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Review

Dead Serious: Blood, Guts, and Casual Sexism Splatter Evil Dead


When the tortured and bloodied bodies of adolescents strewn willy-nilly across a widescreen isn’t the thing making you uncomfortable in a theater, you know something, somewhere has gone wrong. Based on the camp classic original, (more about that in a moment) the new Evil Dead, in a surprising homage to the film that ‘inspired’ it, is a movie that isn’t aware that it’s bad. A tonal slog that’s a bare-faced unpleasant time (and in not the way it’s intended), Evil Dead has some good cringe-worthy moments, and some things about it that just made me cringe. Read on for a chilling tale of guts, gore, false advertising, VFX lauding, and how the tired trope of casual sexism can be a real bore.

Contains spoilers, as well as some specific mentions of R-rated gory violence. Chances are, if you weren’t going to watch the films for the sake of your tastes or stomach, you might not want to read this.

I’m not usually one for modern movie “homework:” the internet-popular belief that an audience need be pre-informed about their entertainment choice at a level that either makes or breaks a film. Understanding the genre you’re walking into is one thing, but if a movie relies too heavily on tie-in materials, viral web campaigns, or a previous release, that’s usually a very bad sign indeed. But this case – and not all remakes fit the bill – requires a little foreknowledge of the brand to understand how out of joint this redux really seems. For those who are well acquainted, feel free to skip ahead.

Way, way back in the 1980s, Evil Dead Mach 1.0 was lowbrow supernatural element/cabin-in-the-woods fare done by now-famous director Sam Raimi. Filmed on location in Tennessee, the arduous, low-budget shoot resulted in a debatably scary, if original and enjoyable flick. Raimi & Co., realizing they had an unintentionally amusing hit on their hands, conspired to make the subsequent two remainders in the Evil Dead Trilogy into slapdash pieces of self-parody. From cheesy gore effects to the infamous chainsaw hand and time travel, Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness ramped up the over-the-top, the nonsensical, and the reenactment-ready badass. The movies are cult classics, not for their fine cinematic form, but for their ability to unabashedly revel in all that is, really, pretty bad. Self-conscious bad taste has its own legacy, especially in horror, and the original Evil Dead’s sequels stand out proudly in B-horror history.

Sadly, nowadays, there’s barely a shred of self-consciousness to be found. It’s a real shame, because the result of top-notch visual effects against wooden acting, bad writing, and strange directorial choices is a blend that does not go down smoothly. As per the original, five teenagers – here a troupe of fresh -faced, bland young things plucked from the CW casting offices -head out to a remote cabin. This time, it’s to help the apparent protagonist’s little sister, an addict, through her Cold Turkey. Also along are an inquisitive hipster, a registered nurse with questionable bedside manner, and the near-mute girlfriend of character number one (who, to my recollection, doesn’t even get a line until halfway through the movie). It’s hard to remember any of their names, save for drug addict Mia, and it’s mostly because her name is the one being yelled for the duration by nearly everyone else. None are so particularly sinful that we root for their demise, yet none so virtuous or brave that we care about their fate.

One might even be able to make a case for the film as satire given just the performances. But once the grist mill gets churning but good, it’s clear beyond any chance that this is a straight-faced play. The practical effects, including a possessed woman sawing off her own arm, another ripping her hand off from where it is trapped under an overturned Jeep, the fountain-like vomiting of every fluid imaginable, so on, so forth, etc. are so visceral, so gross, frightening in their evocation of natural body horror, that it’s almost a shame they’re not put in service of a better vehicle than this. Gore may be the main point, but it isn’t the lasting impression. The natural disgust we’re meant to feel, and do, is only proof that the movie misunderstands its own legacy.

Nowadays, Evil Dead’s formula has plenty working against it. As the fellow reviewer I saw it with remarked, it’s hard to inject anything original into the worn body of the cabin-in-the-woods construction, to the point that we’ve even gone ahead and made a film of that name. That doesn’t mean, however, that a little innovation is impossible. To a degree, viewers know what’s going to happen in every horror movie they queue up to see, especially of the ilk where ancient, Satanic evils come around to smear bits of teenager across the rough wooden walls. It’s why the movie is there to start, its raison d’splatter, if you will. That something original could well have been that female protagonist rumored early on. But instead of a female hero or even a laudable female co-lead, for the first hour and forty-five minutes (out of two hours) the one keeping his head, calling the shots, and taping up wounds with duct tape is the white, male, straight brother. This is a writing situation where literally any other choice would have been a marked difference. Instead, it’s business as usual, and that’s just the problem.

So-called trope tradition is no excuse for the overt level of misogyny presented in that first hour and 45 minutes. As a viewer of horror films, I find myself perpetually bored by the casual, implicit, and explicit sexism of your average scarefest. Misogyny is not a requirement of the genre. Yet, we all act like it should be expected, and any ticketholder would be a fool to think otherwise. It’s easy to lay into a flick as tepid and mediocre as this unnecessary re-envisioning of Evil Dead, but these complaints could be slipped into a review of more than 80% of contemporary horror. As in the new Evil Dead, viewers take it as granted that women’s bodies will be the primary targets to be violated, invaded, and mutilated for our…pleasure? Here, we have a prolonged scene of demonic rape-by-slimey-vine, and the implication of another scene later on to match that gets interrupted by the male hero. (This is without mentioning that the film contains more upskirt shots than a porn parody.) The women are easily taken over by the demonic foe, seemingly prone to infection where their male counterparts are not. The men are injured, but until the very end, both remain autonomously themselves, their bodies hurt but uncorrupted. While Secondary Hipster Guy does succumb in the very last instant, it is after his body is clinically dead, and after it has withstood more damage without breaking or bending than any other present onscreen.

Then, in the last fifteen or twenty minutes, something strange happens. The brother, barely harmed by the standards of the rest of the cast, dies, completing the required number of sacrifices to raise the final boss, the great, naked Big Bad who’s caused so much trouble. Who could be left to stop this great evil tromping out into the world? Why it’s little sis, freshly resurrected after being raped, burned, having her tongue split by a boxcutter, vomiting more blood than the human body likely holds, and now as smooth and without blemish as the ‘after’ picture in an acne commercial. Having been rebirthed by her brother-the-martyred-protagonist-thus-far, our suddenly elected representative in the film must battle it out in a literal rain of blood. This over-the-top end, not to mention the abrupt change in main character, might be symptoms of the original franchise, but they don’t serve much purpose but to muddy the waters. If Mia is meant to be reborn as an asskicking survivor, the movie does not present this as a likely, or satisfying, takeway. In fact, both the turning up of absurdity from the torture-porn grit of the previous hour-and-forty-five, as well the shift in character focus, smell like panic more than anything else. It’s as though those responsible had looked at what they had made, and realized they’d better change things, or they’d have a different kind of dead body to deal with. This is speculation. But that’s what it seemed like.

Confusing, last-minute choices continue to the end of the credits, where a familiar face has a message for us. Bruce Campbell shows up for a head-scratching, lighthearted stinger that adds insult to injury, rather than a balm. It continues to force a connection between old and new films that, beyond subject matter and some shot compositions, have little in common in their voice, or, ultimately, their purpose.

Not groovy, Bruce. Not groovy at all.

Zoe Chevat is a comic book artist, writer, and animator. She has an MFA in Film and Animation from CalArts, where she was part of the Experimental Animation program. Catch her work in the upcoming The Reason for Dragons, by Chris Northrop and Jeff Stokely, and in Moon Lake Vol. 2, both from Archaia Entertainment, or follow her on Twitter @ZChevat

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  • Anonymous

    Yeah, after hearing they added in ANOTHER rape scene, I decided not to go see this one. I’ll just keep an eye out for a performance of Evil Dead: The Musical, which take the campiness up to eleven and is awesome about it.

  • punkcoreyoda

    btw, the movie is only an hour and a half long, did you even see it or just read some synopses and make judgments from that??

