Fede Alvarez, Evil Dead, 2013
I was invited yesterday to a press screening of Evil Dead. This was exciting because I don't go to the cinema anymore for horror (hardly anyone wants to go with me) - and especially not in a big one right at Leicester Square, with free beer and pizza served beforehand (and your mobile phone bagged just before the entrance, in case you have any ideas about filming the screen.) There was a buzz of excitement, with a long queue snaking outside the cinema's doors - seemingly all of London's horror reviewers and aficionados in attendance.
I'm no horror expert, but I know when a film stinks. The dialogue is too expository, wooden and boring. The film's pace has no suspense, acting is flat and you don't care about the characters. Every horror cliché is rolled out and it feels like you're watching just a bunch of splatter scenes cobbled together. You wonder why nobody in this project watched the recent Cabin in the Woods, a successful horror-satire on exactly this sort of horror movie.
I don't remember much of the original Evil Dead - I saw it when I was 12 years old - but I do know that this new Evil Dead is pointless. I can recall the original's macabre sense of humour, its maniacal energy, its uniqueness - no matter how low its budget. Bruce Campbell was perfectly cast for it. This new Evil Dead is just a studio exercise via various screenwriters on how to gross out teenagers who haven't seen much of anything. The actors are poorly cast and forgettable, moving around like videogame characters in a plot mashed from the original and Cabin in the Woods (with J-horror thrown in at times.)
Someone on Twitter agreed with me; he said that a good horror must get under your skin. Evil Dead is so forgettable that it was completely out of my mind by the time I took my Tube ride home.