Screen Junkies » evil dead’ Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Mon, 01 Dec 2014 18:13:36 +0000 en hourly 1 Ilya Naishuller’s ‘Hardcore’ and Five Examples of POV Filmmaking Done Right Tue, 04 Nov 2014 23:12:20 +0000 Jared Jones Voyeurism at its finest, ladies and gentlemen.

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By Jared Jones

The line between video games and movies continues to blur in Hardcore, an upcoming film from Russian director Ilya Naishuller that claims to be the “first POV action film ever made.” Starring Sharlto Copley and Haley Bennet, Hardcore combines a relatively familiar story (“A newly resurrected cyborg who must save his wife/creator from the clutches of a psychotic tyrant with telekinetic powers and his army of mercenaries”) with a filmmaking style that has yet to truly be attempted in a full-length feature film: The subjective (or POV) shot.

It’s a bold idea for a film, I’ll give it that much, and a gimmick that Hardcore will surely live or die by – that is, should it obtain the funding it is currently seeking to complete the film (CGI, sound, color correction) on IndieGoGo. While most of us would grimace at the idea of essentially watching someone else play a video game for 90 minutes, there are actually several instances of POV filmmaking that demonstrate how effective it can be when done right.

At its best, the POV shot can be used as a means of shattering the veneer that typically exists between the audience and a film. By literally dropping us inside the mind of a character, we become an active participant in the experience rather than a simple observer. We are no longer a step ahead of the action taking place; we are simply reacting to it as it plays out. The POV shot can be downright chilling when used properly, and here are six films that did just that.

“A Ride in the Park” — V/H/S 2

While you can practically trace the entire “found footage” subgenre back to the POV-style narrative made infamous in The Blair Witch Project, the horror anthology series V/H/S has been able to improve and expand upon this concept better than most in recent years. Over the course of two films (and an upcoming sequel), V/H/S has utilized the subjective camera across a wide variety of mediums to tell its stories, which range from a man with a haunted ocular implant to an alien abduction from the perspective of the family dog.

Arguably the most successful entry in the V/H/S series is a segment from the second installment, “A Ride in the Park.” The brilliance of the story not only lies in the simplicity of the plot (“mountain biker stumbles upon zombie apocalypse), but the method in which it is told. Save a few handheld camera shots in the segment’s climax, the entirety of “A Ride in the Park” is told through a GoPro camera the protagonist has mounted to his helmet. To say anymore would spoil the fun of watching a man transform into a zombie before attacking a child’s birthday party-DAMMIT!

Evil Dead

Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead has been long-considered a masterpiece of low-budget filmmaking (among other things), and it’s largely due to Raimi’s inventiveness behind the camera. Take for example, the nerve-racking sense of pace he was able to create in scenes like the one above using just a camera bolted to a 2×4, an 18 fps film rate, and a couple quick-footed cameramen. The shaky cam has been done to death by modern directors (looking at you, Bourne series), sure, but Raimi practically invented the effect for Evil Dead back in 1981.

Metamorphosis: Immersive Kafka 

Say what you want about how entertaining or successful this 2010 take on Franz Kafka’s famous novella, there’s no denying that Sándor Kardos is owed a tip of the cap for having the guts to direct such an ambitious effort. From the film’s IMDB page:

The film tells the entire story using a subjective camera, experiencing what happens from Gregor’s perspective, as Kafka himself wanted it to be according to his own diary. It was shot with a 360 degree spherical remote controlled robotic camera that was directed and programmed to interact with the actors and to create an extremely low- angle view of the set as envisioned from the insect’s 1st person perspective.

While I’ll admit that Kardos’ adaptation seems to be more focused on gimmick than anything else, it’s hard not to be unnerved by the constant sense of claustrophobia and disorientation as achieved by the POV style.


If you’ve ever caught one of the Syfy channel’s original movies, chances are you’ve seen at least one moment that owes its existence to Jaws. I’m referring, of course, to the “monstervision” shot. Like Sam Raimi’s shaky cam, there was actually a time when placing the audience in the mind of a sasquatch, giant spider, or mutated Paul Bunyan was not only considered an original idea, but a horrifying one to boot, and no film utilized this technique to greater effect than Jaws. Because what’s scarier than the prospect of being eaten by a shark? Oh, I dunno, maybe BEING FORCED TO LOOK THROUGH THAT SHARK’S EYES AS IT PREPARES TO EAT A CHILD.

