As soon as the opening scene with the witch slayer, the father, and the possessed daughter ended I clapped. I remember doing this while saying “Yasss.. this is what I’m talkin’ about!” to my seatmates. I was in cloud nine. This was the type of horror film I was waiting for in class. Thank you sir.
I love anything that has to do with paranormal things — ghosts, demons, etc. However, I usually do not enjoy horror films with possession scenes except Conjuring and Paranormal Activity. I cannot bring myself to watch Emily Rose and similar films like it. I feel like the possession scenes there are too much for me because it is realistic and I feel like the whole film would just be about that alone which can be quite tiring to watch. Even though a big chunk of Evil Dead was about possession I did not feel uncomfortable. I also love films wherein the storyline revolves around a group of friends or family that are isolated in the middle of nowhere. I always try to guess who will die first in the bunch.
The film is considered a slasher film and the elements of this type of genre usually showcases a dysfunctional family — seen in David and Mia’s relationship. There was also a strain in their sibling bond because of Mia’s heroin addiction, the death of their mother and Mia’s grudge towards David due to him leaving her alone to care for their sick mom. Another element of a slasher film depicts a beautiful or a sexual woman — Mia. Most of the time, a woman is also the main character of slasher films. In Carol J. Clover’s work “Her body, himself” she pointed out a slasher film director’s input on this. Dario Argento puts it, “I like women, especially beautiful ones. If they have a good face and figure, I would much prefer to watch them being murdered than an ugly girl or a man.” Some examples are Psycho and Maniac. The isolated setting is also considered an element (creepy old house in the middle of the forest) as well as any sort of threat and weapon (demons that were brought back to life by a reading from the book and the different materials that were used by the possessed group like the chainsaw.) Most importantly, the film used each victim’s point of view which was a major element in slasher films.
In the reading it also pointed out that slasher films also deal with cross-gender identification that ultimately leads to the transformation of the female protagonist from victim (feminine) to hero (masculine) at the end of the film. Carol J. Clover also coined the term “Final girl” in which “The last character is left alive to confront the killer.” I liked that the film actually made Mia the hero in the end. I thought David was going to be the one to save the day but the plot twist — Mia being the hero, was a great satisfaction to watch. Usually males were there to fight off the killer to save the damsel-in-distress and to show masculinity by protecting a helpless female. This time it was different. I was rooting for her to beat the demon and I could not keep my eyes off the screen as they battled their way to survival. I also liked the fact that the males in the audience were forced to identify with a women in the climax of the movie. I am tired of girls being the victims in films and I felt proud when Mia won the fight. The final girl looks for the killer, she looks at the killer, fights the killer, and saves herself. Not only did she man herself, she unmans her oppressor’s masculinity. Clover concludes that the “Final Girl” is not a feminist character but rather is present for the male spectator as a vehicle for his own sadomasochistic fantasies. The scenes that scared me the most were all the possessed-Mia scenes.
I applaud the actress because she gave me nightmares. Her acting was superb. I would definitely recommend this film to others because of its action. Not only was it horrific, in the end it also became a badass-stunt-action packed scene. I enjoyed the special effects and the creative ways that the victims were tortured. I also enjoyed the storyline of Mia — from a drug addict, to a possessed woman, to the hero. This was my favorite film out of all.