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    Sometimes a horror film (in this case splatterfilm) is just that, no politicizing necessary! Let’s not forget Evil Dead (2013) was co-written by a woman and not just any woman but Diablo Cody who gave us one of the best post-feminist characters of all time Juno!

  • Anonymous

    I’m pretty disappointed with everything I’ve been hearing about this, but I sort of expected it. It’s a shame that the new Evil Dead shares more of its DNA with contemporary torture porn than it does the original movie. There’s a reason that original movies are so beloved, and it’s not because of the gore (explicitly). The so-bad-it’s-good motif may be impossible to intentionally replicate, but it doesn’t even look like they tried. Too bad.

  • Guest

    ” As the fellow reviewer I saw it with remarked”

    The article is only a couple of pages long, did you even read it or just skim the first paragraph and make judgments from that??

  • http://twitter.com/sarasakana Sara Sakana

    “As the fellow reviewer I saw it with remarked”

    btw, the article is only a couple of pages long, did you even read it or just skim the first sentence and make judgments from that??

  • PITAchic

    While I can’t in good conscience defend anything else, I have to argue that “White Male Lead” might not have been trope tradition rather than this specific movie tradition. He’s dressed almost identically to Ash, and there’s even a marginal resemblance. He was supposed to remind us of Bruce Campbell. I didn’t necessarily mind that part of the movie.

  • http://twitter.com/TheSaraClemens Sara Clemens

    Evil Dead: The Musical is pitch. Perfect. Do the Necronomicon.

  • punkcoreyoda

    no, I read the whole thing. and to clarify I think she saw it (I was being facetious), but I think she is drawing way to many conclusions from things that just aren’t there. I love the originals and I loved this. I did think that the first rape scene went on a little to long (and showed to much) but the second one was hardly anything but needless all the same. I don’t think there was a lot of gender equality in it, and wanting the main character to be someone other than a white strait male is bias in a completely different way. also the men get treated more horrifically than the women (If you wanted to talk about gender equality) It is all about women beating up the men (also to clearify I don’t think it is, but thats the kind of argument your making, you can pull out any message from any movie just by twisting the story around.)
    also I am a big fan of this movie and I don’t think it deserves to be slandered by accusations like this. Thats why I commented. and not knowing the length of a movie (not once but twice) is a little terrible for a reviewer.

  • punkcoreyoda

    also, there where no panty or up skirt shots in the whole movie.

  • Anonymous

    “Confusing, last-minute choices continue to the end of the credits, where a familiar face has a message for us. Bruce Campbell shows up for a head-scratching, lighthearted stinger that adds insult to injury, rather than a balm. It continues to force a connection between old and new films that, beyond subject matter and some shot compositions, have little in common in their voice, or, ultimately, their purpose.”

    1. It’s obviously just fan service, as Bruce was a producer and wanted to put his stamp on it. It’s post-credits, so why bother criticizing it? That got more cheers than the Avengers shawarma cut, so let them eat cake.

    2. Bruce also said that he has intentions of bridging both franchises together, in a way where Mia and Ash team up. So it’s obviously just for fans, but there could be a legitimate purpose to his on screen involvement.

  • Anonymous

    This has to be a joke. Diablo Cody may be post-feminst but she`s no feminist hero. Rather than assume her writing credit makes this movie above question, I`ll stick with believing the intelligent criticism that explains the author`s position.

  • TKS

    Even splatter films can perpetuate sexist perceptions. “no politicizing necessary” feels a lot like “I don’t like to think about the things I consume!”

  • TKS

    “wanting the main character to be someone other than a white strait male is bias in a completely different way.”

    Boooooooooooo.

    Whenever I hear this, I am forced to realize that people really are completely oblivious to how unequal the representation of people not strait white dudes really are. Sorry, but heroic cisgendered strait white male lead is far and away the “default” in our media. Advocating for things other than this, especially when the film publicized itself as such, is not discrimination. It’s a plea for equality.

    EDIT-perhaps she was talking about how long the film “felt” like it was going? Like, Avatar only lasted two and a half hours, but felt like a damn lifetime.

  • Nope Nopeity

    Re 2: Bruce never directly said he wants this to happen. Alvarez floated the idea at WonderCon and Campbell basically said ‘that sounds nice’.

    He has confirmed #1.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Sure, but the original post-credit sequence had Mia catching a ride in an S-Mart truck driven by Ash…that would have made the connection much more explicit. Having him show up as Jor-El’s head didn’t make any sense. He’s turned himself into the MGM lion of the Evil Dead series.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    You didn’t miss anything and I can’t think of a scene that was delivered without blemish…including the supposed rape scene. I swear, it looked more like Mia was having a very large length of excrement being shoved up her posterior than what we got from the original.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Yeah…I didn’t notice any upskirt shots, either.

  • Nope Nopeity

    Cody didn’t co-write this, she put a polish on the dialogue. Check the credits on IMDB; Alvarez and his (male) co writer created the plot structure and about 80/90 percent of the dialogue is theirs. According to a post on badass digest Rob Tapert is to blame for the vine scene. It definitely didn’t exist in the first draft of the script.

  • punkcoreyoda

    perhaps, about the length of the film, but it was a short film (like most horror movies.) also it totally is bias, not that I would have minded him as a different character, but in giving him different characteristics would things have gone the same way? I would have to say they would have, no matter who the character is. That was the vision of the author. If the main guy was gay and brought along his boyfriend I think movie would have played out the exact same way, and that his boyfriend would have went through the exact same things as the characters girlfriend (including the lack of lines and altogether interest of the audience). So I really don’t get why it would have mattered who he was. it doesn’t mean the writer was being unoriginal, I think they were trying to keep it close to the original, which wasn’t really about characters, its more about the evil force in the woods/what the book unleashes, not the characters.

  • Anonymous

    White male lead would also seem to make it easier for him to be the brother of the actress cast as Mia.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    I didn’t say Diablo Cody was a feminist hero but the character of Juno is!

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Yeah, I think it was supposed to be a “twist”…

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Yep. Nailed it. Sigh.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    But the tree rape scene is in the original Evil Dead movie.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Hard to argue with any of your points since they’re almost all dead on accurate.

    But I really don’t remember any upskirts.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    It’s a fraking horror film – I went into the theater to be entertained by movie and walked out of it feeling like I was. I’m far more concern with politicians trying to redefining what rape is and a real life culture of inequality then to nitpick at a horror movie!

  • Nope Nopeity

    *SPOILERS*

    Olivia, who makes the simple mistake of confusing Mia’s withdrawal symptoms, pisses herself on-camera and has her head crushed by a toilet.

    Eric, who takes a lot of physical punishment yet unleashes the evil through blatant egotism, not only gets a redemption arc but ends up saving his best friend’s life and dying after they share a hug, his emotional slate cleaned.

    Please tell me more about how the men are treated ‘more horrifically’ than the women in this movie.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah but even Raimi regrets putting that scene in the movie. Claiming that something horrible was in an earlier version of a work doesn’t preclude it from facing contemporary criticism.

    http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/big-screen/2012/oct/17/sam-raimi-and-the-raping-tree/

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    Just because something is written by a woman doesn’t mean it’s immune from critique.

  • Nope Nopeity

    *SPOILERS*:

    As a fan of the original trilogy: the gender politics of this movie are far more confused than in the first series. The original almost managed gender parity, even with the vine rape; the women are aggressors, very hard to put down, and Scotty spends a far more time as a Deadite. The violence is omnigendered.

    The remake, however, has some really bizarre messages about responsibility and female sexuality. Raimi’s worldview is that everyone should be punished for their stupidity (even minor moments of stupidity, as anyone who’s seen Drag me to Hell can attest to); Alvarez has an odd fondness for woman-on-woman violence and sexualized Deadite behavior, and the takeaway message can even be twisted into “women cannot be trusted on their own, and need a strong male presence to ‘purify’ them.”

