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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M Aggies guard Tyrece Radford (23) blocks Arkansas Razorbacks guard Tramon Mark (12) during Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)
Free falling
February 20, 2024
Jace LaViolette (17) an Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle celebrating a home run during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
GALLERY: Baseball vs. UIW
February 20, 2024
Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) catches a pop fly during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024 at Blue Bell Park. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Four for four
February 20, 2024
Texas A&M Aggies guard Tyrece Radford (23) blocks Arkansas Razorbacks guard Tramon Mark (12) during Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)
Free falling
February 20, 2024
Jace LaViolette (17) an Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle celebrating a home run during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
GALLERY: Baseball vs. UIW
February 20, 2024
Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) catches a pop fly during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024 at Blue Bell Park. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Four for four
February 20, 2024

Horror film redefines cult classic

 
 

Five teenagers get together for a retreat to a cabin in the woods, only to be stalked and destroyed one by one by a demon they accidentally summon. Or a murderous psychopath with a sharp weapon. Or a horde of disgusting zombies. Sound familiar?
Yes, horror is a genre that seems to lends itself particularly well to repetition, but it’s increasingly rare to see the formula done well, let alone one that attempts to raise from the dead one of the genre’s most beloved franchises for a new audience. Which made it all the more surprising that a remake of Sam Raimi’s 1981 cult classic film “The Evil Dead” took the No. 1 spot at the box office upon its release with a $24.2 million opening and a begrudgingly positive critical reception.
The remake – directed by newcomer Fede Alvarez and simply titled “Evil Dead” – follows the example set by Raimi’s original in premise. Five teenagers find a demonic book in a cabin and make the mistake of ignoring the “DO NOT READ OUT LOUD” inscriptions within, leading to a series of demonic possessions with seriously grisly consequences. From there, Alvarez’s version differs in almost every way, with a new cast of characters that excludes the fan-favorite hero Ash, and a more serious tone that sets the film apart from Raimi’s more goofy, tongue-in-cheek films.
“Evil Dead” made its College Station debut at an advanced screening on March 25, a week before the film was released to theaters. Students who caught the screening thought the film more than lived up to expectations.
“The movie was awesome,” said Cassidy Tyrone, freshman women’s and gender studies major. “I thought it did a great job of staying true to the original while updating it for a modern audience. Make sure you stay after the credits.”
Much of the praise from both critics and audiences was reserved for the film’s special effects, said to be every bit as innovative as they are revolting. Alvarez said in interviews before the film’s release that he used a minimum of computer animation to create the visuals, instead relying on practical, physical effects to keep in the spirit of the original film as well as illusions and perspective tricks not unlike those used in a magic act.
“The effects were really cool,” said Katharine Kavanaugh, junior psychology major. “They had the capability to do what they wanted to do in the first one.”
Not everyone who saw “Evil Dead” thought it lived up to expectations, however. Most negative reactions to the film focused on how it valued bloody visuals over suspense or tension and a tone too similar to that of other modern horror films.
“I thought it didn’t really fit the bill as a horror film,” said John Schneider, sophomore industrial engineering major. “I think I laughed more during the movie than I felt any kind of tension or anxiety. I felt like they messed up after advertising it as the ‘scariest film of the year.'”
For better or for worse, the trend of remaking classic horror films has been going strong for a full decade now, perhaps owing to the 2003 retread of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” Most of those remakes have largely been forgotten by now, but “Evil Dead” seems like the rare exception to have some real staying power.

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