Shock-O-Rama: Within the Woods Comments -


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redhairs99 4/3/2013 7:39:19 AM

Chuck, I have to wholeheartedly disagree with you on your assessment of the new Evil Dead remake. The movie sucked, plain and simple. I saw a preview screening last night. I really, really wanted to like it, but just couldn't. The acting was horrendous, and not just bad in a good/funny kind of way. There was only one scene that had any kind of tension at all and nothing "jump in your seat" scary. The only cool part of the movie was the post credit shot and it was like 3 seconds long.

It had so much potential.  All the action was edited as such a frantic pace that I couldn't tell what the hell was happening.  It was almost seizure inducing.  I'm a huge fan of the orginials and this was just plain bland. 

There were only 2 moments that had be thinking "GROOVY" while I watched.  That was of course "The Classic" sitting outside the cabin and then the post-credit scene.  Aside from that, it was one of the most boring and tedious films I've ever sat through in a theater.

CyanideRush 4/3/2013 8:00:01 AM

 @Redhairs: Really? I mean it's totally cool, reactions are bound to be mixed. I didn't want to get into a full on review as Rob will have that handled later on, but a few quick responses to your points (from my perspective): I thought the only weak acting was from the Eric character. It was really weak, but I thought everyone else gave great performances, most especially Mia (Jane Levy). As far as being scary, I've been having a harder and harder time finding horror films which frighten me personally. Evil Dead really isn't going to scare horror fans/vets but it will freak the hell out of normal movie goers. I normally complain a great deal about quick "MTV" style cuts (see my Revolution review posted today), I didn't get that same jaring feeling about Evil Dead, in fact, I found the cinematography to be it's strongest point; I though it was shot beautifully. 

Anyway, I'm sorry you didn't like it but I respect the points you bring up. 


redhairs99 4/3/2013 8:47:42 AM

Chuck, I know some people will like it.  That's the beautiful thing about the movies.  I tried my best to curb my expectations, but I just couldn't get into it. Eric was definitely the worst of the acting troop.  The actress playing Mia was okay.

I'm not sure I'm expressing correctly what I mean by "scare." I think it's rare to find an "actual scary movie." But even some of the worst horror movies I've seen have some jump out of your sit shock reflex bits or even some cringe-worthy moments.  I just didn't feel that here.  I also didn't feel any "stand-up and cheer" moments in the movie as I really didn't give a crap about any of the characters.  As bad (in a good way) as the original performances were back in 80's, at least I liked the characters.

To avoid spoiling too much, the scene in bathroom (not the one with Mia) had probably the most tension in the movie, but then I felt was ruined by the frantic edit pace at the end of the scene.  

The creaky neck, almost robot like movements of the "deadites" in the film also bugged me a bit.

And this may be too picky, but I 'm not a fan of having an animal in a film (like a dog) just so it meets some gruesome end.  The dog served no purpose in the movie other than to have that one moment.  I know, nitpicky, but it bugged me and I would've been fine with that if the rest of the film were great.

The practical make-up effects were cool and I hope we get more of that when Sam gets into filming Evil Dead 4 (which supposedly is being written by he and his brother Ivan this summer).


CyanideRush 4/3/2013 9:00:13 AM

 Redhairs, I complete agree about animals in films. I can watch some helpless human sap get torn six ways from Sunday, but brutalize an animal and I'm mad. I can totally get where you're coming from, I guess I'm just seeing it differently. The bathroom scene I really dug. I'll pay particually attention to it when I see it again this weekend, to see what you mean. From speaking with Fede Alvarez and from what I've been seeing around the web, this film is a sort of sequel to The Evil Dead, and the film Raimi is making is a sequel to Army of Darkness. I don't know for sure, but I would guess they're going to run to parallel series, one as serious horror and the other as black comedy. 

I also think expectations may be playing a huge deal in this. I saw the movie over two weeks ago, before the really huge press push really started; it wasn't yet so ubiquitious. I think the huge PR push is going to backfire with horror fans who may possibly have otheriwse liked it (I don't mean you, I'm speaking generally) but will pay off like gangbusters with the normal film going public, who otherwise would never have gone to see this. 

