EDITORIAL: A Hero By Any Other Name...
With Fede Alvarez's remake of Sam Raimi's classic Evil Dead film closing in on us, I attempt to reason with the naysayers
Like most fans of Sam Raimi’s beloved trilogy, “Evil Dead,” I was initially worried when news surfaced of a remake. Hollywood has done a pretty bang-up job of over-saturating the market when it comes to remakes, reboots, and sequels. Not to mention there is no earthly reason that “Evil Dead” should be remade. It’s a classic film, with an extremely devoted following, that has stood the test of time. Trouble began to brew (aside from the outrage from fanboys over the remake itself) after fans of the original heard that the similarities between the original “Evil Dead” and remake would end at” a group of teenagers that go to the cabin and find the book.” The logic behind the anger here is something I’ve never really been able to comprehend.
A reboot/remake should never be a dead ringer for the original it’s based upon. Why would you want to pay to see a movie you’ve already seen and know how it will end? Nostalgia and curiosity can only go so far. Look at “Psycho” for instance. “Psycho” is not only one of the best horror/slasher films ever made, but one of the greatest films ever. Universal Studios had a golden opportunity to retell this classic with a new spin. What did they choose to do though? Allow Gus Van Sant to basically film a shot-for-shot remake. Of course there were other occurrences that contributed to this atrocity, but remaining too faithful to the original was the chief component. I’m not suggesting that people are crying for a shot-for-shot remake, but being too similar would only serve to pander to the nostalgic and would ultimately fade into the white noise that is the current film market.
Fans of the original cried “foul” however when it became known that the character “Ash” would NOT be our hero in this retelling of Raimii’s classic tale. This chief complaint was summed up quite nicely by ComicBookMovie.com user “DeadShot” when he commented on an article revealing the first teaser poster for Fede Alvarez’s “Evil Dead”: “No Ash on screen no Ass in a theater seat.”
The remake itself initially worried me when it was announced, but this news didn’t bother me any. Why should it? “Ash” is only the character’s name, not the character itself. “Ash” was an understandably terrified guy who couldn’t bring himself to cope with the terrors but ultimately pushed past his fears so that he could survive. I’m not sure about you, but this sounds like a typical “hero” to me. Doesn’t it seem probable that these same characteristics are going to be applied to “Mia” (Jane Levy)? It’s true that the name goes hand-in-hand to the “Evil Dead” franchise, but “Ash” essentially means nothing.
Like I said above, any reboot worth its salt should give us something fresh and exciting, not the same stuff that we’ve already seen before, which is something this remake looks to do. The fact that the name “Ash” won’t appear in “Evil Dead” is a moot point and shouldn’t have any bearing on whether or not anybody goes to see this movie. If Bruce Campbell AND Sam Raimii approve of the work Fede Alvarez has turned in, who are you to say this movie will be awful?
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