Monday, August 5, 2013

Evil Dead

The poster pretty much describes my experience with this film.  About an hour in I got up to take a breather and get a glass of water and fainted in my kitchen.  This film is RELENTLESS.  I've seen my share of horror movies, good and bad, and this film is the most punishing I've ever seen.  Some films choose to have the audience take a breather, to laugh or something before the next scare or horror comes around the bend. With Evil Dead, it is just one after the other after the other until the very end of the film.  After I came to, I stopped the film and had to come back to it the next day to finish it.

Evil Dead is a remake or "re-imagining" of Sam Raimi's classic franchise that made Bruce Campbell a cult icon.  Raimi and Campbell are producers on this film, though the iconic humor of the first two films are largely absent from this one.  If you've seen the original film or Cabin in the Woods you know the premise. 5 teenagers in a cabin, weird things happen, things go terribly wrong.  This film centers around Mia, played by Jane Levy, who is trying to kick her heroin addiction cold turkey with the help of her friends over a weekend.  They journey off to her parent's old cabin and arrive to find everything dilapidated and dead cats in the basement.  They still decide to stay the weekend and find book wrapped in a plastic bag, tied off in barb wire.  If the barb wire didn't tell you not to open the book, I don't know what will.  There are also warnings inside the book that say "Don't read it, don't write it, don't hear it" but our idiot teenagers do it anyway.  Whoops.

What follows is the most relentless horror film today. Now, I like my horror films to have some other element in them.  I liked the Saw films because they were just ridiculously implausible with the complexity of the death traps.  The Final Destination films started out as an interesting series on fate and consequence but also featured elaborate Rube Goldberg type death scenes.  Heck I even liked the recent Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street films even though a lot of horror purists did not.  I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you like your horror without any humor, fun, or pacing you are sure to love Evil Dead.  If you like your horror a little less steadfast and with some humor you may not enjoy this Evil Dead as you might the original film or Raimi's latest horror film Drag Me to Hell.

2 out of 5 Stars



Admission is a fun little movie. It's not meant to be groundbreaking or an Oscar contender, but it is a good film and worth you time and dimes.  It stars Tina Fey, of Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock fame, and Paul Rudd from all those Judd Apatow comedies you have seen for the past ten years.  At first glance, the poster makes it look like a romantic comedy, but at it's heart it's a drama about one woman finding herself after being in the same job for 15 years. The love part comes as a consequence of this story, but it is not the main story.  Both Tina Fey and Paul Rudd give good performances here, of the quality we have come to expect.  I think these two might be the most likeable actors working today.  You can't help but like Tina's inherent nebbishness, and Paul Rudd's affable everyman.

Tina portrays an admission's representative for Princeton University. Yes. The Princeton. I assume that they filmed on campus because they make a big deal about using the name as often as possible. Free advertising for the school I guess.  I think they nailed their demographic on the head because the kids applying aren't going to watch this film, but their parents will.  For the first few minutes we see Tina doing her job going around to different high schools in her assigned region, giving speeches, and generally telling kids to apply to Princeton, even though they probably won't get in.  Along the way she visits a new age hippie-high school that Paul Rudd's character works at.  Turns out that one of the students at this school is a prodigy who "genuinely loves learning."  Paul pushes Tina to take an interest in him getting into Princeton, but also believes he is her son, through some cockamamie connection to her character in college.   What follows is Tina's journey into realizing that her life isn't what she wants it to be as she finds a path forward.

Like I said earlier, this is a good film, I don't think you will find anything to majorly dislike, but I doubt it will become your favorite movie either. Both actors have put out better work than this, and worse.

3.5 out of 5 Stars