Thanks for the great discussion, btw. -Chuck

redhairs99 4/3/2013 9:21:39 AM

I was also trying to think of it as more of a sequel than a straight up remake.  There were a number of nods to the original throughout the film.

I liked the opening scene, particularly.  

I think the acting in that first scene when everyone gets to the cabin just took me completely out of the picture. I honestly can't tell you the names of any of the characters in the film aside from Mia and Eric and probably wouldn't have recalled Eric's name if you hadn't mentioned it earlier.

I do agree with you that the PR push for something like this could backfire by raising hopes too much.  I knew next to nothing about Sinister when it came out and that movie creeped me out at the theater (that doesn't happen often).  Granted that film ended up having one or 2 scenes (and an ending that shouldn've cut off about 3-5 minutes earlier) I thought that took me out of the movie and almost ruined the creepiness of it, btu I still enjoyed the experience.  

joelr 4/3/2013 10:06:56 AM

Chuck, great piece on "Within the Woods", obviously it's timely, but deserves to be explored.

We will spar over this on our podcast, but I really disliked the new Evil Dead. Paper thin characters, removal of one of the original's best ideas, very weak direction and forced Raimi-esque cinematography. Gore hounds will be pleased, but a horror film has to be more than that to make the grade. The gore literally gets boring and unrealistic for a film that tries to be grounded. I'll save the resr for future discussions, but I went in hopeful after the buzz begain to rise, but I feel it's no better than all the recent horror films of the past decade that fall into the same old traps.

redhairs99 4/3/2013 11:01:48 AM

 joel, I agree.  Well said.

TheFuzzyDan 4/3/2013 11:16:19 AM

I met Bruce Campbell at a book signing on Halloween of '01 and he announced then that Within the Woods was going to be an extra feature on the next DVD release.  I can't tell you how many hours I wasted searching the DVD for a hidden easter egg and scouring the internet for clues on how to find it.  I do remember though at that same book signing Bruce saying that Sam had re-mastered all the Super-8 films for he and his co-horts who made them but felt they were just too raw and un-polished for public consumption.  What a shame. 

That being said, you can actually go to Josh Becker's website and order the Super-8 films he directed with Sam and Bruce on DVD.  They are probably much better quality than what you find online.  He also included the Super-8 film Stryker's War on the DVD/Blu Ray pack release of Thou Shalt Not Kill....Except.

CyanideRush 4/4/2013 10:10:47 AM

 FuzzyDan, thanks for sharing Josh Becker's site. I had no idea he had thse films up for order. I think I may just pick one up. Have you seen any of them and have one you recommend as the most fun? Bruce was very likely talking about the Anchor Bay release mentioned in my story, if it was around '01 as you said. 


CyanideRush 4/8/2013 7:01:59 AM

 Hey Redhairs,

I did see Evil Dead again last night, keeping in mind what we'd discussed. Spoilers for the new Evil Dead below here.

Alright so you were mostly spot on about the bathroom scene quick cuts. The majority of the scene actually doesn't use them, but when she attacks him it is totally all fast cut hurkey jerky. If I had to guess why it didn't bother me as much as say, something from Revolution or action sequences, it's probably because they were stationary- she's astride him stabbing at him with the glass, then the needle. Because they really aren't repositioning, I don't think it bothered me as much as a sword fight sequence with all characters constantly in motion, in adition to trading sword strikes. I don't at all like that it's used, but I didn't hate it here as much as I do in action film/shows. 

Where I hadn't noticed it before and hated it upon second viewing in Evil Dead ('13) is in the flooded basement  sequence in the third act. It's REALLY evident here where Mia is throwing David around the room. It's a shame too because the moment of her unnaturally gliding across the room at him freaks me the hell out, but they didn't hold on it long enough. Another second would have made it terrifying. I found it to be the most frightening moment in the film. I know where that fear comes from too- the old woman from The House on Haunted Hill. 

Anyway, I still enjoyed the new Evil Dead. It's not as good as the originals, but still an enjoyable experience for me. It's totally fine that we don't agree, that's what makes films so much fun to talk about. 


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