‘Evil Dead’ falls prey to misleading marketing

“The Evil Dead” was already remade and it was called “Cabin in the Woods” — a brilliant film that calls attention to horror film clichés and the obvious stupidity of characters.

Similarly to my review of “Cabin in the Woods,” I encourage all readers to see this film having not seen any trailers, previews or TV spots, not an easy accomplishment in the bombardment of movie marketing we are subjected to daily on the Web.

“Evil Dead’s” trailers and Bruce Campbell’s presence on campus touted a tone that was to be believed more serious in nature than the original 1981 film directed by Sam Raimi and starring the talented Campbell. “Evil Dead” may provide some serious thrills, horror and effects, but everything else is comedic. I’m still not entirely sure if this was purposeful or not.

“Evil Dead” reminds me of another film that suffered from poor marketing, “Jennifer’s Body,” distributed by Twentieth Century Fox and coincidentally also written by Diablo Cody. Fox was not certain on how to market the film. Should the advertisements feature the comedy or horror elements? The decision was made to feature both horror and the sex appeal of star Megan Fox. Audiences were unsure of what to expect from the movie and decided to skip it. “Jennifer’s Body” made hardly any profit and the film was critically panned by many critics. “Evil Dead” appears to be combating this stigma revealed in “Jennifer’s Body’s” marketing plan.

Unfortunately, for this critic, “Evil Dead’s” marketing established an entirely different tone than the final film. If you are expecting a serious take on “The Evil Dead” story then you will be disappointed. Walk into the theater ready for a campy horror film just like the original and unlike the trailers. I would have loved this film had I been prepared for the terrible plot, dialogue and acting. Where the film lacks substance similarly to “The Evil Dead,” it improves upon all the horror effects and parodies modern scary cinema. The cinematography is exceptional and mimics what Raimi did as director of the original film. Rather than laughing at the campy nature of this particular remake, I chose to roll my eyes and groan. I blame the marketing.

For this reason, I have decided to stop watching movie trailers. I encourage you to do the same, because they are beginning to ruin a movie viewing experience. The marketing for many films has been misleading and though sometimes it works out, there are the other times when it doesn’t.

You won’t care about most of the characters and you’ll probably be bored the first half hour, but the gore kicks it into high gear and never lets off the gas. There are plenty of great references to the original film that will keep “Dead” enthusiasts happy and plenty of gore to appease younger horror audiences. Director Fede Alvarez delivers a movie that screams 21st century horror and promises plenty of blood, guts and dismemberments.

In the end, I really was ready to love this movie, but it fell short of the original, which still scares and entertains me to death. The original perfectly mixes together both campiness and terror. That is what horror films should be, silly unusual entertainment.

Patrick White

Movie fan Patrick White doesn't spare anyone's feelings when deciding if the latest Hollywood offering is trash or treasure. Catch his reviews on the latest theater and DVD releases in Saturday's paper.

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