The Terminator 

It’s a real shame that James Cameron spent $6.4 million back in 1984 (or roughly $3.4 billion today) in order to place the audience inside Ahhnold’s head when he could’ve just hired Will Sasso to do it for free.

Any movies you think we missed? Give us a shout in the comments section. 

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Sam Raimi To Bring Us ‘Evil Dead’ As A Bruce Campbell-Starring TV Series Mon, 28 Jul 2014 17:18:20 +0000 Penn Collins I hope he cuts his hand off in every episode. It could be his thing, like the Fonz saying, "Ehhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!"

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Once you get past the parties, and the reporters, and all the glitz, what Comic-Con really comes down to, what it’s always been about, is repurposing familiar franchises and brands for new audiences and revenue streams.

It’s easy to forget that amid all the madness, but when we lose our way, there’s always someone like Sam Raimi to play the role of Jiminy Cricket on our shoulder, reminding us of what’s really important (studio bottom lines).

In the spirit of commerce, Raimi took to a panel at Comic-Con to announce that he and his brother are working on a script for the pilot of an Evil Dead TV show, and that show will star Bruce Campbell as Ash, a character we haven’t seen since (in any significant fashion) since 1992′s Army of Darkness.

Not much else is known at this time, but it comes just as Campbell is wrapping up a six-season character arc on USA’s s. Good time, because Bruce Campbell’s gotta eat!

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Why You Need To See The New ‘Evil Dead’ Mon, 01 Apr 2013 19:39:03 +0000 Penn Collins This remake manages to keep the spirit of the original, while giving us a new story. And gore. Lots of gore.

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For many fans of the genre, the 1981 film the Evil Dead went far beyond “cult classic,” and emerged as an archetype for the genre, encapsulating the storytelling, humor, and, of course, thrills that so many films aspire to achieve. 32(!) years later, Evil Dead is back in our lives, via a remake from director Fede Alvarez, and produced by no less than Bruce Campbell, who played Ash in the original trilogy. The film hits theaters this Friday, April 5th. 

To say that the remake is “anticipated” is a gross understatement. Fan sites have been up since 1997, since the Internet was in Pampers, speculating about if, then when, Evil Dead would be remade. Now that we’re at that point, let’s look at why you need to see this film.

It’s a Remake, but Different

While there’s little question that the remake will share the DNA of the old film, and a handful of plot points, it’s a different film altogether. For instance, while the “cabin in the woods” and necronomicon aspects are still present in the 2013 version, the character of Ash has been removed, and the protagonists are several teenagers who find themselves getting the short end of the stick.

But while the story is different, the style is certainly cut from the same cloth, with Diablo Cody co-writing the script to ensure that the film doesn’t lose the sense of humor and playful winking that made the original so endearing. So it’s what you love about the original, nestled in a new, but familiar story. What’s not to like about that?

This Here Trailer

If you’re on the fence about the film, this gory, gory, GORY red-band trailer should push you squarely into one camp or the other. Building on the original’s over-the-top cartoonish gore, this film takes a less playful, but no less gory approach to the explicit material, which makes it stand out as a bloodbath even by horror film standards.

In the trailer, fans will see callbacks (with twists) to the original, including sawing off the arm, the vines, and the exploding geyser of blood from the body. As I said earlier, the touchpoints of the original are there, but this film isn’t simply a reworking of the original.

Further, those thinking that this will be some lightweight, mass-marketed fare that trades on the brand equity of the original will by pleased by this trailer, which lets us know that the new Evil Dead is the real deal, and not only not watered-down, but a bolder, more intense take on the original. The fact that the film originally received an NC-17 rating solidifies this stance, though cuts were made to get the film’s final R rating.

The Reviews Are In, and They’re Good

Since making its debut at 2013 SXSW, Evil Dead has won the hearts and minds of critics, with overwhelmingly positive reviews saying that the film stands alone and doesn’t need to be appreciated or enjoyed in the context of the original, which is about the highest praise a new installment in a franchise could ask for.

