chainsaw for an arm
If you see a woman laughing, it's safest to cut her head off
Don’t underestimate the capabilities of your own hand
Don't understimate how much blood is in your hand
If your hand is causing you grief, then get a chainsaw on the culprit
Even if you definitely kill something, it's probably still alive
Trees don't exercise safe sex
Possessed zombies decompose very quickly
If you see yourself in the mirror, attack yourself before you get a chance to attack yourself
Creating a robotic hand is easy
If I lose my hand, a chainsaw would be a really useful tool to replace it with
Shotguns may surprise medeival people, so be thoughtful
Never bluff your way through an important incantation
Don't upset people in malls
Your survival is always the main objective
Your pillowtalk can confuse and upset others. Pillow talk responsibly.