Friday, April 5, 2013

Movie Review - Evil Dead (2013)

When I first heard about this remake, I was very vocal against it. The story sounded silly, the casting choices, even worse. An unknown, unproven director surely didn't have the chops to take on Evil Dead, right? I'm happy to say, I was wrong. Director Fede Alexander does an admirable job retelling the classic tale of young people stranded at the cabin in the woods. The film starts off with a bit of a prologue. A young girl is alone in the woods and pursued by some men. She is then taken back to a cabin for some kind of ritual. The scene tries to bring some kind of backstory for what happens next and, does a decent job doing so. Things pick up again when Mia (Jane Levy) and her friends Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci), Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore), Olivia (Jessica Lucas) and, her brother David (Shiloh Fernandez) arrive at the cabin. One thing of note, if you take the first letter of each name, it will spell DEMON. Kind of creepy.
Mia is a drug addict with a rough past. Her brother David left her and her sick mother at a young age. This is a character dynamic that is set up early in the film and plays a role throughout. Mia is angry and David feels guilty. The friends don't really get much character development. We only know that they are "friends."
Of course, they find the book of the dead and guess what?, one of them reads the book. This time, the book was nice enough to have warnings like, DO NOT READ THIS BOOK! One of them reads is anyway. That's when the fun begins. Mia is the first one attacked and, starts to change. Everyone just thinks it's the withdraw symptoms. Of course, when she turns into a demon, they change their minds and lock her in the cellar. I had heard before I saw this that Mia was the "Ash" character in this version. Ash is of course played by Bruce Campbell in the original. This was confusing to me when she was taken out so early in the film. Just watch and you'll get it towards the end. David was more like Ash in many ways, right down to the same shirt. David and Mia were like hybrids of Ash. It worked well, trust me.
The film is gory, that's for sure. The use of CGI was minimal. This was a horror film like the old days. Real fake blood and, real prosthetics. There were plenty of trademark Sam Raimi themes here too. Keep an eye out for the Olds Cutlass, a Raimi trademark. Many of the scenes were ripped right out of the original, in a good way. The chaining of the cellar trapdoor, the demon pounding to get out, all right out of the original.
Evil Dead was a refreshing film for an old school horror fan. It's nice to be able to see a horror film that's not chopped up to fit a PG-13 rating or post converted into horrible 3D (Texas Chainsaw, I'm looking at you). It was scary and had a moody atmosphere. Character development was minimal but, passable. Fede Alexander has a bright future in genre film making if he can keep this up. Raimi made a good choice to pick him to tackle this film. According to rumors, a sequel is already in the works, along with a sequel to Army Of Darkness, if both do well enough at the box office, another sequel may happen that sees both films combine into one. With Campbell joining the fray. On that note, stay after the credits for a groovy scene that lends credit to these rumors. In closing, Evil Dead 2013 looked, smelled and tasted like Evil Dead so, fear not fans, it turned out pretty good.

4 out of 5 necronomicons


  1. Good review Chris. When a movie is as gory and bloody as this, I usually get pissed but I didn't mind it here. Not a perfect movie, but still fine for what it is.

  2. I thought the movie worked well. One of the better horror movie I have seen in a while. Even though it followed familiar horror movie formula it managed to keep me interested. Although I have to say it is not "The Most Terrifying Movie You Will Ever Experience" it has its shocking parts and its fun parts. Also just when I thought it was going to end kind of so-so the final battle was pretty cool.

  3. This was very excellent. I was very skeptical on the validity of this movie. After reading your review, I am very much on board and looking forward to seeing this movie myself. Its just one of those things you want to see for yourself. Thanks so much for a very convincing review. I am stoked and ready to be scared. Awesome review