Duct Tape Fixes Everything

Ryan Simpson, Columnist

The original “Evil Dead” was a launching pad for director Sam Raimi and actor Bruce Campbell.  This low-budget dark comedy horror movie spawned two successful sequels known as “Evil Dead 2” and “Army of Darkness.”  It’s understandable that fans will approach this remake with much apprehension.   However, feel free to leave your fears at the door, because the new installment of Evil Dead is a just compliment to its predecessor and a hellish nightmare for the new generation.

After a startling opening scene with a man, his daughter, a pack of inbred weirdo’s, and a boom-stick, the story begins in a cabin in the woods.  A pack of twenty-something’s having arrived not for partying and debauchery, but to help their friend Mia kick her drug addiction.  Accompanied by her brother David and friends Eric, Olivia and Natalie, Mia is determined to destroy her past demons.  But like any horror movie things never go as planned.

The group discovers a book in the basement covered in a black bag, bound in barbed wire, accompanied by an array of decaying cats strung up on the rafters.  One would think that helping Mia through her withdrawals would be time consuming enough but Eric’s curiosity gets the better of him as he opens the bags contents.  For fans of the original Evil Dead, we know the book is actually the Necronomican, The Book of the Dead.  But being a naïve child, Eric read from the book bound in human flesh and unleashes a demon that possesses Mia and starts to kill off the rest of her troupe.

This is where the “yuck” factor kicks in and the gore fans can rejoice.  All the blood, puke, urine and dismemberment one could ask for is served up in amble supply.  To the directors credit there is very little CGI, so makeup and prosthetics are used heavily which captivates the mind and makes the ensuing horror believable.

I can sing the praises of the special effects, but the characters are the films biggest detriment.   I’m a genuinely sympathetic person, but it’s hard to care for these people in their plight.  Eric reads from the book even when there are excerpts in the book are telling him not to.  Olivia is a nurse that thinks she is a doctor who can properly care for a junkie going through withdrawals in a cabin with little medical supplies or properly trained staff and gets offended when people question her.  Natalie has two lines for two-thirds of the movie.  And David is devoid of a personality but doesn’t seem to man up when his friends need him.  But all this is just petty poop.

David, however, is crafty.  He can MacGyver a defibrillator out of duct tape, a car battery, wire and two syringes.   He also stops bleeding from stab wounds and severed limbs with salt and duct tape.   Duct tape truly does fix everything.

This movie lacks from the absence of Bruce Campbell.  He had that certain je ne sais quoi that made the original a classic.  Although the characters are lackluster, the story and ambience are what makes this movie a good one.  You should go see it.