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Monday, October 19, 2020

Why ‘Evil Dead’ and ‘My Bloody Valentine 3D’ Make for a Perfect Remake Double Feature

According to some, remakes do untold damage to childhoods the world over, leaving nothing but tears, regrets, and crumpled up memories in their wake. Obviously, the idea of redoing a beloved movie is a touchy subject for film fans as the results are sometimes less than stellar. In some cases, they’re not even adequate. But horror remakes fair a little better. Specifically, ones with a creative team with something on their mind or a singular perspective.

Every week in October, I’m suggesting a double feature of remakes for your Halloween viewing pleasures. The movies are connected and never random, even if the connection is not-so-obvious at first sight. Besides the fact we’re all dying for horror to watch during the spooky season, double features are great introductions to movies for the uninitiated. And for seasoned vets, watching two movies back-to-back can sometimes put them in a different light.

So, without further ado, let’s get to the picks.

What Are the Movies?

Here comes the blood. While the previous four movies we profiled in this column aren’t short on bodily fluids squirting out of every possible orifice, Evil Dead and My Bloody Valentine 3D put them to shame. And yes, you should watch them in that order. 

2013’s Evil Dead is a nasty piece of filmmaking. And I mean that in the best way possible. Fede Alvarez‘s remake sticks to the more serious tone of the 1981 original movie. It forgoes the comedic nature of its sequels. Of course, Evil Dead is still more than a tad over-the-top with the sheer amounts of blood the film wants us to believe exists within the human body. But there’s barely a wink or smile to the proceedings. To be fair, when the marketing says it’s “the most terrifying film you will ever experience,” that doesn’t leave room for sight gags. And it definitely doesn’t have time for Raimi’s trademark slapstick. We’re left with a very visceral and, dare I say, squeamish experience.

Evil Dead inverts the premise of the original just enough while focusing on a brand-new cast of characters. Without giving too much away for the uninitiated, the kids aren’t spending time at a cabin in the middle of nowhere just for fun.  When we meet them, they’re already on edge, which is never a good sign for survival. You know that part in horror movies where the bad things start and no one listens to the character telling them about said evil? Well, that happens here too, but because of the setup, it’s easy to understand their skepticism.

Once they accept the truth, it’s way too late, and the movie begs us to watch the resulting carnage without covering our eyes. There’s that tree in the woods, that incident in the bathroom, that maiming in the kitchen, and of course, all the violence in the basement. Every major scare in this flick feels like it was created on a dare. 

Evil Dead is as earnest as a movie about possession, curses, and demonic trees can be. My Bloody Valentine 3D is the complete opposite. With tongue firmly in cheek, the remake takes a tonal departure from the 1981 original while fully embracing the 3D phase of the late 2000s. The 2009 flick remixes the original, using most of the same characters but presenting them differently. Director Patrick Lussier and writer Todd Farmer tag team for the ultimate valentine—pun very much intended—to slashers and a bygone era. Plus, not many movies have a pickaxe and an eyeball coming right at you, complete with blood droplets.

Yes, a lot of it is over-the-top because, well, it’s in 3D, but that excess gore helps separate it from the original. Having a bigger budget doesn’t always create a quality product, but that’s the case here. The 2009 version attains a level of carnage the 1981 movie couldn’t reach. Going bigger and bolder can hurt remakes, but that ethos makes My Bloody Valentine 3D memorable. The soap opera at the heart of the film, along with a whodunit, tries to ground the surroundings in some semblance of real human emotion. The directors walk a fine line portraying those storylines with sincerity while never forgetting this is still a movie about a guy dressed like a miner who kills people with whatever tool at his disposal.

Okay, Why These Two?

Evil Dead and My Bloody Valentine 3D are adaptations of their respective source materials. Most remakes follow the same beats as the originals and maybe add one or two additional story elements. But these two flicks take premises and alter the settings, change some characters, and throw in wrinkles to make something that stands on its own two feet. Without spoiling too much, both movies feel like mirror universe versions of their ’80s counterparts. Those who love the classics won’t have to shield their eyes or weep for their childhoods because the modern equivalents are on their own wavelengths. They’re love letters—no pun intended— to what came before. The filmmakers use every penny possible to make the movies as they envisioned them as kids who were way-too-young to see them in the first place. This attitude brings ’80s sensibilities like practical effects, gore, and 3D into the 2000s.

Evil Dead and My Bloody Valentine 3D push the envelope just like their predecessors, fully embracing the “anything goes” mantra of the genre’s most hallowed decade.



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/editorials/3637386/evil-dead-bloody-valentine-3d-make-perfect-remake-double-feature/

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