Mike Fugere writes:
Modern cinema’s grasp on what constitutes a sequel, remake, spiritual successor, or reboot is tumultuous at best – is Better Luck Tomorrow part of the Fast & Furious franchise, for example? While this may sound like a rather broad stroke, it is one that is easily narrowed when pertaining to the realm of horror. Be it an unofficial Italian sequel (featuring a kick ass zombie vs. shark fight) or a tacked on post-credits scene, horror films have a wide array of slapdash world-building tools at their disposal, which are utilized to create uneven (and often maligned) results.
The one horror franchise that has transcended the constraints of trying to keep a cinematic barge afloat in a sea of studio politics, financial limitations, and creative differences is Sam Raimi’s beloved Evil Dead series. Fans and critics alike have embraced the inconsistencies, contradictions, and retcons between films and championed Evil Dead’s laissez faire attitude when it comes to storytelling. This is so omnipresent within the series that there is still debate/confusion/anxiety over whether or not Fede Álvarez’s 2013 film Evil Dead is a remake, a reboot, or a quasi-sequel (or perhaps all three?).
If a movie with the same name as the film it’s remaking or rebooting or who-the-hell-knows-what-ing can’t even be clear on the subject, I feel it is not out of the question that Sam Raimi’s underappreciated 2009 splatstick masterpiece Drag Me to Hell is part of this mad, mad, demon-filled world.
Before we dive into the deep end, I want to make it clear that there will be spoilers for Drag Me to Hell, all four official Evil Dead movies, and the first two seasons of Starz’s “Ash Vs. Evil Dead” television series in this article. Big, bloody, spoilers. So, if you have not seen the aforementioned works, stop reading this, lock yourself in a room for the next 24 hours, and binge watch away. Trust me, you’ll be better for it.
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