Now THIS is the kind of movie that I was expecting to see when I enlisted for this class at the beginning of the semester. If I could describe “Evil Dead” in a single word it would be BLOODY!!!!!! I have no idea why but that’s what I’m into most when it comes to horror movies and “Evil Dead” did not disappoint in that department that’s for sure. Going into this film, I did not really know what to expect (actually to be honest I have no idea what to expect with any of the movies that we watch in class) and although I had heard the name of this movie before, I had never gotten around to watching it let alone even watching the trailer for it all. The only thing I knew about is was based on the television series “Ash vs. The Evil Dead” and that was only because it showed up on the list of torrents that Pirate Bay provides.
The film follows the story of David and his sister Mia, a troubled addict, and the rest of their friends as they travel into the woods to help Mia overcome her addiction. While in the woods, the party stumbles upon a house and just like any horror film no matter how much you say to the screen either out loud or in your head, “don’t go down there!!!!!,” the party ends up going down into the cellar where they stumble on some rotting animal corpses and the book called the Naturom Demonto.
Sometimes these characters in horror films are so stupid. Like you know with a name like Naturom Demonto you should NOT be reading or messing with it but you know…for the sake of the movie they just gotta do it all the while here we are as the audience just shaking our head at their stupidity. Compared to the other films we watched in class, this film really had that feel of a typical horror movie where you just expect stuff to go down. At least in films like “Jane Doe” or “Pontypool” you don’t really know what to expect but with “Evil Dead” you just know that reading that book is a bad idea but they do it anyways and all you wanna do is say “I told you so!”
One such reading that could be used in regard to this film is the reading by Carol J. Clover and her article entitled “Her body, himself: Gender in the slasher ﬁlm.” In this article, Clover discusses how in most slasher themed movies, we are accustomed to the male gaze and see the female as the victim of the murders. Clover also states that more often that nought, the last survivor, the one who ultimately must face the murderer, is the female lead character. In this sense she plays both the hero and the victim. She states that horror films such as “Evil Dead” flips the notion that the hero is always a male character and we see that the female overcomes the “limits” of her gender when she takes on the role of what Clover describes as the “Final Girl.”
In the film, we would assume that David would be the hero of the story but in reality, it is Mia, his sister, that is dealt with overcoming everything that is going on. Here, Clover states that usually when we see the female character die she is labelled as the victim of the story while when the male dies he is seen as the “hero who sacrifices himself for the good of everyone else so that they may live.” In a sense, we treat this hero as if he were Jesus and it was nice that in this film, the roles were reversed.
“Evil Dead” is the epitome of what a slasher movie is and although I have not had the opportunity to watch the original one nor have I had the opportunity to watch the television remake “Ash vs. the Evil Dead” For me, slash and hack films like this and movies like “Friday the 13th” are what I find more enjoyable because of all the action and the intense moments of fear that encapsulates the actors. There’s just something about knowing that you’re going to be hacked to death by a deranged killer that really brings out all the fear and emotion within you. I still was able to really enjoy this film because of all the action behind it. I’m a sucker for a good action movie to be completely honest.
Source: Carol J. Clover, “Her body, himself: Gender in the slasher ﬁlm.” Horror, The Film Reader (Routledge, 2002).