  • punkcoreyoda

    *SPOILERS*

    yea, she gets crushed by a toilet after stabbing Eric with a sheet of
    glass, and putting a needle through his cheek/eye, he then gets punctured by a dozen or so nails, gets his hand broken (almost off), gets stabbed by the razor blade and then dies (I think that might have been all, but im not sure).
    David gets shot (not badly,) punctured by nails, beaten severely with a crowbar (several hits the the head), He gets cut quite a few times, and then gets pliers to the neck and then burns down the house.

    so the guys dont’ exactly take the brunt of the brutality in the movie but they take their fair share. It is kind of interesting to note that they are the only ones that the demon openly attacks in order to kill. The rest of the attacks by the demon are towards the other women and in no way endanger their lives. (not to say possessing them won’t kill them but it looks like it wants to use them as vessels.)

    fun fact if you take the first letter of all 5 of their names it spells DEMON.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    It’s a movie about evil – rape is evil. Should the rape scenes from The Accused, I Spit On Your Grave, Lipstick, Deliverance or American History X not have happen because it’s an uncomfortable subject matter?

  • Anonymous

    **SPOILERS!!**
    Hmmm…trying to remember, but I think it was more when the girls fell down (like Mia through the woods), or possessed Mia making moves on the girlfriend when she was trapped in the basement with her. So not like “whoa, thems panties!” shots, just less obvious.

  • Nope Nopeity

    *Sarcastic applause for Alvarez’s basic sense of human decency.*

  • Anonymous

    I liked the movie too, but I totes agree with what’s being said here. It’s not slander, it’s a critical review. It’s not about the women beating up the men; it’s more sinister then that. It’s an entity taking over the women, USING them, to beat up the men. Just because it has taken over the female body does not suddenly make this equal; the women have no say in the decision. And honestly, wouldn’t they, I don’t know, NOT beat up their boyfriends, given the choice? I don’t think they would.

  • Anonymous

    Rape involves more then just the vagina; even if that had happened, it would still be rape.

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.amaral.7 James Amaral

    There is only one rape scene, a tamer version of the Tree Scene from the original.

  • http://www.facebook.com/julian.leverton.7 Julian Leverton

    I’d argue that both the original and the remake have a fair amount of sexism in them, so which is worse, sexism in a movie that’s deliberately camp or sexism in a movie that’s trying to be serious? Meh…I preferred Cabin in the Woods anyway.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Okay, well, they didn’t really call attention to themselves as such that I would think of them as exploitive. There were tons of things that WERE very exploitive, but I think the nails were more stereotypically tetanus-y than the panties were exposed. In fact, okay, if you wanted to voice a positive opinion of the movie (this is a suggestion for anyone to take…I do NOT want to be supportive of the movie in any way since I was so dang disappointed by it), you could say that the outfits were generally very sensible and not at all calculated to be exploitive or stock…with the exception of the reverse-exploitation of the Mia shower scene in which she’s wearing most of her outfit when most sensible people would be nude.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I know rape involves more than just the vagina, but I was saying it was more like a reverse poo.

    Poo rape. I had not considered that. I think I might go lobotomize myself now.

  • punkcoreyoda

    either is it about women being objectified in this movie, its about an evil spirit/demon taking over the weakest body (not necessarily a women but a person that is trying to kick a drug habit) and then trying to kill all the others, so it can rise and do whatever it does (evil?). I just don’t agree with the article, and it really ticked me off to hear her say that the main character should have been someone other than a white, strait, male.

    My main argument would be that it wouldn’t matter either way who the main character was, this isn’t a film that dives deeply into character development or even gives us a decent chance to get to know the characters. You find out tid bits about the characters throughout the movie, and there are certain characters that you know nothing about (like Natalie.) and not because shes a woman but because its a horror movie! its about Evil and death and yes the gruesome scenes that are a product of the evil and give a product of Death.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beverly.nelms Beverly Ann Abbott Nelms

    It’s very easy for someone who hasn’t been raped and isn’t in much danger of being raped to call rape “an uncomfortable subject matter”. Rape is not entertainment.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    Regardless of one’s gender the dangers of rape can and does affect them. Of course rape is not entertainment nor am I suggesting that it is but that doesn’t mean it can’t be used as a plot point.

  • Guest

    Furthermore you don’t know a damn thing about me so you have no idea if I have or haven’t been sexually assaulted in my life.

  • Anonymous

    How strange. Raimi’s other recent horror work, “Drag Me to Hell” is almost the polar opposite, recognizing its camp platform, while achieving a decent horror concept, and having a female protagonist and female characters with their own agency.

    Maybe Raimi decided to cave to conventions and tropes, afraid that it was unlikely for another campy classic to be understood by movie goers? Or maybe he wanted to try for what he might have originally intended with Evil Dead? Either way, it’s disappointing that it may end up being as forgettable as all the other trope-ridden, seen-it-all-before horror films.

  • Anonymous

    “I just don’t agree with the article…”
    Okay. Agree to disagree. The point of this critical review (which you don’t seem to agree with, but doesn’t mean it’s not there) is the sexism and misogyny dumped in this movie. It’s unecessary, at worst. At best, it’s triggering.

  • Anonymous

    I was given the impression when you said “supposed rape scene.” Also, srsly, GROSS!!!

  • Anonymous

    “and wanting the main character to be someone other than a white strait male is bias in a completely different way.”

    And it would be, if films weren’t practically dominated by main characters who are white, straight, men. When movies start evening out the numbers of times I see a black woman in the lead of a horror movie (or in general), or the number of say, queer characters of color, then we can talk about unfair biases in representation.

    I can name probably hundreds of mainstream horror movies where the main protagonist is a white, straight male. I can maybe name 10 where the protagonist is a white, straight, female, 3 where it’s a person of color, and 0 where the protagonist is queer of any race.

  • punkcoreyoda

    Its not that I disagree with you, I just don’t get the need to look down upon a movie because it adheres to the typical formula for horror movies. (They tried to change it with the twist at the end, which I thought was ok, but didn’t really work.)

    I think it would basically be the same movie if the main character was a female, of any color, or of any sexual orientation. Except this review would then have been praising the movie for its non conformist approach towards the hero. And I think that is a shame.

  • Anonymous

    (regarding rape) “an effective plot point”
    That’s the kicker; in this film, and many films that use rape, it’s not.

  • Anonymous

    At every turn, wherever it is-sexism, misogyny, racism, ablism, homophobia, transphobia, etc ALL of it-should be confronted. There is no comic book, nor movie, song, politicians words, too big or too small. It is still pain and oppression, a jab at the unprivileged, and it needs to stop.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I think a “Deliverance” style band of hillbillies or deadites in similar dress wouldn’t be out of place in the Evil Dead universe and they did something with that in one of the video games, but I’d hate to suggest they could “improve” the story or update it by having a man get raped instead of a woman.

  • TKS

    If only it were possible to think critically about our media AND fight institutional sexism! Oh, wait, it totally is. TMS does it every. single. day.

    The argument “You shouldn’t talk about sexism here when there is sexism here!” is a classic derail, usually dedicated to perpetuating the patriarchal status quo of a medium.

  • TKS

    This is the best explanation of the problem here.

  • TKS

    “If they…” “If the main character was…”

    But he wasn’t. That’s the issue. People of color, women, and LGBT people are (usually) only cast when being a person of color, a woman, or an LGBT person is important in the narrative. Otherwise, when those things are not central plot points, It’s a white guy. This idea of white guy=normal is the problem.

  • TKS

    I think the “mewling quim” was intentionally misogynist. Loki makes a series of misogynist accusations toward Black Widow (calling her that name, accusing her of being childlike, assuming her interest in Hawkeye was exclusively romantically based) and Black Widow turns his misogyny against him, using it to subvert his power.

    It was my favorite scene of the movie, for that reason. (EDIT) Loki’s misogyny was a weakness.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    But I never made the argument “You shouldn’t talk about sexism here when there is sexism here!” as I DON’T see Evil Dead being a case of sexism nor do I feel the reviewer made a strong enough case to prove otherwise.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    Mia is raped and possessed by pure evil – therefore IMO it is an effective plot point of the movie.

