Evil Dead (2013)

Of course, I shelled out the money to see Evil Dead in the theater. I love horror movies and I love the original. C’mon son! There will be spoilers so read at your own risk. I’m not sure that there’s much to spoil ultimately – it’s a horror movie and a remake. I think most people can do the math.

Generally, the movie follows the same plot as Raimi’s version: five youths go to a dilapidated cabin and one of them unleashes an evil demon and hell (pretty much literally) ensues. Plenty of references to the original and of course, a chainsaw shows up along the way.

The bit that bothered me the most though is how these people came across the evil book. The opening scene shows a group of (weird looking) people persuading a father to burn and dismember his daughter who is a demon. And this book – there are warnings, things are scratched out so they can’t be read easily. It’s clear people do not want others to find it. This group takes care of business and we are transported probably less than five years into the future to our main cast.

They show up and encounter a terrible smell followed by a rug hiding a whole bunch of dried up blood. They go downstairs into the cellar and find a bunch of dead animals strung up and the book sitting there. But it’s bound intricately by wire and a bag.

Don't worry guys - tree rape happens in this one, too.

Don’t worry guys – tree rape happens in this one, too.

BUT IT’S LEFT OUT IN THE OPEN. These people went through a fair amount of trouble to make sure no one opened the book (but come on, it literally just took wire cutters) but opted to leave it sitting out on a table rather than oh, I don’t know, burying it? Or throwing it in a river? Or tearing it up? Or anything? Obviously they knew that people would be returning – there are photographs all over the cabin and they carefully placed the rug over the trap door to prolong anyone finding the creepy sacrificial altar. They did about 90% of the work but apparently the last 10%, the important part, they were just like “Eh, I’m tired. Hope this family that appears to visit frequently never has to go into their own basement and if, god forbid, they do, I hope this wrapped up book doesn’t intrigue them so that they might open it.”

Moving on. The movie is gross, definitely. There is a lot of blood, some scenes that had me scrunching my face up and half covering my face. And that’s really about it in terms of “horror.” It isn’t particularly scary or terrifying (despite the poster boasting that it would be the most terrifying movie ever) but it is gory and gross and still manages to be a little campy. There isn’t a ton of humor but there are bits here and there to keep things a tiny bit light.

The thing that’s interesting about this movie is that the characters are at the cabin for a reason: one of the girls has a drug addiction she’s trying to kick. Of course, she’s the first one who sees demons and stuff and of course, everyone writes it off as her having a difficult detox.

What’s more interesting is if this movie is intended to be a metaphor. The girl is facing her demons – literally and figuratively. And her drug addiction is affecting those around her. Her attempt to kick the habit is tumultuous and makes her feel like she’s being torn apart. The girl goes through hell so that she may survive at the end.

evildeadThe demon thing that shows up at the end is either played by the same actress or looks suspiciously like her (I couldn’t tell. It was raining blood all over). So when she defeats the demon thing, she is defeating herself, her dark side. Moreover, she does so by splitting the demon right down the middle. Perhaps a symbol of the real her and the addict her being split apart?

Or it’s just a movie and they were just trying to give the characters ~depth~.

Ultimately, it was enjoyable. I think I got a bit too excited and expected a bit too much but I still liked it. And it was interesting take on a classic. I don’t think it tarnished the original or sought to outshine Raimi’s version. It was it’s own thing.

*** stars (I took off some stars for it not being that scary and also because of a pretty shitty portrayal of women)

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54: The Thomas Crown Affair (the ’99 version)

The Thomas Crown Affair – August 6, 1999
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Rene Russo, Denis Leary
Written by: Leslie Dixon, Kurt Wimmer
Directed by: John McTiernan

The plot: “A very rich and successful playboy amuses himself by stealing artwork, but may have met his match in a seductive detective.” – IMDB

My thoughts: I’d only ever seen a few bits and pieces of this when I was younger, so I finally decided to sit down and watch it in its entirety as I have a fervent love for clever heist movies. Unfortunately, I wasn’t especially impressed by and felt a bit let down about the amount of heist going on.

