The Evil Dead
I watched the Evil Dead remake last night and I have to say it was pretty good. It was a very interesting remake because some of the lines were word for word the same, while other things were entirely different. Let’s start with the obvious, NO ASH! Instead of Ash we have David. For some reason they gave the entire cast of characters new names. The original three Evil Dead movies centered on Ash, the hero. It also focused more on the relationship between Ash and his girlfriend, Linda. In the remake there was more of a focus on the strained relationship between David and his sister Mia. Cheryl, Ash’s sister, was more just the chick in the cellar. He was more concerned with Linda. In fact, in the 1981 original, Ash gave Linda the necklace. In the remake, David gave Mia the necklace because it was supposed to strengthen the will of the one who wore it.
This brings me to the beginning of the movie, which was very different as well. In the original, the five friends were just spending a weekend in a rented cabin for fun. In the remake, David and Mia owned the cabin and they were trying to help Mia get off drugs. There was a lot more information about David and Mia than the original had about Ash and Cheryl. I can see why they chose different names for the characters, there is a cult following of the Evil Dead. Ash is one of the most beloved horror movie characters of all time (at least hero characters, we usually focus on the monsters). This way they could create a story line for the characters without touching the original characters. It was a smart move. The story is David left Mia with their mentally ill mother who then died, and he never came to see her. David’s tendency was to run from things. Mia made him promise to stay with her until the end. Of course, he crossed his heart and hoped to die.
The original Necronomicon (at least for the Evil Dead movies) had a face and moved. The Necronomicon remake was a simple book made out of skin. Both movies use the Necronomicon to start the action, however the original has tapes from a guy who was studying it. The five friends play the tape on which the man reads from the book which awakens…well the woods. He also says his wife had been possessed. Though right when they first got there, before they found the book and the recordings, Cheryl sort of became possessed when she picked up a pencil and a sketch book, she drew the Necronomicon (automatic writing).
In the remake, David and Mia owned the cabin. When David goes to unlock the door, he finds that it had been broken into. The movie actually begins with a girl running through the woods, being chased. They take her to the basement and her father says she killed her mother. Right before he set’s her on fire, her face changes into the possessed face. David and Eric (who replaces Scott) go to the basement and find dead animals hanging from the ceiling and a burned column (which is where the girl had been burned to death). They then find the book, it’s bound in plastic and barbed wire.
In the remake, Eric opens the book. It is filled with warnings “Do not read from this book,” etc. He still manages to find the words needed to awake the demon. As soon as he does, Mia throws up. Since she is going through withdrawl, everybody just thinks what happens is in her head. The cool thing about this movie is that everything that happens is in the book. Like first Mia gets scalded by boiling water (in the shower), then Eric’s girlfriend Olivia cuts her own face. Eventually it’s all to lead up to the demon crawling out of hell, which is signified by raining blood from the sky. There is more of a direct purpose in this book or maybe a smaller one. I think in the original the purpose of the book was to open the gate so whoever could take over the world. It was more implied than stated though.
The woods themselves were a big part of both movies, however in the original the woods were almost the source of everything (besides the Necronomicon). In the original it was the woods that sort of raped Cheryl, which turned her. The woods were a character on their own. In the remake, it’s different. Mia starts seeing a demon. In fact, the woods aren’t really a character in the remake. When they made the cabin owned by David and Mia and just broke into, the woods lost their character. The woods in the original were faceless, while in the remake the face is…
She sees this a few times, and steals the car trying to leave. She can feel the demon coming, but as I said before, everybody just thinks this is from her withdrawl. When she takes the car, she sees the demon in front of the car and then swerves into a pond or something. She swims to land and the demon chases her, and then she runs into it. That’s when the vines grab her. Unlike the original, it’s daylight when this happens. Though she does sort of get raped, it’s not exactly the woods…it’s inky black stuff. It’s more like the black stuff goes inside her, which actually makes sense why she changed. In the original, Cheryl just got raped by some vines (though she seemed to enjoy it more) then suddenly changed after that.
Cheryl, though I think she was funny, she wasn’t as developed as Mia was. We didn’t really know much about Cheryl, besides she was Ash’s sister. Mia actually has a story. One thing about both movies, demons and the evil dead prefer women. They mostly try to kill the men and take over the women. In both movies, the sisters are the first to be taken over. They are the driving force for the most part. Mia is definitely the stronger of the two, not in the beginning of the movie, but she definitely becomes a strong character by the end of the movie. It seems the newest movie was a metaphor for addiction, facing your demons and all. I mean the demon even took Mia’s form.
As every horror fan knows, the original Evil Dead movies were all about Ash. While David is a main character, it’s not all about him. It’s about David and Mia. David is trying to make up for being a shitty brother. Ash is really just trying to stay alive. Both Ash and David become strong heroic types by the end of the movies, though with very very different endings.