  • OdinsEye

    “Loki’s misogyny was a weakness.” definitely. One of her best scenes.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    What’s so wrong with “I don’t like to think about the things I consume!” It’s called mindless entertainment for a reason.

  • TKS

    “I’m far more concern with politicians trying to redefining what rape is
    and a real life culture of inequality then to nitpick at a horror movie!”

    That’s kind of exactly your point in the post above. The basis of your message is that “It’s just a slasher flick. Slasher flicks do…” If you don’t think that this film used sexist tropes. Fine. Defend that assertion. So far the only evidence you’ve supplied is that horror movies shouldn’t be “politicized,” which is a pretty weak statement.

  • TKS

    No. If you don’t want to take a critical eye to everything you see, than that’s perfectly acceptable. But, don’t dismiss the findings of those that are on the basis of “you don’t have too.”

    (Also, don’t assume that looking at things with a critical eye is the same thing as completely dismissing them. I enjoyed Heavy Rain, but the way it presented women and people of color was deplorable.)

    The practice of studying media effects has been around for a pretty long while. Long enough to indicate that the images presented in all media (not just the heady, “political” media) affect people. I don’t think that analyzing the images presented in a movie currently #1 in the box office is unreasonable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chatty.chatter Chatty Chatter

    Had to stop my girlfriend from raging on this topic. that being said it wasn’t that best movie that’s for sure but i cant agree with alot of your review. In the end people see what that want to see, and we didn’t view the movie from most of these points of views.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=519242648 Erin Kizorek

    I’m curious why you call out all the sexism in films, but then let things like Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead’s sexism slide. I’ve seen this film, and while the rape and sexism were bad, it’s nowhere near the issues in Game of Thrones. Is this a common thing on TheMarySue? Because if so, that’s troubling

  • Nick Redman

    It certainly makes me feel uncomfortable to ponder the misogyny of these familiar cult films, but I’d rather challenge my perceptions than be oblivious.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Quantarum Eric Gilreath

    So little of her material was used that the writer’s guild ruled that she could be left out of the credits. -Q.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    If you’re speaking to the author of this post directly, she’s a contributor who specifically writes film reviews and does interviews for us. She would not be writing about Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead.

    If you’re speaking to the website as a whole, I think it’s important to remember The Mary Sue is made up of several writers, all of whom have different life views. We each see items in pop-culture differently. If we haven’t written specifically about the sexism you’re referring to, did you consider it’s because we don’t see it? Or don’t see it the way you do?

    When we see entertainment we personally find problematic, we write about it. When we don’t, we don’t. To point out something we don’t see or don’t believe would not be genuine and do a disservice to our readers. We write about Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead often. When we experience an example we believe drives or contributes to the inherent sexism in our society, we discuss it, but if we wrote about every single instance of sexism in the world simply because it’s there, we’d never stop writing.

    You ask if “this” is a common thing on The Mary Sue. If you do not read us often enough to know, perhaps don’t make a judgement call in that regard.

  • Anonymous

    Meh, that is true. Almost forgot about that.

  • http://twitter.com/passingfair Molly Muldoon

    I am a huge Evil Dead fan and I was disappointed in this remake. I was annoyed that all three female characters were taken out like that while Eric was seemingly invincible I was annoyed that David couldn’t just ACT when he needed to (I spent most of the movie muttering “Ash wouldn’t have a problem with this…”) and I was annoyed that there was a severe lack of wisecracks.

    Mostly, though, I was just encouraged to write my own screenplay where the main female lead has a boyfriend that just sits around and looks handsome most of the time until halfway through the movie where maybe he gets a line. And I want everyone to not bat an eye at it.

  • Anonymous

    “As a woman who considers herself a feminist but also a ravenous horror fan, I have to say that this movie was not that offensive to me.”
    Okay. But that’s your view and opinion. This comes off to me as “I am speaking for women/feminists everywhere”. You don’t. This is just your experience. I loved the movie too, but I see where it’s problematic. Remember, it’s okay to like problematic things.

  • Anonymous

    “Simple as that, no sexism intended.”

    Intention is not magical.

    “Why even bother to include the rape scene? Because even if Raimi regretted it the fans loved it.”

    What of those who are fans who didn’t love it? And/or are triggered by it? This is a very black and white view, and not a very convincing argument “for” the rape scene. (Note: there isn’t a good argument in favor of the rape scene)

    “Like I said, it is following the same formula as the original film.”

    Detouring from the original gives the movie its own legs to stand on, so to speak. Why did it have to follow the original film?

    “The film would have been accused of sexism regardless.”

    Wow, no. I don’t think you understand how sexism works.

    “Men don’t generally react to these movies like women do. That’s just the way it is, no sexism intended.”

    Magical, intention is not. (I need to find more creative ways to say this) And no, please don’t throw around the “men are this way, women are this way!” gender essentialism crap.

    “Do I agree with the tactic? No necessarily, but it works and the primary aim of this kind of movie is to frighten, entertain and most importantly, sell tickets.”

    Soooo….sexism=scarier movie, even to women? Fascinating, because my favorite horror movies are ones with little to no sexism, like Session 9. Or The Others. Or Audition (Okay, almost all Japanese horror. I LOVE Japanese horror >.<)

    "People like to be scared and women generally scare easier."

    Nope :)

  • Anonymous

    Now, take that, and make it NOT exist in a void-where we are all consumed by a rape culture, that makes it safe for rapists, hostile to consent, and victims/survivors of rape. Now tell me that it’s still an effective plot point.

  • Gorgo

    Like I said, I do not necessarily agree with the tactics, I just understand why they did what they did. Sure, they could have changed the formula or omitted the rape scene but the fact that they included them does not indicate sexism to me, just that they wanted to follow the original film. Have you seen the original “Evil Dead”? It really is not much different. I’m not trying to say this is a great movie worthy of consideration, far from it but having seen the original I think I understand why they made the movie they made. If you want to find sexism in the movie this one makes it easy but when analyzing it you cannot ignore the original as the source material it is.

    I understand how sexism works but I also understand that men and women are two very different genders with different hormones pumping through their body and altering the way they react to situations. This is biology, not sexism. This does not go for everyone of course. My wife can sit through horror movies better than most men but generally speaking women tend to react in a way desirable to the studios producing the film. Go to the theater and watch a film like this. Talk to the general populace about how they reacted to it. Listen for the screams and tell me that the majority are NOT from women. I went to this movie with nine other people. Four women, five men. Most of the women (my wife excluded) reacted how you might expect.

  • kat

    Wow… no. Since we’re going for anecdotal evidence and not citable facts here, when I went to see the remake of Friday the 13th, I went with my guy friend who is 6’5 and general prides himself on having a similar physique to Superman. When the stinger came at the very end of the film, I was laughing… and he pogo’d out of his seat screaming like a banshee. Does that mean he’s a good representative sample of how all men are going to act while viewing a horror films? No. Just like the five women you saw Evil Dead with aren’t representative of all women who go see horror movies.

    And isn’t the point of a remake to transcend what the original film did or even, dare I say, try and improve on it, possibly by dropping some of the more controversial parts like the tree rape? If the director really was going for a scene by scene remake, then why bother at all?

  • Anonymous

    “Hold on guys, just gonna blow your minds. Did you ever consider that this generation’s minority is… WHITE MEN?! DUN DUN DUN.”

    “Ow, my mind!”

    “Yeah, I just blew it, that’s how it goes.”

    “No, the… the stupid… it burns…”

  • Anonymous

    Presumably your girlfriend also had a different point of view. Perhaps you should listen to her opinion instead of brushing it off as “raging”?

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    Ok I lose, you’re right rape only started to happen in the world because of movies that use it as effective plot point.

