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Lee's Review: "Evil Dead"

6:41 AM, Apr 5, 2013   |    comments
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(WLTX) - It seems that all the movies I grew up with are being re-made these days. Were they not good enough the first time? Do they think they can improve upon something that was obviously successful? Probably not. But, if it has the support of the original director, producer and star, I'll give it a look.

For those who are unaware, "Evil Dead" was the horror franchise that launched the career of Sam Raimi - who went on to direct the "Spider-Main" trilogy and, more recently, "Oz the Great and Powerful." While horror is not always held in high critical regard, it's definitely a way for young filmmakers to show off their creativity. Such was the case with Mr. Raimi and the evil spirits he unleashed on a group of youngsters back in 1981. Then, he remade the whole thing in '87 for "Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn." So, technically, this is adaptation number three!

I will say it gives us more exposition and, thanks to computer-generated effects, there's absolutely no limit to the gruesome carnage. Power tools have also come a long way since the eighties for some more modern mutilation. There's even a new plot twist with a drug-addicted character using the weekend in the woods for detox. So, I'd say the film is fuller than previous versions... but not funnier.

The razor-sharp wit was what made "Evil Dead" more than just a horror film. The late, great Roger Ebert called part 2 "a comedy disguised as a blood-soaked shock-a-rama." He may be gone, but his eloquence lives on.

Regardless, this movie does manage to satisfy the core audience (who should stick around for the credits, by the way). All others should continue to avoid this and watch the originals.

By Lee O. Smith, News19 Movie Reviewer

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