Linda and Natalie, Linda was so much fun. She was hilarious and creepy at the same time. Natalie didn’t have much presence in the remake. While both were the girlfriends of Ash or David, Linda was a big focus for Ash. Natalie felt more like an afterthought. She just wasn’t important.
Shelly and Olivia. Shelly was Scott’s girlfriend and Olivia was Eric’s girlfriend. Both came very close to killing their boyfriends, though Olivia got a lot closer. She stabbed him in the chest with a piece of mirror or glass. She also stabbed him in the eye with a needle, which he had to pull out…ew. Once these ladies became evil dead, they didn’t last long.
Scott and Eric. Scott was a typical practical joker, he didn’t really take anything serious. Clearly Scott and Ash were best friends. Again, we don’t know much about Scott, other than he’s one of the five friends and he likes to joke and doesn’t take anything seriously. Eric is very different from Scott. He is much more serious and we know he has been friends with David and Mia for a long time. There are pictures of the three of them in the cabin, but none of Olivia or Natalie. Eric is actually a much stronger character. As I said before, he started it all. He felt guilty about it. He seemed to have an interest in the occult. He had expressed some knowledge about Voodoo, and seemed very interested in the Necronomicon (who wouldn’t be). Eric, however, saved David’s ass numerous times when he was half dead himself. He also found the way to end it all in the book.
This is where the biggest difference is between the two movies. If you haven’t seen them, and don’t want to know about the ends of the two movies, stop reading now. If you’ve never seen the original Evil Dead, what’s wrong with you? Go watch it on youtube. In the original, as I’ve said it was all about Ash. Ash ended up burning the book, which made his sister and his best friend melt. Though in the end, he walks out side and you hear him scream, which tells you there will be a sequel. In the remake, it’s totally different. Ash tried to bury his girlfriend, and did but she came bursting out of the grave. Ash burned the book, but Eric tried to burn the book and it wouldn’t burn. David learned from Eric that the way to end it was to either bury his sister alive, dismember her, or burn her. He remembered hearing that his sister had died and had to be brought back to life with a defibrillator. So he made one with a car battery, some cables, and syringes. He went to the basement to get her and she kicked his ass, Eric saved him one last time. She finished him off, the guy should have died three times by then. So David stabbed her with a syringe (they had been using sedatives or something to help with the withdrawl). David put her in a pretty dress, put a plastic bag over her head and buried her alive. Once she was dead, he pulled her out and brought her back to life. Then he went in the house to get the keys and Eric was waiting for him. He threw the keys to his sister and told her to go, he had already doused the cabin in gasoline (before coming up with the plan to bring Mia back to life, he was going to burn the cabin down with her in it, she was a step ahead though and had flooded the basement). He set the cabin on fire, killing both him and possessed dead Eric. It was too late though, the demon needed to feed on five souls. The first was the girl that was burned in the basement, then Mia, Olivia, Natalie, and Eric. It was done, it started raining blood. The demon crawled out of the ground and came after Mia.
She went into the shed got something, and ran outside because the demon was stabbing her through the walls.
She lost her hand when the demon pushed the car over and onto her arm. Of course she had the chainsaw that she got int he shed. She ripped her arm free, which severed her hand, like Ash.
She puts her handless arm through the chainsaw handle and saws the demon in half. What was left of the demon sunk into the ground.
The remake is a good horror movie. It’s not exactly like the original and it lacks the humor from the original Evil Dead movies. Personally I think the original Evil Dead movies are hilarious! The remake is much more serious, it has a different tone. Right from the beginning they are at the cabin for a serious purpose. I would recommend seeing both movies. I have seen the original Evil Dead movies many times, and I’m sure I’ll see the remake many times. I think what the creators of the remake realized is YOU CAN NOT REPLACE ASH! So they didn’t try to. The remake is a good movie on it’s own and is similar to the original Evil Dead, but not the same. So watch both. 😉
- Original vs Remake: ‘The Evil Dead’ (1981) vs ‘Evil Dead’ (2013) (littleblogofhorror.wordpress.com)
- The Evil Dead (1981) Movie Review (theeradicatorreviews.com)
- Goriest Movies of All Time (mrmovietimes.com)
- Review: Ash and the Army of Darkness #2 (comicbooked.com)
- Evil Dead (mistermarquee.com)
- Top 10 Bruce Campbell Moments (jordanandeddie.wordpress.com)
- Evil Dead (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- The Evil Dead (1981), Evil Dead II (1988) and Evil Dead (2013) (filmnerdblog.wordpress.com)
- Evil Dead Review (Archived from Blogger) (mastens.wordpress.com)
- Film Review: The Evil Dead (tweedling.com)