Heroin(e)

(Warning: Spoilers ahead)

I am a fan of the original Evil Dead series. It is because of this that I didn’t bother watching the remake after it was released in cinemas. Though I was planning on seeing it originally, I decided against this because of all the reviews about it. Generally, these reviews gave the film a reputation of being unoriginal and uncreative which made me want to avoid it completely. After watching the film during class however, I realized that this film was not something that had to be original or creative. This was quite simply, not what it was going for. Instead, I was treated to an hour and a half long gore fest which ended up being one of the most enjoyable and fun horror movies which I have seen in my life. Of course, being a fan of the original, I still have to say that I do prefer that one much more but, the remake did not disappoint at all for me and in the end, it just gave me a good ride for the entirety of the movie.

Evil Dead (2013) by Fede Alvarez follows the story of David and Mia, two siblings who take their friends to a cabin in the woods to help Mia overcome her heroin addiction. While in this cabin, the group find a book called the Naturom Demonto and, against all better judgment, one of their friends, Eric studies the book and, this awakens an evil force which attacks the group. This is when the movie turns into an all-out gore fest in which the characters are turned against each other and a lot of times are just trying to stay alive. After a while, they find out that the force is trying to awaken a monster called “the Abomination” and, this can only be done if the Taker of Souls is able to claim five souls for it. In the end, the last remaining survivor of the group turns out to be Mia, who wrongly thinks that the evil book that everything came from or, the Naturom Demonto is destroyed.

Mia in a way can be seen as the “Final Girl.” This is based on the ideas of Carol J. Clover in her article entitled Her body, himself: Gender in the slasher film.” Clover described the final girl as

The image of the distressed female most likely to linger in memory is the image of the one who did not die: the survivor, or Final Girl. She is the one who encounters the mutilated bodies of her friends and perceives the full extent of the preceding horror and of her own peril; who is chased, cornered, wounded; whom we see scream, stagger, fall, rise, and scream again. She is abject terror personified. If her friends knew they were about to die only seconds before the event, the Final Girl lives with the knowledge for long minutes or hours. She alone looks death in the face; but she alone also finds the strength either to stay the killer long enough to be rescued (ending A) or to kill him herself (ending B).

In Evil Dead, Mia does go through all that. She witnesses the deaths of her friends and, this leads her to find the strength to fight against the Abomination herself. The character who at the start of the movie was depicted as the weakest, especially because of her dependence on heroin, became the actual heroine of the story. We are able to see the progression of her character from being weak to actually being the savior at the end of the movie. This movie then is a testament to femininity or, how females are just as strong and, possibly stronger than men. This is important as in horror films in the past, this was not as common or seen and, females were generally saved by other and characters who were there to be protected.

The remake of Evil Dead is a movie which I would recommend to anyone. As I said before, it does not necessarily do the original movie justice but, it is a crazy fun ride of a movie on its own. Furthermore, the concept of the final girl actually makes the movie more interesting as the development of a character seen as weak to someone who can stand up for herself is something which is inspirational and identifiable with. This movie is a horror movie as I expect horror movies to be. It allows its viewers to enjoy while watching and throws enough twists and interesting scenes to keep everyone invested for the entire hour and a half run.

References:

Source: Carol J. Clover, “Her body, himself: Gender in the slasher film.” Horror, The Film Reader (Routledge, 2002).

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