Horror fans are a fickle bunch. They're some of the most rabid cinephiles on the planet and are, more than any other fan base, willing to seek out films new and old from all corners of the world. That passion is why it's understandable when you hear horror fans moaning about a new studio remake of one of their beloved films. Which is why I'm so baffled that more people aren't moaning about the trailer for the Evil Dead remake.
Don't get me wrong, the Sam Raimi-produced, Fede Alvarez-directed remake of Raimi's truly classic cabin-in-the-woods film doesn't look awful. They've embraced and nurtured a similarly kinetic camera style to that which launched Raimi's career, it's got a rather capable-looking cast, and the gore is setting up some impressive gross-out gags. It's promising, that's for sure.
Here's what I don't get, though: it looks exactly like a Platinum Dunes horror remake. Exactly. It's uncanny how much it looks like a Platinum Dunes movie. The ultra high-contrast lighting; the crushed-color saturation; the American Eagle-catalog characters; the more realistic, ickily moist makeup effects; the overly grungy production design; even the aggressive editing of the trailer. It looks exactly like every horror movie ever produced by Michael Bay.
And that's not a problem for me. I actually quite like some of Platinum Dunes' remakes. I think they're well-cast and well-shot, and are bold, stylish modernizations of some of the best horror icons around. That's hardly the popular opinion, though. Marcus Nispel's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre seems to get a pass whenever it comes up in conversation, with most genre fans admitting that it wasn't that bad, but Friday the 13th, The Hitcher, The Amityville Horror and A Nightmare on Elm Street all were pretty much dismissed outright when they were released. Sure, they each did alright at the box office, but the fans showed up out of curiosity and then never came back.
Now I'm not saying that the Platinum Dunes remakes are a misunderstood bunch and that more people should love them (though I do think that Friday the 13th got a raw deal and is way more entertaining than most people give it credit for), I just don't understand why the same fan base that brought out the pitchforks for the Elm Street redo have brought nothing but praise for Evil Dead. Is it because Raimi and original star Bruce Campbell are involved? Is it that perceived seal of approval that's the difference maker?
If that exact same trailer had been preceded by the Platinum Dunes logo instead of the trio of TriStar, Film District and Ghost House Pictures logos, I'd be stunned if people were reacting with the same degree of enthusiasm. And, again, I'm not saying people shouldn't be enthusiastic. I'm certainly curious to see how it all turns out. I just don't get the disconnect. I don't get where horror fans are drawing a line in the sand, and why Evil Dead ended up on the good side while Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street were shoved on the other side.
So, please, someone explain to me how the Evil Dead trailer above looks any different, either in execution or sincerity, from the Elm Street trailer below, because they look like two sides of the same remake coin to me.