Evil dead is definitely a textbook horror film. It contains all the necessary elements that a horror film should have, and it delivered it perfectly. There’s a lot to take away from the movie, and that’s one of the reasons why I enjoyed the movie so much.
The film is actually a remake of a film of the same name that showed on 1983. This was a movie released in 2013, and it was about a group of friends who went to a cabin in the woods. While there, a girl named Mia was possessed by an evil spirit and wrecks havoc among the film characters. It’s a typical witchcraft/possession movie that is generically scary for people, and its cliche-ness does not outweigh the fact that the movie is a beatifully executed horror movie.
In Carol J. Clover’s article, “Her body, himself: Gender in Slasher film”, it depicts the typical stereotypes in a movie with a masculine man and a damsel in distress. But, according to Clover, horror films actually have it the other way around wherein the female character becomes the hero in the end. She talks about how movies like Evil Dead have females act as innocent and helpless at the beginning of the movie, but later on transforms into a “masculine type” and becomes the hero at the end, much to how Mia is in the movie. This can be supported by the lack of masculinity in the men of the film, leaving the female to be the hero. David, Mia’s brother actually embodied the masculinity aspect in the film, but was ultimately killed in the film. She was the scared girl who was possessed by an evil spirit at the first half of the movie, but musters up the courage to be the one to fight and defeat the spirit at the end. It goes beyond the conventional type of movies where the gaze of the man is used as the perspective in the movie and women are just objectified, and this is what makes Evil Dead a “modern” type of horror film. Furthermore, the final girl concept is seen in the film, as this can be the person that the audiences follow during the movie, or is the one that can be considered as the “most rational” in a horror film. For a more visual example of the final girl, she is the one who has the final confrontation with the antagonist in film. With these in mind, it is safe to say that the final girl in Evil Dead is Mia.
Another article, Barbara Creed’s “Horror and the Monstrous-feminine: An Imaginary Abjection”, talks about abjections. Abjections are things that the audience finds as unnatural or away from the ordinary. With this in mind, it can be said that Mia herself is an abjection. She is a drug-addict in the film, who is usually someone outcasted or is someone who acts beyond how a person normally acts. This can be a good representation of the movie of how Mia, a drug addict, was the one possessed in the film. Also, demonic possessions are frowned upon by the Church. They are not welcome and are actually condoned upon, which is why it is actually an abjection in its own right as well. This can be a metaphor of how drug-addicts or the use of drugs are evil, and is a good symbolism by the filmmakers to relate the movie to the evils that are prevalent in the society.
This film is a testament of the modernization of horror films. Gender roles are now starting to be blurred and equality can now be seen in the film casting. No longer are women only there to cry for help and act helpless, but they are now casted to be the hero in horror films, where men are the ones who usually dominate.
Overall, I really enjoyed Evil Dead. It was built a generic horror film in plain sight, but actually has deeper meanings around it. Beyond the representations it showed, it still did a pretty good job in scaring the heck out of me.