A group of youngster visit a cabin to help their friend detox, however, they so find them themselves pawns in a prophesy to raise an abomination.
Evil Dead ‘re-imagining’ was overseen by Sam Raimi himself, there’s a few tweaks and a couple of beloved things are missing (mostly comedy setups), it follows Evil Dead’s highs and lows story blueprint wisely hitting all the right notes, loss, sacrifice, possession, supernatural high-jinks, the book of the dead, a cellar, cabin and so on.
However, gone is the mix of wackiness with horror and what we’re left with is just horror. Packed with jump scares there’s blood – more blood than you can possibly imagine coupled with gratuitous and graphic violence, a nail gun, chainsaw, and claw hammer action.
It’s dark, ominous, gritty and wonderfully shot by Fede Alvarez. The special effect and music score a worthy of note. The opening is reminiscent of a million torture-porn films and adds little to the proceedings, although the series is known for irregular continuities, if anything the setup robs Evil Dead of being a sequel to the original. In addition, there’s a odd homage after the credits that takes Evil Dead 2013 stand alone stature. It’s as if Raimi and Co. couldn’t cut the umbilical cord to the original video nasty, or avoid backlash from fans.
The cast are a group of good looking kids and on the whole the acting is pretty good, lead Jane Levy is exceptional. But the group of twenty something Americans has been done to death and steals any novelty away from Dead by default. Nevertheless, there’s a welcomed gender change and duel role that allows Levy to really excel.
All in all as someone who avoids horror-comedy I thought a serious remake would be a good idea, that said, The Evil Dead 1981 was a basic concept and it was its style that made it. It goes to show that you should be careful what you wish for.
To Alvarez’s credit as horror film it is skilfully made, and if you’ve not seen its 1981 counterpart it excels. Nevertheless, if you’re familiar with the Evil Dead, its novelty , choppy charm, resourcefulness and it’s mix of scares humour, you may feel that this in some peculiar uncanny way falls short. There’s a reason archetypal books don’t get rewritten – the same could possibly be applied to cult films.
Ultimately, even with it’s ‘Evil Dead’ shortcomings it’s an entertaining piece of horror and still a must for horror fans.
Evil Dead on IMDB