20 July 2013
One Shot: Evil Dead
When/if I do a Memorable Shots of 2013 post, expect to see this screencap featured there. Evil Dead doesn't have the same creepy visual eye of, say, James Wan's The Conjuring, but that's not necessarily what Fede Alvarez is going for. Raw intensity and ferocity is what this remake is about - the camera is constantly in motion, enough to make Paul Greengrass envious, but all for the purpose of unsettling the audience and getting us deeply immersed in this atmosphere of terror. Evil Dead isn't about establishing the mood of something evil this way comes; it's about showing the horror in all its gritty brutality, and Alvarez directs the shit out of this flick accordingly.
The screencap above is, to me, beautifully composed and beautifully timed. The most cinematic shot comes right before end credits roll. It feels earned. It feels powerful. This is the end. After all that destruction, death, blood, and mutilation, the Abomination has risen, the cabin is in flames, Mia has ripped her hand off, and it's time for revenge. This red-soaked shot gorgeously summarizes the movie, and the hell the characters went through - and it's pretty.
Since I didn't review Evil Dead for this site [but you can read this double-take review at The Reporter], I will simply note my feelings as this: one hell of an intense and entertaining movie. Like most, reservations were had whether or not this was the right thing to do, especially coming hot off the heels of Joss Whedon/Drew Goddard's The Cabin in the Woods that made fun of (yet paid homage) to this very type of film, but lo and behold, this flick blew my mind. A script that didn't condescend or make all the characters dumbasses (there's still the necessary one or two), the story and the people worked, and the final 20 minutes are edge-of-your-seat intense like no other horror film. So, yes, loved it.
Your thoughts on Evil Dead? Or, more to the point, the cinematography and direction by Fede Alvarez?