With all this in mind, it’s hard to find a reason NOT to want to see Evil Dead. Unless you’re not a fan of the genre. In which case, congratulations on making it this far into the article. Otherwise, go ahead and crank up the expectations, keep an open mind and an empty stomach, and enjoy watching a whole new batch of victims get fed to the book of the dead.

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The 7 Best Horror Re-Imaginings Mon, 11 Mar 2013 20:59:55 +0000 Wookie Johnson 'Evil Dead' climbs out of the crawlspace on April 5th.

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Evil Dead is returning to theaters on April 5th, but it’s not the film you remember. Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell have brought in director Fede Alvarez to re-imagine their classic and create “the most terrifying film you will ever experience.” And he’s doing it the hard way.

The film features very few computer-generated effects, opting to make the audience squirm with practical effects that look alarmingly real. Beyond that, the classic plot has been rejiggered, too. While it still centers on five friends in a remote cabin who unwittingly summon an evil presence, there is more depth to the characters and their motivations. Of course, all hell breaks loose as one of your favorite films doesn’t just simply get a haircut. It gets decapitated and paints the cabin walls in blood.

Evil Dead earns its place amongst the best horror re-imaginings. If you enjoy any of the films listed below, Evil Dead will not disappoint.

The Blob

The 1980′s were a great decade for horror, and this film is one of the best. Directed by Chuck Russell (Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors), it’s a cool blend of sci-fi and horror that doesn’t pull any punches. Would you expect anything less with a script by Frank Darabont? He didn’t have much luck with zombies, but the man knows his blob. If you’re a fan of movies where you get to know the characters before they are dissolved by outer space goo, you really can’t miss this.

The Hills Have Eyes

Alexander Aja’s take on Wes Craven’s classic is just plain deranged. Very scary, totally unpredictable, and gritty. It’s one of those movies that makes you want to shower. Why wasn’t Aja put on the Nightmare On Elm Street reimaging? That film needed him.

The Fly

David Cronenberg‘s take on The Fly is probably one of the grossest films ever made. And not just because of Jeff Goldblum‘s butt. After a lab accident fuses his DNA with that of a fly, Goldblum’s scientist character slowly transforms into an arm-breaking, vomiting freak. But still likable. Like Steve O from Jackass.


Although it hardly caused a stir when Glen Morgan updated it in 2003, but Willard deserves your attention. Crispin Glover steps up into one of his few starring roles and absolutely nails it as a lonely man who finds his only friend in a murderous rat. Also, Glover got the chance to make things weird by shooting a video of his cover of Michael Jackson’s “Ben” and include it on the DVD extras.

The Thing

John Carpenter’s The Thing will always be considered the Holy Grail of horror re-imaginings. It completely eclipses the original and builds its own world which it quickly destroys in a blossom of fire and contorted limbs. The special effects were revolutionary and still some of the nastiest you’ll ever see. Today’s technology can’t stand up to it as evidenced by the prequel from 2011. Even thirty years later, it stands on its on two legs. Granted they are growing out of its head.

The Crazies

The Crazies remake is fantastic. With awesome make-up effects and really inventive plot turns, it’s a movie that just keeps giving you more without getting dull or derivative. It’s actually like six movies in one that blend together without feeling scattered. That’s not easy to do when dealing with zombie rednecks.

Dawn of the Dead

Like The Crazies, this is another George Romero update that stands well on its own. The script from James Gunn is terrifying, action-packed, and also effectively funny when needed. It was the world’s first glimpse of what Zack Snyder is capable of. Ironic that a director obsessed with slow-mo would choose to make his zombies run, but I’ve gotta let it go. I’ve gotta let it go.

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Bruce Campbell Acknowledges He’s Irreplaceable Fri, 11 Nov 2011 21:44:11 +0000 Wookie Johnson No one else is fit to wield his chainsaw.

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Bruce Campbell knows how unfair his fans can be. In an interview with TV Guide, Campbell spoke about the upcoming Evil Dead remake and the decision to not include the Ash character. He essentially points out that there’s just no pleasing people. Fans are upset now at the exclusion of Ash, but he notes that if the character were used, whichever actor got the role would be unfairly compared to Campbell. And that type of criticism could take down the entire remake.

