"The Evil Dead" as Seminal Precursor to "Cabin in the Woods," With a Remake in the Works for Next Year

So although I’m a fan of last year’s witty (and sometimes gory) film Cabin in the Woods, I’ve been reluctant to say anything about it, as it’s one you don’t want to spoil for those who have yet to see it. (I keep telling my wife—who is decidedly NOT a horror movie fan—she has to watch it, but won’t tell her why. I won’t really tell you, either.) But in my late-night Netflix “creeping” I came across Sam Raimi’s seminal horror film of 1981, The Evil Dead, which I vaguely remember seeing years ago, and rewatched out of curiosity. I was surprised to learn Evil Dead is one of the all-time “cabin in the woods” movies, that the latest Cabin in the Woods is referring to, bloody tongue in bloody cheek. The only thing the new Cabin in the Woods does NOT have is the eldritch (I’ve been dying to use that word) rape-by-vines scene in Evil Dead, which I think was the filmmakers way of trying to throw in some weird sex into the gorefest. (It’s the White Cotton Panties rule: you need some teens in white cotton panties to be butchered, for prurient interest. It happens all the time, I notice, in horror movies.) But the rest is all there: the teens visiting a remote cabin, the incantation of lost “spells” that bring the demons back to life, the lighthearted hijinks followed quickly by bloody gore, and more disgusting images than you can imagine. What Cabin in the Woods does so well, however, is have much fun with these tropes (such as the obvious nod to Shaggy of the cartoon Scooby Doo, Where Are You? being one of the heroes), while Evil Dead takes itself a bit more seriously. For any wannbe horror aficionados, you have to watch both, back to back, and enjoy. In the fascinating trivia category, Joel Coen of the Coen Brothers duo helped to edit Evil Dead, and has been friends with Same Raimi since, and Raimi was only twenty years old when he made the movie. Lastly, there’s a remake of The Evil Dead coming out this April (not to be directed by Sam Raimi, however), which will surely have flashier special effects: I wonder if that vine-rape sequence will get the ax?

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