So I’ve read a draft of the Evil Dead script by Fede Alvarez & Rodo Mendez. I’m not sure if this one includes the polish by Diablo Cody, but I kind of doubt it since her name isn’t on the title page and the draft is dated around the time her involvement was announced.
Aside from a few clunky exchanges, I actually thought it was pretty good! It’s far less comedic than Evil Dead 2 which is a smart move. Remaking that film is a fool’s errand. What it does capture well is the madcap energy, crazy roaming POV shots, demonic presence and over the top gore of the series. Even though the characters are modern teenagers, it’s very much an Evil Dead film. Indisputably so. And the drug subplot is used to nice effect as well.
But this isn’t a script review or any kind of spoiler piece. The only reason I’ve said as much as I have about the script – or even mention having read it – is that this is a flat out naked plea to Ghost House, Mandate, and FilmDistrict to take it easy on the CGI. This thing could be a lot of fun, a true gift to horror fans – but if you turn it into The Thing 2011 it would just be flat out crushing.
Look, you’ve already got a leg up on that film by having a coherent story, most of the heavy lifting is done! Just don’t f*ck it up! And this is the EXACT kind of film that will be tempting to overdo in post and turn into a cartoon. The set pieces and effects and the carnage are truly insane. Keep it that way! Just have confidence in your practical effects team. Even if you start thinking some of the shots are iffy and might take the audience out of the movie – I guarantee you that just completely drawing all over them will take the audience out of the film even more. I’d rather see a bad practical effect than a bad digital one any day. Please trust your audience – they’re not stupid. They don’t need a bunch of pointless, weightless, graphics to feel like they got their money’s worth.
Also, this isn’t some strict vegan no CGI plea. I totally understand the necessity of digitally enhancing backgrounds, erasing wires and even enhancing the practical effects. Just don’t turn it into a cartoon! That’s all! Find as many screengrabs as you can from The Thing 2011 and Fright Night 2011, post them on a bulletin board in the edit bay and write “NO” on them in big red marker. And if you hire KNB (or whomever), let them do their thing!
You’ve got a decent script that I suspect has gotten better since I’ve read it* and I’m optimistic that Fede Alvarez can pull this thing off. You have the opportunity to steer hard-R studio horror away from the middle of the road and put the cojones back on.
Please do so. I know your product needs to make money. There’s nothing wrong with that. Just prove to us that it was designed to be loved as well.