So the plot is pretty straightforward but the fact is, most of this movie all about Brosnan’s Thomas Crown and Russo’s Catherine Banning. They have an interesting relationship as she wants to catch him with stolen art and he doesn’t want to get caught but they’re both so amused by one another and they apparently really like having sex with each other (although ethically, that can’t really be a good idea, can it?) I was a little more than taken aback by going from Brosnan and Russo having dinner and flirting a bit to seeing Pierce Brosnan’s naked ass and Rene Russo’s heaving bosom.

The heists were clever, no doubt. Unfortunately, there just weren’t quite enough to suit my tastes. Not even that there weren’t enough heists, it was just kind of done and over with a bit too quickly, so the rest of the movie was more a question of “Will she catch him or will she think with her heart instead of her head?” And to be honest, I didn’t find Russo to be especially charming or sexy. She seemed like a second-rate Michelle Pfeiffer who was a bit menacing to be honest. Plus, it’s hard to get over the 90s fashion and hairstyles.

All in all, The Thomas Crown Affair didn’t live up my expectations. It was a bit more “feely” than I’d anticipated. Maybe if I hadn’t been in such a mood to see shit get stolen I might have enjoyed it more, but it just wasn’t enough for me.

Stars: 2/5

David Fincher+Trent Reznor+top notch original=great (I hope!)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – December 21, 2011
Starring: Daniel Craig, Stellan Sarsgaard, Rooney Mara, Embeth Davidtz, Robin Wright, Christopher Plummer
Written by: Steven Zaillan (Schindler’s List, Gang’s of New York)
Directed by: David Fincher
Adapted from the novel by: Stieg Larsson
My thoughts: First of all, the original Swedish film was completely wonderful. As much faith as I have in David Fincher, I think it will be hard to top the first version as well as Noomi Rapace’s portrayal of Lisbeth Salander. However, based on this cam version of the red band trailer, everyone looks great. Daniel Craig looks like he’s bringin’ it, I love Stellan Sarsgaard, and Rooney Mara…well, I guess only time will tell. Plus, Fincher’s cinematography is always gorgeous (um, hello FIGHT CLUB.)

Extra thought: The film is scored by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are scoring this. And the trailer features a remix/recreation of Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” featuring Karen O! It’s like the whole world wants me to self-combust!

Straw Dogs AKA another post about sexy men

Straw Dogs – September 16, 2011
Starring: Alexander Skarsgard, James Marsden, Kate Bosworth, James Woods
Written and directed by: Rod Lurie

“L.A. screenwriter David Sumner relocates with his wife to her hometown in the deep South. There, while tensions build between them, a brewing conflict with locals becomes a threat to them both.” – IMDB

My thoughts: With the exception of the willowy Kate Bosworth, this movie was practically made for me. A thriller starring (a very aggressive) Alexander Skarsgard and a geeked-out James Marsden? How could I say no? Anyone, the movie looks like it will be full of tension and probably some hard to watch scenes (I’m 97% there is at least one rape scene which is always hard to stomach.) I’ll definitely be watching the original from 1971, which stars Dustin Hoffman, before watching this one.

‘Fright Night’ remake starring the best cast EVER.

Fright Night – August 19, 2011
Starring: Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin, Toni Collette, David Tennant
Directed by: Craig Gillespie (“The United States of Tara”)
Written by: Marti Noxon
Based on the original film written by: Tom Holland

“Teenager Charley Brewster (Yelchin) guesses that his new neighbor Jerry Dandrige (Farrell) is a vampire responsible for a string of recent deaths. When no one he knows believes him, he enlists Peter Vincent (Tennant), the opportunistic host of his favorite TV show, to help him take down Jerry and his guardian.” – IMDB

My thoughts: FUCK. YES. This is me geeking out hardcore. Campy horror movies + Anton Yelchin + The Doctor? You cannot be serious. Clearly, the heavens have opened up and given us this movie. I’m excited to see Colin Farrell in a role that isn’t so typical of him (you know, hardass Irish man with rippling abs and a bad boy look). This is a must see for myself.