  • http://www.facebook.com/steph.cherrywell Steph Cherrywell

    The words “Way, way back in the 1980s” make my brain immediately launch into “evil government employees dug up famous dudes and ladies and made amusing genetic copies”.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    I didn’t believe writer of this review made a strong enough case for sexist tropes that exists in Evil Dead IMO. I went into to Evil Dead for one reason alone, to see a bunch of pretty people get ripped to shreds by demons and left feeling like I got my money’s worth. I accept the fact there are people in this world who feel the need to make bigger issues out of pop-culture and that’s fine (hey everybody has to make a living). Nonetheless I stand by my assertion that I’m far more concern with politicians trying to redefining what rape is and a real life culture of inequality then to nitpick at a horror movie.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    “I don’t think that analyzing the images presented in a movie currently #1 in the box office is unreasonable.”

    I agree with you however I personally don’t think based on the movie I saw and this review makes a strong enough case for the supposed misogyny within the Evil Dead movie.

  • Guest

    Lol this dismissive comment.

    So you’re letting the sexism in Game of Thrones and The Walking dead slide because there’s “multiple authors who experience different things” and if “we called out all sexism we’d be here forever”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=519242648 Erin Kizorek

    Lol this dismissive comment.

    So you’re letting the sexism in Game of Thrones and The Walking dead slide because there’s “multiple authors who experience different things” and if “we called out all sexism we’d be here forever”. Isn’ t that your JOB as a feminist geek site to call out sexist bs? Or did you forget what you’re getting paid to do?

  • Guest

    Everyone decries horror as a misogynistic genre. Why, then, don’t we criticize action movies for their male body count? 99% of murder victims in action movies are doodz.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    Interesting. You call my reply, which I considered respectful to your original comment and took the time to respond to, dismissive, yet leave a dismissive comment in return.

    Let me explain again since it seems you’ve missed my point. I do not let anything “slide,” I simply do not write what I do not see. I personally write recaps for The Walking Dead on the site, have you read them all? I touch on how the female characters are treated when I think there’s a particular issue. When I don’t see an issue, I don’t create one out of thin air. I’m not paid to write fiction on this website, I’m paid to write news/my opinions.

    And my “job” as a feminist geek site is to write from my perspective, not yours. If you feel very strongly that Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead are sexist, I encourage you to write about that but please, don’t tell me what i’m supposed to be writing about, that’s my boss’ job.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chatty.chatter Chatty Chatter

    Oh I have… And I mainly posted because… Raging may have been an understatement ^_^ she strongly disagrees with the review and many like it. Like I said we didn’t view the movie in this light, just wanted to add our two cents. There is many reasons not to see this movie this wasn’t some of them at least for us.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    I do agree cheering a rape scene is deplorable but within context the reason for the cheering was due in large part that the scene was a nod to the same scene in the original Evil Dead movie.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dnicolai Daniel Nicolai

    I’m really glad that I saw this movie prior to seeing all of the rubbish people are saying about it. I really enjoyed the movie as a continuation of the Evil Dead series (I look at it more as Evil Dead 3 [or 4] than as a remake) and I found the practical effects to be fairly awesome. As for the characters, I do agree that they were quite nameless and my friends and I were commenting on how the Hipster seemed to take forever to finally die.

    As for Mia’s reversion back to her Acne Cream appearance, that’s a standard of the Evil Dead series. Even Ash went Deadite for a brief moment during ED2 and Sheila was impaled at one point, but came back to normal after the Evil was destroyed.

    Stop over analyzing these wonderful movies and just enjoy them for what they are. Really really bad movies that make us feel really really good. (not sure why they make me feel good, but damnit, they do!)

  • http://www.facebook.com/KozmikPariah Ryan Colson

    Seriously, and I’d hardly call it a rape scene O.o

  • http://www.facebook.com/dnicolai Daniel Nicolai

    Oh, and as for the whole “Why are they only sexualizing the women” stuff, it’s because people get all freaky when women are touched like that and it’s an incredibly restrictive thing. Also, it’s kinda’ kinky in a sick way and a lot of people can respond to it. Emasculating a guy works in a similar way, but since the core audience of these slasher flicks is guys… I don’t think it would be as positive (it didn’t work well for Hostel II).

    I’m going to end on the good old standard that I often use when people are spouting how they hate something and are upset at me because I enjoyed it. “If you don’t like it, stop doing it.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/KozmikPariah Ryan Colson

    I call it “a thornipede”.

  • Anonymous

    You don’t see the sexism and misogyny; doesn’t mean it’s not there. It’s amazing how many times this needs to be said.

  • Anonymous

    And again………..*sigh* while the INTENTION of the cheering wasn’t meant FOR the actual rape, the EFFECT is that people were cheering FOR the rape. Intention. Isn’t. Magical.

  • Anonymous

    LOL! No, that is not what I’m saying. Good try, though.

  • Anonymous

    Okay. Doesn’t mean it’s not there.

  • Gorgo

    I’m not a sociologist or psychologist so I will admit what I’m saying is mostly speculation. I now intend on looking into the topic to see if there is anything that backs up my hypothesis.

    I’m glad you were able to stomach Friday the 13th better than your male counterpart but I already acknowledged that what I’m saying does not apply to every individual. I used my own wife as an example. The fact that you follow a blog like this already shows me you aren’t like the average woman. I cannot base my assumption on the reaction of four women, you’re right but I cannot base it on the reaction of you alone either. We’re talking about the majority here, the people these movies cater to. I’m talking sociology, not psychology. Don’t tell me you are not aware of the scores of teenage girls who go see these movies with their boyfriends just to cuddle in close with them.

    As for the purpose of a remake, I don’t care what it’s purpose is.You want to know the real purpose of a remake? To cash in on the success of an earlier film. By making this film like the original they’re trying to guarantee that viewers of the original will enjoy the new version. I’m not advocating the “Evil Dead” remake nor am I advocating why they made it the way they did. I’m only explaining why they made the movie the way they did regardless if it was made well or not.

  • Anonymous

    ….do I even want to know why? No, no I don’t.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    I was being sarcastic – to be honest I really don’t know what you are saying…

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    If it’s there this review DOES NOT make a strong case pointing it out, which is what I’ve been saying all along.

  • Anonymous

    ~And now they’re clones, as sexy teens, now
    They’re gonna make it if they try!~

  • Anonymous

    Yay, a “What About Teh Menz” comment! Do we have a bingo yet?

  • Anonymous

    “Stop over analyzing these wonderful movies and just enjoy them for what they are.”

    This is a not very well disguised silencing tactic. In short, NO.

  • Anonymous

    No to all of this. And you are a very privileged person to think/feel this way. Good for you :)

  • Anonymous

    ” I’m only explaining why they made the movie the way they did regardless if it was made well or not.”

    Which is the assumption of “Sexism sells, people only want to see White, Straight, Able-bodied (cis) Men main characters, use racism and claim it’s ‘art’, etc” (I know there are more examples, and I hope I used “cis” right, still learning that) This assumption is wrong. It’s wrong because human beings are, in FACT, way more diverse, and completely AWESOME, then what society continues to regurgitate.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    And people cheered after Natalie saws off her arm then it hangs and plops on the floor. We’re talking about a horror film where people are murder, disfigured and raped by satanic trees. I don’t really know how to debate with you about this because I don’t see the world of pop-culture in the same manner as you.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    Maybe that’s because this review claims there is sexism and misogyny within Evil Dead, however the claim isn’t clear nor strong enough for the readers of this review to fully understand that claim.

  • kat

    But up above you were citing biology, not sociology or psychology, as the reason why women react differently to horror films then men. Because of hormones yes?

    I think it’s incredibly difficult to categorize such broad groups without resorting to generalizations because yes while I could “stomach” the Friday the 13th remake, I will also admit to hiding behind my hands and flinching through the majority of the Woman in Black. Did I like it? Yes. Did it also scare me? Yes. Some people go to horror movies for the violence, others go for the scares. And others may go for simply for the special effects.

    Studios might pander to the majority, on the what I believe to be outdated assumption that the audience is mostly going to be comprised of men from their mid teens to early twenties but that doesn’t mean that sites like the Mary Sue can’t point out sexism in such films (whether or not you agree it is being sexist is another subject entirely). Only by calling attention to something can we affect any change in it.

