Bruce Campbell assured fans at New York Comic Con earlier this month that “Evil Dead,” director Fede Alvarez’s remake of Sam Raimi’s revered 1981 cult horror film, would be awesome. Today, a new red-band trailer for the 2013 film seems to suggest that the movie might just in fact be awfully groovy.
Campbell, of course, starred in the original film as the beleaguered hero Ash, a regular Joe who finds himself in a living nightmare after a quick trip to a cabin in the woods with some pals turns deadly once demonic forces are unleashed. The movie was a labor of love for the young friends from Michigan, who, along with producer Robert G. Tapert, birthed one of the most beloved (and profitable) low-budget indie horror franchises ever.
Given the rabid fan following for not only “The Evil Dead” but also for its follow-ups “Evil Dead II” and “Army of Darkness,” news of a remake — even one sanctioned by Campbell, Raimi and Tapert — was met with considerable trepidation when it was officially announced last year. (On the occasion of a Blu-ray release of the film in 2010, Campbell told The Times of the “Evil Dead” films: “They’re slightly weirder stories with an off-kilter lead character. It doesn’t make for mainstream success, but I think it makes for long-term success.”)
It’s too early to say if the new “Evil Dead” will find the same kind of love as its predecessor, but it certainly looks like a respectful — and scary — take. The premise is intact: A small band of friends heads to a remote cabin, inadvertently reads some demon resurrection passages written in an ancient language and, faster than you can say “boomstick,” their bodies are becoming hosts to a dark force seeking to do in the living; the cast includes Jane Levy (TV’s “Suburgatory”) and Shiloh Fernandez (“Red Riding Hood”).
The footage has just enough references to Raimi’s work to encourage stalwarts, but it also appears to have a unique visual energy all its own. Here’s hoping its arrival next year will announce Alvarez as a major new talent in the same way the original introduced movie fans to Raimi’s creative genius some 30 years ago.
Watch the age-restricted red-band trailer — if you dare — at IGN.com.
– Gina McIntyre
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