Out of all the movies that we’ve watched so far, this is probably my favourite one from the selection under the horror genre. The composition of elements that went with the storyline was curated in a way that really brought about what I usually expect from a horror movie. From the historical aspect of the demon story that was narrated in the supposed forbidden book, to the unleashing of supernatural element unto the already problematic character, leading towards one by one deaths, and then eventually a followed procedure based on the book as to how to defeat the evil demon that was occupying the body of Mia. It was a classic formula that was integrated in a simple setting, yet still brought about the right amount of fear and jump reactions from the audience.
What I found different about this version of “Evil Dead” (2013) was the fact that the scriptwriters Rodo Sayagues and Fede Alvarez (who also directed the film) , integrated relevant social issues that a lot of younger people face today namely drug abuse. Just like one of the main characters, Mia, who faced a serious addiction problem to the point that she had already experienced an overdose previously which is the main reason behind the whole group planning a trip to her family’s old cabin in order for her to recuperate and hopefully rehabilitate for good this time. As the demon is awakened by the chanting done by one of the characters Eric, all hell breaks lose and the emotions of the characters are played with.
It’s shown how Mia’s brother David who clearly has guilt about leaving her years ago to take care of their mother is in conflict with accepting the fact that his sister has gotten to such a critical point – partially because of him. Even after all the terrible, unrealistic events occur, from the cutting of Olivia’s face, to his girlfriend Natalie chopping her arm off, and then even Eric explaining all the occurrences that have been happening were parallel to that of what he had discovered in the book from the basement, David still did not want to give up on his Mia. He knew he had to burn his sister’s body in order for the demon to dissolve as well; saving Eric’s and his own life. However, his conscience got the best of him as the demon knew just how to play with his emotions as it directed Mia to sing a lullaby which their mother used to sing to them when they were younger. David devised an alternative way to try and salvage his sister’s soul because deep inside he probably felt that he owed her at least that – even if it could kill him in the process. To my surprise, his plan worked and Mia was brought back to humanity and David then eventually sacrificed his life for hers which made the sad story come in full circle. Not exactly how I expected the story to pan out, but then again the scriptwriters were able to integrate a bit of reality into the supernatural as he tapped into David’s feeling of guilt and seemingly unconditional sibling love. What I liked about it though is that instead of leaving it with a cheesy ending, the mood immediately shifted into a “badass” gory and intense battle between Mia and the creepy girl demon. It was in my opinion a really good recipe for a horror film – one that I was expecting to see in this class from the very beginning of the course.
From Carol Clover’s text, she dives into the idea of the “final girl”; giving a perspective of slasher types of films slowly eliminating characters one by one who are victims, then later on having a sort of masculine side as a female become the last one who ends up liberated in the end of the film. It is after her success in defeating the evil when all things become “normal” or as they should be. “She is feminine enough to act out in a gratifying way, a way unapproved for adult males, the terrors and masochistic pleasures of the underlying fantasy, but not so feminine as to disturb the structures of male competence and sexuality” (Clover, 82). This exact quote was seen as Mia was acting as the final girl in Evil Dead. She was able to not only get revived, but fight her way to the finish line and end all the chaos and misery that was occurring throughout the film. I personally really enjoyed the hype and excitement that came along with this slasher kind of horror film, even if a big part of it was supernatural and far from realistic.
Carol J. Clover, “Her Body, Himself: Gender in the Slasher Film”