  • MaidOfKandar

    “As for Mia’s reversion back to her Acne Cream appearance, that’s a standard of the Evil Dead series. Even Ash went Deadite for a brief moment during ED2 and Sheila

    was impaled at one point, but came back to normal after the Evil was destroyed.”

    Please take a closer look at Ash’s face during the S-Mart ending of AOD, then at Sheila’s shoulder at the conclusion of the celebration scene in same. They both carry all of the wounds they had pre-posession. That’s always been a huge chunk of Deadite lore – you can get your soul back but whatever damage they do to your body remains permanent.

    “Really really bad movies that make us feel really really good.”

    You realize Alvarez intended this to be a ‘serious’ horror movie, right? No camp intended? And Bruce Campbell is still going on and on through his Twitter about ‘freaking’ us out? Whenever someone tells him they laughed he waves the ‘BUT BUT NOT CAMPY!’ flag.

  • MaidOfKandar

    Why even bother to include the rape scene? Because even if Raimi regretted it the fans loved it.”

    And there are plenty who did not – and even then, allowing Tapert to tell Alvarez to insert the scene back into the movie is flat-out pandering.

    The second rape would be what Mia did to Natalie.

  • MaidOfKandar

    “Drag me To Hell” tries for feminism but ends up a misguided effort, IMOHO.

  • MaidOfKandar

    That’s actually occurred more than once at various showings of the movie.

  • MaidOfKandar

    Campbell has repeatedly said that scene is fannish wish fulfillment that was never in the script or filmed.

  • MaidOfKandar

    Yes it is, but it still didn’t exist in the first draft of the remake’s script, and Raimi still has years of interviews behind him in which he apologizes for and decries his own use of it. Allowing Tapert to instruct Alvarez to insert it shows a fair hint of hypocrisy .

  • MaidOfKandar

    *MORE SPOILERS*

    I’m not speaking about the brunt of the physical violence here – I’m speaking about character arcs and the humiliation involved in the violence. I’d say the physical brutality is spread around, but the psychological torture and redemption from thereof, well:

    Mia is raped. Her soul is ‘raped in hell’ for the majority of the movie. She’s then used as a sexualized vessel of demon transportation and french kisses Natalie by force to turn her after licking her thighs.

    Mia has the same level of pugnacious determination in her at the beginning of the movie that she does at the end. She gets very little character development, and it’s arguable that her ritual rebirth cleanses her of her addiction, so she doesn’t even have to do the legwork of overcoming that. Olivia dies on a bathroom floor. Natalie flatlines that her face hurts and collapses.

    Eric and David both suffer physically, and David emotionally (for about ten minutes), but both complete full character arcs. Eric gets to die a hero. David’s pain over losing Natalie is ameliorated because he saves Mia, and then he, too, dies a hero, having finally committed to something. That Eric is considered a hero of the piece, even though this entire situation is entirely his fault, is utterly ludicrous. Both men are transformed by their experiences, Mia is transposed by happenstance.

    And yes, they sure do.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps because you don’t live with the daily threat, nor daily reminders, of rape?

    You don’t need to debate. Just listen.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Indeed, thank you, maselphie. There’s no debate going on. I am sharing my experience, and the fact that intention isn’t magical. The scene you brought up, Saul, has nothing to do with what I just said. And I find it interesting that below you say rape is “an effective plot point” and yet here, you are hinting to the idea that rape in this movie is used to shock and disgust. Which it is. And it’s a low, dirty, vile fucking blow, especially to the people (like me) who are triggered by such things.

  • Anonymous

    >.> Gross. And why am I not surprised?

  • Anonymous

    The things you are trying to understand are Feminism 101, and those things do not need to be taught here. It’s no one’s job (but your’s) to teach you.

  • Anonymous

    Or, you are just refusing to see it and/or can’t, due to some sort of privilege (I’m guessing you are a straight, possibly white, cisgendered male? In other words, a dude). Again, feminism 101…

  • Anonymous

    ^ Bam. Spot on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chatty.chatter Chatty Chatter

    Yes feminism is a topic that I don’t
    know a lot about and don’t agree with much of the time. And that
    would also be why I’m on a site that puts some of that point of view
    about content that I more relate to. What I don’t care for is being a
    guy who comments that he and his girlfriend simply disagrees with
    something and it makes him the bad guy. This again was at the request
    of his girlfriend who get equally as passionate about “feminism
    attacking things” she loves. But I’m comment about her getting mad
    about this and I’m speaking for her so I must be in the wrong and
    must be a misogynistic pig… I make lite of this because its more
    like shes not the most tech friendly person and she got so worked up
    about the review that she wanted me to comment as a filter because
    she would have ended up trolling the topic. So we put our two cents
    in… I love that the internet is a wealth of opinions… That are
    all ignored or trampled on depending on who’s “turf”. People are
    not at all alike but why does it seem, even on topics that are trying
    to break a “damaging mindset” and sets of conformity does it
    always feel that your being judged, labeled and set in a whole other
    box of conformity. This is the one thing I hate about crusades
    regardless of how noble the intent is… It makes some short sighted.
    That’s all Ill say on that, What I love about drastic differences in
    opinion and “being on the frig of the norm” is the love filled
    and thoughtful materiel that it can offer with its own message
    entwined in it. Heres to those who may find there voice and create a
    work of art that means something rater then yelling and griping about
    how offensive this are on the web. Don’t like something, create a
    counterpoint in the same media. If its good and there’s enough people
    that feel the same way and as strongly then it’ll be accepted coped
    mass produced and become our new unoriginal norm…

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Nat…alie? Was that her name? Yeah, she just isn’t present for 99% of the movie until they need need her to turn into a deadite. Awful.

    And Eric’s wounds became parody pretty quickly. I was POSITIVE that the blows to the head had finished him off…I’m certain there was a CRACK sound effect…but, no, that didn’t stop him. Why would it? Silly me.

  • Anonymous

    Care to expand? I haven’t had this convo about DMTH yet. I’d love to hear your perspective.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    Wrong my friend, I’m a gay man of color so BOOM!!!

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    And you’re being completely unfair simply because I don’t agree with you. This isn’t about what I do or do not know, this is about a review to a film that claims it’s sexist and misogynistic, if the writer is going to make such a claim it is the writer’s responsible to make a strong enough case for that claim. I have now read this review at least 20 different times and I feel the writer has failed to do so in my own personal opinion.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    So basically what you’re saying is rape as an plot point is bad but murder and dismemberment isn’t…

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    I don’t like the idea of using my personal life to make a point but I’m no stranger to the harm and reality of sexual violence.

  • Anonymous

    …how am I being unfair? Let’s use this example; this is a review on a complex math problem, and you come in with the comment: “But that’s not the answer, because I don’t see how you got that!” Well, go learn some math, and come back.

  • Anonymous

    I am confused why this is a reply to me. I have not said anything about you specifically; how can I, since I don’t know you? All that I have said, is that if you don’t see the sexism and misogyny in this movie, it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Maybe you have hard feelings about being downvoted.

    “Yes feminism is a topic that I don’t
    know a lot about and don’t agree with much of the time.”

    So you don’t agree with a topic that you don’t know much about…mmm, not making a strong case against it.

    “What I don’t care for is being a
    guy who comments that he and his girlfriend simply disagrees with
    something and it makes him the bad guy.”

    Citation needed.

    “This again was at the request of his girlfriend who get equally as passionate about “feminism
    attacking things” she loves. But I’m comment about her getting mad
    about this and I’m speaking for her so I must be in the wrong and
    must be a misogynistic pig…”

    Those who identify as women are not a monillith; your girlfriend does not speak for all of us. And again, citation needed for whoever called you that.

    “People are
    not at all alike but why does it seem, even on topics that are trying
    to break a “damaging mindset” and sets of conformity does it
    always feel that your being judged, labeled and set in a whole other
    box of conformity.”

