Slater reviews The Evil Dead (2013)

  Say what you will about campy horror films. "Their messy, unprofessional, low budget, B Movies." For some that's true, to horror fans campy horror films bring out a sense of realism and danger. It makes you think "Maybe it could be possible", or "Could this every happen to me, my friends, or even my family?" Granted, not all horror films are in the realm or realism, but certain things could be fact. Take for example a knife wielding mass murderer wearing a hockey mask. Sure that could be real, and could be very possible. What about Freddy? Not possible to be killed in your dreams. Least not from any studies I've ever read, but it possible to die from sever lacerations and knives being stabbed into you. So what about 'The Necronomicon?'

 What is the Necronomicon? The Necronomicon is a fictional book written by the famous horror author H.P. Lovecraft of the famous Cthulhu Mythos stories. The Necronomicon is said to carry rituals and instructions on how to call the "Old Ones", gods that now live deep in the south pacific ocean, in a subterranean city called R'lyeh which is said to be home to the sleeping god Cthulhu. 

The nightmare corpse-city of R'lyeh…was built in measureless eons behind history by the vast, loathsome shapes that seeped down from the dark stars. There lay great Cthulhu and his hordes, hidden in green slimy vaults. —H. P. Lovecraft,The Call of Cthulhu(1928)

The Necronomicon is commonly referred to as "The Book Of The Dead." Said to carry rituals and incantations to summon the dead, demons, and things that go 'bump' in the night. An actual historical "Book Of The Dead" actually once existed. An ancient Egyptian funerary text, used from the beginning of the New Kingdom (around 1550 BCE) to around 50 BCE. The original Egyptian name for the text, transliterated 

rw nw prt m hrw is translated as "Book of Coming Forth by Day". Another translation would be "Book of emerging forth into the Light". The text consists of a number of magic spells intended to assist a dead person's journey through the 

Duat, or underworld, and into the afterlife. This is far from the common tales of summoning demons, and calling forth demons and zombies to do your bidding. 

 How does the Necronomicon play a part in the 2013 film The Evil Dead? Good question. In fact it's a great question. Some fans speculate (and bare with me here), that when (SPOILER WARNING RIGHT HERE. Do not read further if you haven't seen the original Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2 or Army Of Darkness films. Watch those first.) Ash was transported to Medieval times, alternate copies of The Necronomicon were made and placed in alternate time lines. One in our common time, and one in the past. Ash came across and used the book in the past. So what happened to the current book? Well the 2013 movie answers that question right at the start of the film. 

 At the start of the film a young girl (likely in her early or mid 20's) is being tied to a post in a basement dwelling. An older woman, likely a sage or witch, is reading notes from The Necronomicon. She wakes up and is wondering why she's being tied to the post with barb wire around her. Her father in the crowd is telling her that he loves her, but this is for the better good. She's having oil poured onto her and she lunges out as the demon inside her is talking. The sage (or witch) says that fire is the only way, and the girls father burns his daughter alive killing her and the demon. 

 In the next scene we see a group outside the cabin that we all know so well from the other Evil Dead movies. They wait for their other friends to arrive and announce that the reason why they are all here is to help, it have an intervention for Mia, and for her to kick her drug habits. Her brother David wants the best for her, and using the old cabin where they had previous summer adventures with their friends, is the best place for her - well.. according to him and the rest of the group. As the group is about to enter the cabin and David is about to unlock the door, the ominous demonic voice of 

can be heard. I was literally scratching my head as I watched this part of the film in the theater wondering why they never heard this. Either the demonic voice was just being said for effect, or they are all so tone deaf they dismissed the voice for the sound of a breeze. The audio clip I added in this review is the same one from the original film that put in this film btw. Nothing was enhanced or changed. 

So they enter the cabin and things are in disorder. The cabin smells like blood and something that's been dead or dying for a while. The dog scratches at a throw rug on the floor that reveals the trap door to the cellar. David and Mia looked stunned and shocked to see a door leading to the basement. I thought from all the photos of them being at this cabin before that they would have known the in's and out's of the cabin. After all, it's the parents cabin. So they open the cellar and David and his friend Eric go down to investigate what caused the blood smears and the foul stench they finally smell. Low and behold they come across a burned I-beam in the cellar and a lot (and I mean a lot) of hanged, decomposing, dead cats. On a bench Eric finds what appears to be a book of some sort wrapped in a black plastic garbage bag, and bound with barbed wire. Hmm, my guess would be that it's bound because it shouldn't be looked at and opened. David gets to work on cleaning out the basement and disposing of the dead animals, while Eric takes the book into his own room and in a rush, takes off the barbed wire bands and the black plastic. He literally sees this in the book and decides to translate the words. 

Leave This Book Alone

I mean how stupid can you be? But alas, the stereotypical four eyed super-nerd goes about to translate the words and speaks them out loud, calling forth and releasing the ancient evil of the book. Can you say "Oops my bad?" 

 I'm not going to break down every single scene in this movie so lets get to my negative and positive points about this film. As with every film I see, I start with 10 Tito Points (Tito = Trannies in the outback. If you still don't get the reference, watch or listen to Geek I/O Wednesdays at 9:30pm est here on the Network, or ask Dale Campbell on Twitter, @TheDaleCampbell) 

-1 Point: Eric (the friend) bleeds out from being stabbed multiple times, but he doesn't flinch when David pours alcohol on the open stab wound in his chest. Seriously? That would hurt like a bitch. Sorry, but you lose a bit of realistic movie cred there bud.

-1 point: Eric later returns in the film as a sort of Jesus character after having been beaten, stabbed, and bloodied to near death and yet he keeps on surviving. Technically he should have gone through cardiac arrest and died long before. If this character is strong, why didn't they make him him the 'Ash' of this film instead of giving that role to David? It doesn't make sense. I mean in the original film, Ash unleashed the Evil and he deals with ending it. Eric unleashes the evil and he just doesn't give a fuck, and wants to run away from it all. What a puss.

-1: Natalie, David's Girlfriend - doesn't even scream when she's cutting off her arm. No screaming while an electric carving knife is severing her arm off, but she start to scream when the arm is just about to come off by it's muscle strands. Again, totally takes away from realism here. 

-1: The sister (Mia) at the end of the film should have technically been turned into a demon since the Demonic Blood Rain was getting into her pours and in her mouth, and even the Abomination's blood got into her mouth when she used the chainsaw. Hello!? Demon rule #1 clearly states that if a demon's fluids enters your body, you will be a demon. 

+1: I gotta give props to the director of this film for having Ash's car in this film. It can be clearly seen outside the cabin as a broken down piece of junk.

+1: For the sound of "Join us" when they are about to enter the cabin

+1: For the reel to reel tape of the professor (from the first film) explaining his finding of the book and what it is, while the credits rolled. Just so awesome.

+1: For the sister having a stump arm like ash and used it for controlling the chainsaw. She didn't make a chainsaw mod like Ash did in the original, but it's a great tie in to the original film.

+1: Upside down cross from the wood on the door in the main entrance. I'm still not quite sure if it was intentional to have the wood designed that way in the film, but I noticed it right away.

Total Point: 12/10 Tito points.

Conclusion: A must see film? If you're a cult fan of the Evil Dead films or even of Bruce Campbell then yes. It's also notable that this is one of the goriest films this year so far. I'm not sure if this film had the most blood of all horror films ever known, but this certainly had a LOT of blood. I mean...A LOT!

via Slater's Clubhouse - Geek I/O

Slater on Twitter @JonFromSeattle