FFWD REW

Maybe ideas are overrated

Another remake and a 3D rerelease dominate the week

It’s 2013 and aside from the out-there insanity of Harmony Korine’s breathy masterpiece Spring Breakers Hollywood’s done very little to counter the critique that it’s out of ideas. From WTF-worthy high-budget fairy tale adaptations to remakes and movies that feel like remakes we’re living in a stale era idea-wise.

This week looks no different. First up on the docket? A straight-faced remake of Sam Raimi’s seemingly un-fuck-with-able 1981 cult classic The Evil Dead . Sure the film’s already spawned some equally beloved sequels a video game and as Calgary’s Pilsner-ati are well aware a blood-soaked musical but the thought of tinkering with that original film borders on (the wrong kind of) blasphemy.

All of those previous endeavours succeeded by ramping up the camp however with each project hovering around Bruce Campbell’s unspeakably likable manly goofiness. Even though Campbell and Raimi have stayed on board as producers 2013’s Evil Dead looks to be a straight-laced horror film.

Sure there’ll likely be some zingers in the dialogue but it’s hard to tell how well they’ll land since they come courtesy of Diablo Cody. Somehow the eye-rolling bullshit that passed as human beings talking to each other in Juno doesn’t sound that appealing in a horror film.

Regardless the marketing campaign for the film clearly ramps up the scariness including a YouTube campaign where you film your reactions to the trailer while you watch them then upload that video online. I haven’t clicked through but I assume there are plenty of Cheetos-stained faces tearing the movie apart scene by scene. Regardless of the film itself which looks to have some legitimately terrifying scenes it’s just the sort of thing that IGN nerds and franchise enthusiasts would automatically hate.

Having said that fan response to the film has appeared to lean closer to the pro column with a solid rating on IMDb and a poster full of positive press quotes. (I can’t wait until I get a quote on one of those — maybe I need to stop referencing Cheetos all the time.)

In other words there’s a chance that Evil Dead just might work in 2013 proving that studios and filmmakers are still finding ways to squeeze money out of us without any of those elusive new ideas.

Need more proof? Steven Spielberg’s 1993 dino disaster movie Jurassic Park has been viewed millions of times. Everyone’s seen it more times than we can count. There are shelving units at Value Villages straining to withstand the weight of countless VHS copies. Jurassic Park is a culturally saturated film. But it’s also a classic and it just turned 20 so they converted it to 3D and threw it into the multiplexes again. Why the hell not?

Having seen an advance screening of the re-release I can honestly say that it was a great decision. While the pop-out 3D effects are only occasionally interesting it’s still incredibly fun to relive a film like this in the theatre.

What I’m hesitantly admitting is that in addition to Evil Dead ’s potential as a solid remake the decision to convert Jurassic Park to 3D and re-release it in theatres was also a good idea. And that’s a strategic precursor to Spielberg’s rumoured franchise relaunch with chatter saying Jurassic Park IV will be released in 2014.

R.I.P. ideas.

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