    Again, confused how you came up with all of this over a disagreement. If you feel all of these things, however, perhaps it’s not up to us (minorities) to coddle your feelings? You have a whole other internet that does that, and excludes us by making it a hostile environment. Off you go.

    “Don’t like something, create a
    counterpoint in the same media.If its good and there’s enough people
    that feel the same way and as strongly then it’ll be accepted coped
    mass produced and become our new unoriginal norm… Be inspired don’t just be the loudest person on there soap box.”

    There are no individual solutions to systematic problems. Making a movie that isn’t sexist/racist/homophobic/transphobic/abist/cissexist/heterosexist/
    etc will not suddenly cure society. That takes constant work, which will never be over.

    “Sorry to insert my thoughts they must have been super harmful. Ill think twice before looking into a topic that even slightly differs from my own point of view next time.”
    This is a great example of projection. Would be great if you ever do come back, but of course that’s up to you.

  • Anonymous

    Mkay, yes, they probably did applaud at the murder scenes. What makes it more of a problem is when they applauded at the rape scene. As for all of your other view points, I’ve already argued against them below. There are reasons you’re being disagreed with so passionately.

  • Anonymous

    Awesome. I assumed as such, because typically those that defend the stasus quo are typically the ones who hold the most privilege from it. It is great to learn that you are a minority as well.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    “however the claim isn’t clear nor strong enough for the readers of this review to fully understand that claim.”

    Most of the readers DO, judging by the comments. You keep saying that the case the review makes isn’t strong, but you’ve yet to say WHY or provide your own argument.

    So: Care to defend your viewpoint?

  • Rebecca Pahle

    And you’ve said “the writer’s case isn’t strong enough” several times and have yet to explain HOW.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    And that is the reason no one should ever make assumptions about anyone.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    Can please explain why you feel that applauding the tree rape scene is more problematic then applauding the murders in the same film?

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    Your example is flawed – because I’m NOT saying the reviewer is incorrect with their assessment of the supposed misogyny and sexism within Evil Dead what I am saying is the reviewer did not write a strong enough case to back that claim up.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    Because the writer mentions the fact that Evil Dead relies on the standard horror movie trope traditions of which without argument are based on standard sexism and misogyny within horror movies. I personally don’t feel this review brings anything new to the conversation that would make me as the reader question the supposed sexism and misogyny of this particular film.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    I’ve read the other comments and they do seem get it – so props to the writer. I personally don’t believe the case is a strong one nor do I agree with the assumption that Evil Dead has any casual sexism or misogyny. I stand by my original viewpoint that it’s horror film and certain things are to be expected because that’s the point of the movie. If I go to a tearjerker – I wanna be made to cry. If I go to an action movie – I wanna see stuff blown up – if I go to a horror film I want to see pretty people disemboweled and inflicted with every horror imaginable.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    “Evil Dead relies on the standard horror movie trope traditions of which without argument are based on standard sexism and misogyny within horror movies.”

    So you agree that there’s sexism in Evil Dead, you just don’t think that’s a problem? Am I understanding you correctly?

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    Basically yes.

  • Anonymous

    No, but it does happen. I am human, and so are you. If you’re trying to say “You did a bad thing,” well, yes, I made a mistake. But that’s it. I recognize it, and I see that you’re not what I thought. Done. If you are well versed in feminism, then I wonder why you are defending the Evil Dead in the ways that you are. I feel as if you have stated everything until you found something “solid”, which is “My viewpoint is this article doesn’t do a well enough job of defining the sexism,” Great. I disagree.

  • Anonymous

    Based on what? Your viewpoint? As I said in an earlier statement, this seems to be the final viewpoint you have stuck to, since it’s the only thing I can’t debate on. Your opinion is your opinion. That’s great. I can see what this reviewer is saying, without any help.

  • Anonymous

    Okay. Completely disagree with you, but there it is. Thanks to Rebecca for asking the right questions.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    I’m defending that movie because I thought it was awesome and I felt there wasn’t the causal amount of misogyny and sexism the reviewer and clearly the majority of the other readers of the review felt that there is. In the end it doesn’t matter that my opinion isn’t shared by most of the readers of this review because the movie is a hit and that pretty much guarantees there will be a sequel and I for one will be first in line for my ticket.

  • Gorgo

    Unfortunately sexism does sell. But what I’m trying to understand in the context of horror movies is why that is. Women watch these movies just as often as men despite women in these movies being the primary targets. There is a reason for this. It may have something to do with the biology of women or sociology. I don’t rightly know but lambasting this movie which follows the traditional horror movie pattern as well as the formula set in the original film seems like an attempt to grasp at straws. You can find sexism in anything and especially in exploitation slasher flicks.

    Another commenter mentioned “Game of Thrones” which at times is very sexist but this blog follows the show with devotion. What is the nude woman to nude men ratio of that show? Has there ever been a nude man in it? If you’re going to take this movie to task then why do so many others go unmentioned? I hardly ever see horror movie reviews here. What makes this one special especially given the fact that it’s only crime is following the original film and giving the majority what they want, women included.

    As for the able-bodied white male hero archetype. I agree that these movies should use a more diverse array of actors BUT the lead male in THIS movie was cast and designed to look like the hero of the original and I cannot find fault in that.

  • Gorgo

    I’m sure it is a bit of both. Sociology and biology and where they overlap. I’m sure hormones to play a part but there is nothing sexist in saying that, that is just the way it is. Men and women are different and react different to different stimuli due in part to their hormones. On the flip side the only real difference between use is in a single chromosome so my generalizations are not black and white.

    Personally I enjoy the gory/slasher type movies because I think they’re fun to watch. They don’t scare me. Like you, I was far more frightened by “Woman in Black”, that was one of the freakiest movies I’ve ever seen. :)

    See, my argument is not that studios pander only to young males. I believe they pander to young women as well. I know a lot of young women who go see movies like “Evil Dead” and despite the sexism inherit in these movies enjoy being grossed out and horrified by them. I believe that is in part why women are the exploited gender in these films, to get a better reaction from female viewers. Maybe I’m wrong, it will require more research on my part but to me it makes sense. “Evil Dead” is sexist, I agree on that and don’t think I ever said it wasn’t but I believe the reviewer is over-blowing the sexism in it given the kind of movie this and the original both are.

  • Anonymous

    “Unfortunately sexism does sell.”

    Let’s make this clear; the only reason this seems true is because sexism (and all other “isms”) are the only thing we are given. If we were fed gruel all our life, people would declare “But gruel sells!” and miss the irony that we weren’t given any other choice! The rest of you first paragraph can be explained, again, by what I just said.

    “Another commenter mentioned “Game of Thrones” which at times is very sexist but this blog follows the show with devotion. What is the nude woman to nude men ratio of that show?”

    Game of Thrones is very problematic, but the reason it is followed is because many fans love different things about it. The problems don’t over-shadow what they love about the show, for them. It’s also a logical fallacy to bring up a whole other show. We’re talking about the Evil Dead, which is problematic in the ways described above. And it seems you’ve ended with the same points I’ve argued with you on. I get tired of repeating myself, so, wev.

    “As for the able-bodied white male hero archetype. I agree that these movies should use a more diverse array of actors BUT the lead male in THIS movie was cast and designed to look like the hero of the original and I cannot find fault in that.”

    I can. Because in a society that constantly makes that the “norm”, it IS problematic. Once again; just because “this is the way it’s been done” doesn’t mean it needs to continue. If we say the ingredient they keep adding to our soup is shit, why keep adding it? It’s shit, we don’t like it, take it out! Tada, new, creative, more inclusive ideas. Everyone wins.

  • Anonymous

    I have made assumptions about you, yes. But that’s not the only thing I have done; I’ve argued against your points. I’m tired of repeating myself. Applauding for a rape scene is more problematic because it is a product of the rape culture-a detailed article to which I’ve linked in a response to you below.

