I've been kind of ambivalent about the idea of an Evil Dead remake ever since, well, it was announced they were doing one (in 2006). Then Bruce "Ash" Campbell said it wasn't happening (in 2007). Then director Sam Raimi said he was working on a sequel (in 2008), before Campbell announced it was in fact a remake (in 2011). The jerking around of fans was approaching Mad Max 4 and Arrested Development levels of annoyance.
But the good(?) news is, the Evil Dead remake is coming. In 2013, to be exact. We know this because Sony Pictures released a red-band trailer for it yesterday. Have you watched it? Go watch it. I'll wait.
I know, total Cabin in the Woods rip-off, right? I actually enjoyed the brief glimpse we were given, and while it's pretty easy to bag on a do-over of a 30+-year old horror movie (as plenty have), I think it might be time for everybody to just grow the fuck up about remakes in general.
Everything you can say about cinematic remakes is true: They're lazy; they exemplify the paucity of imagination in Hollywood; they rely on the inertia of both movie producers and movie audiences to succeed. But succeed they do. The Karate Kid and Footloose, to name two recent examples, both made plenty of money back. Not every remake ends up in the black, but enough do to justify the continued plundering of decades-old properties.
And so what? Remakes aren't new, by any stretch. Did you enjoy The Magnificent Seven? Scarface? A Fistful of Dollars? Maybe sequels aren't your bag, but you probably liked The Godfather, Part II and The Empire Strikes Back, at least. The bar may be set pretty low in general, but some still clear it, occasionally by a wide margin.
People claim they're angry because a remake doesn't live up to the source material, or because they're nothing but naked cash grabs (Raimi's Spider-Man movies took in $2.5 billion worldwide, but please continue to make the argument he's out for a quick buck by producing the ED remake). In reality, it's almost always about fans upset that their beloved youthful memories are somehow being violated.
This is crap, of course. Your memories are just that: yours. So what if Michael Bay is systematically reproducing every mediocre horror movie from the 1980s? Are your own recollections so weak they'll be completely eclipsed by a Sean Bean do-over? Aren't the originals still obtainable on DVD? Is Regal Entertainment sending jackbooted thugs to your house to throw you in a van, drive you to the local cineplex and force you at gunpoint to watch the new Total Recall?
No? Then who cares (although Total Recall needed all the help it could get)? Amidst the endless bitching about movie remakes, there's a distinct lack of understanding that these movies aren't required viewing. Your precious recollections are safe. If you're that offended at the prospect of a new version of Night of the Lepus, or whatever, just stay home and complain loudly and often on the Internet.
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Believe it or not, the two versions *can* coexist. You may fear the damage to your own misty water-colored memories, but there's no reason a new group of youngsters can't enjoy movies, be they remakes or not, just as much as you did. Insisting that they watch/respect the originals is like when the Baby Boomers tell us rock achieved perfection in 1974 ("It's a scientific fact"). If they dig watching old(er) flicks, great. If they like the new stuff, that's fine too.
Because let's not forget one thing: Unless you're Pauline Kael (who was off the mark a few times herself) or Vincent Canby, chances are you liked some pretty horrendously bad movies when you were younger (and likely still do to this day). Fine, fine, you enjoyed them ironically or some horseshit. Whatever helps you sleep at night.
Right after you've finished watching Grease 2 for the 50th time on Starz, that is.
Give the Evil Dead remake a chance. It's got chainsaws, self-mutilation and the...unfortunate tree scene. It might even be -- wait for it -- better than the original.