He’s right. I’m sure he and Sam Raimi are both aware that they are in a lose-lose situation. The Evil Dead films are classics. To try to do anything with them will only upset the unwashed masses. Did they learn nothing from The Thing prequel? (TV Guide)

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In Honor Of ‘Dolphin Tale’: 11 Handy Film Prosthetics Mon, 19 Sep 2011 22:50:03 +0000 Wookie Johnson You've got to hand it to us. These are some cool prosthetics.

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Dolphin Tale tells the true story of Winter the dolphin, a bottlenose who loses her tail when it becomes ensnared in a crab trap. A young boy befriends her at the marine hospital where she is recuperating, and convinces the staff there to build a prosthetic tail for her. His efforts pay off and Winter becomes the world’s first bionic dolphin. Someday, she will rule over us all as we pay tribute to our Delphinidae Overlords.

But you didn’t come here to listen to me jaw on about our future enslavement. You came here to learn about film’s most awesome prosthetics. Here are eleven of our favorites.

Ash Williams – Chainsaw Hand

When his hand becomes demonically possessed, Ash has no choice but to have to chop it off. I hate when that happens. But the good news is that he trades up. By rigging a chainsaw over the stump where his hand was a few short hours earlier, Ash is able to level the playing field by using his awesome new chainsaw hand to rip those deadites a new one.

Darth Vader – Pretty Much Everything

If you find yourself having a lightsaber battle on the edge of an active volcano with lava bubbling at your heels, it’s a good idea to win. Because if you lose (and survive), you’ll find most of your body replaced with cybernetic parts and organs. The plus side is that you’ll gain some pretty intimidating height and you’ll end up with a more authoritative voice in case you’re considering a career in voice-over.

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Bruce Campbell Loves ‘The Evil Dead’ Remake Script, Milk Wed, 13 Apr 2011 16:22:26 +0000 Wookie Johnson The good news is, it doesn't sound terrible. The bad news is, 'Burn Notice' comes first.

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Although The Evil Dead 2 was in ways a remake of the original, that hasn’t stopped Sam Raimi from wanting to remake it again. That’s why whenever fans gain access to Bruce Campbell, they inevitably ask him, “What up with that?”

Now Campbell has had a chance to respond.

“NEWSFLASH: We are remaking Evil Dead. The script is awesome. I will be one of the producers and possibly play the milk man.”

Oh, so that means it’s a done deal and we can all expect to see it go into production really soon?

“In all honesty, we would all love to make another Evil Dead movie. When that will happen? Who can say – we’re all working on other jobs right now. We’re not trying to dodge anybody’s questions, there just isn’t that much to talk about. The remake’s gonna kick ass—you have my word.”

DAMMIT! Now I’ll have to turn to Japanese cinema in order to get my fill of scenes featuring tree rape. (Reddit)

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Raimi Producer Discusses Possible Half-Assed ‘Evil Dead’ Reboot Mon, 24 Jan 2011 22:17:54 +0000 Penn Collins A longtime producer of Sam Raimi films has stirred the pot among Evil Dead fanboys by saying that Raimi is considering overseeing a remake of the original by a young director.

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Robert Tapert, a longtime producer of Sam Raimi films, has once again stirred the pot among Evil Dead fanboys by saying that Raimi is considering a remake of the original by a young director. Which begs the question: Why? All the charm of the original was in the kitsch and camp that a young Raimi and Bruce Campbell brought to the film, so where does one go with that?

/Film reports that Tapert offered this in the way of an update:

[An Evil Dead reboot is] possible; we’re looking at a script this month… What’s interesting about ‘Evil Dead’ is very few people saw it in the format we made it for, which is for the theater. … I think Sam wants to embrace the ultimate experience in grueling terror and see it remade for a proper theatrical experience.

At least for our sanity’s sake, he didn’t once use the word “gritty” when referring to the reboot. Despite the fact that Raimi wouldn’t be directing, he originally had expressed that he’d like to work on a new script for a non-reboot, but now it sounds like his preference is to oversee the process in more a nebulous capacity. I’m never one to be cynical of a Sam Raimi project, but it sounds like the powers that be in the Evil Dead series have been listening more to the noise made by the internet and less to common sense. Seeing as how this is all conjecture, let’s all overreact to it. RIGHT NOW.

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