  • Anonymous

    That may be, but there’s nothing noble in defending the rape culture. Even if you’re doing it out of ignorance, please go learn what’s being said here.

  • Anonymous

    Did you know I liked the movie as well? I’m a HUGE horror fan, I’ve been seeing all the crappy horror movies that come out in American theaters because I love going to the movies, and I’m very much looking forward to that one movie that will keep me up for a few days. So far, no dice. I very much liked this movie (can’t get myself to say loved), it scared me, it was gory, it made me jump, I cared for the characters, etc. But it is problematic. I can like this movie and be critical of it. Do you feel that being critical of something you enjoy means the person doesn’t like it, or is saying it is bad in some way?

  • Gorgo

    Alright, well like you I’m tired of repeating myself. I really don’t think sexism is the only thing we’re given, it is just what people are most responsive to. There are 7 billion people in this world creating a vast array of art in the form of movies, music, television, I don’t want to hear any excuse about a lack of options. It is the responsibility of the offended viewer to say “no”. Movies like “Evil Dead” will continue to exploit women and shows like “Game of Thrones” will continue to parade around their naked bodies until the consumer demands otherwise. Or we can give them our money anyway and then complain about why they keep doing what they do.

    What I saw in “Evil Dead” is the sexism often portrayed in horror movies, but also a female heroin who ended up surviving against the odds like exploited females in so many other horror movies (“Halloween”, “Friday the 13th”, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, “Alien” etc.). Which one are we choosing to focus on here? The negative, as people always will. Do with that whatever you please.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    I’m a fanboy not sure if you know anything about fandom culture, but we tend to get very sensitive and defensive about the things we love.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    As I’ve said before I’m very much aware of the rape culture we all are part of but for me personally I’m more concern about the real life consequences of real people who seek to change the definition of what rape really is.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    I read the link and it’s not like I disagree with it for the most part. That being said the tree rape in question I still believe the applauding needs to be viewed in context, it’s not the rape that was being applauded it was the nod to the original film that was being applauded. We clearly disagree on this point, so we will need to agree to disagree about it.

  • Luke Franklin

    As is the author of this review.. It is HER opinion. So its not any less valid than anything anybody else has had to say.

  • Anonymous

    “I really don’t think sexism is the only thing we’re given, it is just what people are most responsive to.”

    And that, is where the problem lies. It is hard to see, but it’s everywhere. Think the Matrix; pretty much like that. We are consistantly swimming in bigotry. Much like the fish has a hard time grasping that zie swims through an ocean, we navigate our society (at least Western society, that I know it) and try to find little islands of progressiveness, hope and inclusion. These are few and far between, and even islands where we think there is progression, there can still be a demand of silence from the privileged.

    ” It is the responsibility of the offended viewer to say “no”.”

    Holy christ, does this border on victim blaming; oh wait, it kinda is. It’s not up to the marginalized to demand a better world; we can’t do it on our own. It takes allies (true allies who will listen) and teaspoons to combat the ocean of vile bigotry. This is slow change, but it’s happening.

    “Which one are we choosing to focus on here? The negative, as people always will. Do with that whatever you please.”
    WOW. So, instead of listening (and I mean, really listening, with empathy, validation, the whole thing), you just “listen” to me, and fire back with the same bullshit you’ve been regurgitating this whole time. I’m glad you’re not the only reason I reply to crap like this. Have a great day :)

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t say her opinion isn’t valid.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think you do, because you wouldn’t be saying “there are more important places to fight rape” NO. Sexism, misogyny, the Virginity Myth, the Whore/Virgin complex for women, rape “jokes”, these ALL are related to rape.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I am. I empathize with that feeling; if anyone turned a critical eye to, I don’t know, The Avengers, I would feel hurt. But that doesn’t mean critical reviews shouldn’t happen, or you have to take a definite stance either way.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    I never said “there are more important places to fight rape” what I said was I’m personally more concern with real life consequences of rape and real life people who are in fact trying to change the definition of rape. That doesn’t mean I’m not concern with sexism, misogyny or any other form of inequality. Furthermore I believe rape culture affects more then just women, men and transgender people are also harmed and/or are victims of rape culture. There’s really no need for you to lecture me or accuse me of not knowing what rape culture is simply because of our difference of opinions with regards to the way rape was portrayed within context of the Evil Dead movie.

  • Anonymous

    “I said was I’m personally more concern with real life consequences of rape and real life people who are in fact trying to change the definition of rape.”

    And that’s great; again, agree to disagree. Coming to a space like this and stating so is akin to talking over the voices of the marginalized. Please don’t do that. Saying “I would do this,” and implying that we should too does nothing but halts the conversation.

    “Furthermore I believe rape culture affects more then just women. Men, children and transgender people are also harmed and/or are victims of rape culture.”

    As do I. Don’t believe I have said differently.

    “There’s really no need for you to lecture me or accuse me of not knowing what rape culture is simply because of our difference of opinions with regards to the way rape was portrayed within context of the Evil Dead movie.

    I do, when you imply that this isn’t a fight worth fighting, which is what you have done in your comments to others. It is. Please stop saying otherwise. You wouldn’t fight this fight; great. Let us do it, then.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    “And that’s great; again, agree to disagree. Coming to a space like this and stating so is akin to talking over the voices of the marginalized. Please don’t do that. Saying would do this,” and implying that we should too does nothing but halts the conversation.”

    How does stating what I’m PERSONALLY (adverb: Used to indicate that a specified person and no other is involved in something.) more concern with, imply that everyone one else should think as I do? For the record I’m a voice of the marginalized as well.

    You have implied over and over that I’m unaware and I lack knowledge with regards to sexism, misogyny and rape culture simply because I don’t agree with you and others about the context of the tree rape scene in Evil Dead. I have never implied that other readers aren’t allowed or shouldn’t think otherwise.

    I also conceded to the idea that Evil Dead DOES have a sexist undertone when one of the moderators of this site posed the question to me in a manner that was much stronger then the actual review, which was my main talking point when I made my very first comment to this review.

    “I do, when you imply that this isn’t a fight worth fighting, which is what you have done in your comments to others. It is. Please stop saying otherwise. You wouldn’t fight this fight; great. Let us do it, then.”

    Again you are framing your responses to me as if I don’t agree with the fight against sexism, misogyny and rape culture – which couldn’t be more further from the truth – all I’ve have stated is my own personal opinion with regards to Evil Dead’s tree rape scene and my PERSONAL opinion has always been and it will remain so that I’m not defending the scene, I’m just saying it should be viewed within context of the film itself.

  • Anonymous

    Well, the way this was stated:

    “I’m far more concern with politicians trying to redefining what rape is and a real life culture of inequality then to nitpick at a horror movie!”
    came off that way. I get confused when you make comments like this, get replied to, and you seem to back up. So..honestly I don’t know where you’re coming from anymore. You just don’t agree with what’s being said about this movie? Okay. I think we covered that in the comments up above, so…honestly I’m sorry to drag this out. Agree to disagree.
    Oh, also wish to modify my comment before this; you are right, I did come off as the rape culture only effects women, since I listed things that would effect women.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001147897223 Joshua Davis

    So the moral of the story is stick to the origional trilogy, at least the campiness can entertain me then.

  • Anonymous

    People cheered at the rape scene? Well, that’s disturbing. That scene was…well, uncomfortable. I felt sorry for Mia.

  • Anonymous

    Same. Not something I would be “cheering” for…

  • Ryan Colson

    ….the tree rape scene of the remake is pretty nonrapey. Yup.

  • Anonymous

    What an incredibly privileged and ignorant response :)

  • Ryan Colson

    No, just informed by watching the movie. I guess it could be viewed as some form of witch familiar rape but it had more of a spit-monster-slug thing. I can see why some folks out there would call being spat on rape, I suppose, but technically it was more tree assault and battery :)

  • Anonymous

    Informed by watching the movie….and not having to deal with rape culture on a daily basis, and more then likely (basing my impression of you on your name and ID) benefiting from the rape culture. So yes, ignorant and privileged.